The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Postdoc on flow and deformation of microorganisms in biomicrofluidics

This job offer has expired

    Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    29/05/2021 01:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Delft


The flow physics of microorganisms is important to explain how they organize in their natural environment and in response to different stimuli, such as sunlight and chemical concentration gradients. For microorganisms that have been genetically modified to make products (foods, pharmaceuticals), the flow conditions in human-made flows, for instance in bioreactors, can be extreme compared to those in the natural environment. In these conditions, the forces applied by flowing fluids can be so large as to deform and break cells. While the deformation and rupture in flow of animal cells (cancer cells, red blood cells, etc) has been studied extensively for biomedical applications, the physics of deformation and rupture in flow of microoganisms remains largely unexplored, despite its potentially important implications in biotechnology and bioprocessing. The difference between the two types of cells is profound: while an animal cell is only enclosed by a soft, 2-nm thick lipid membrane, microorganisms also possess a structural layer up to 100s of nm thick, called cell wall, with a complex architecture and outstanding mechanical strength. The goal of this project is to address some fundamental questions from the perspective of soft matter and flow physics, to ultimately enable to control the deformation and microstructure of the cell wall of microorganisms in flow. You will address these questions using a combination of fluidic methods (microfluidics, acoustofluidics), imaging techniques (microscopy, fluorescent staining of cell components) and micromechanical measurements (AFM). You will join an inclusive and interdisciplinary team working on microscale transport phenomena in soft and biological matter. The Garbin lab is embedded in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the project provides exciting opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Biotechnology and Bionanosciences, and with collaborators in Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter at Wageningen University.

More Information


This postdoc position has a fixed-term contract of 1 year, with the possibility to extend for 1 additional year.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language.

Selection process

To apply for the position, please submit the following documents as a PDF via the online portal:

  1. A cover letter motivating your interest for this vacancy (max 1 page);
  2. Your CV, including list of publications, and contact information of at least 2 references;
  3. A maximum of 2 representative papers from your PhD project.

The deadline for applications is 28/05/2021. The post is available immediately.

Additional comments

For more information on the project, please contact Dr. Valeria Garbin (V.Garbin@tudelft.nl).

For more information about the selection procedure, please contact Sandra Paffen, email: Secr-ChemE-TP-TNW@tudelft.nl.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

We are looking for candidates with a PhD (or near completion) in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics, Bionanosciences, or related disciplines. Applicants should demonstrate:

  • an excellent track record in their education and research;
  • a strong background in fluid dynamics and transport phenomena; OR a strong background in soft matter physics (a combination of both is desirable, but not required)
  • experimental skills in biomicrofluidics, fluorescence microscopy, image analysis (required); microorganism cell culture, biophysics (desirable);
  • experience in machine learning methods for image recognition or data classification (desirable);
  • an interest in valorization of fundamental research, for instance in applications to bioseparations and biotechnology;
  • ability to communicate effectively with different audiences;
  • excellent command of English (written and spoken);
  • an open mind to collaborate with other scientists and industry.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Delft University of Technology
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

EURAXESS offer ID: 631759
Posting organisation offer ID: 299882


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