Malaria: hidden equations and lasers

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1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.

I use equations to understand malaria. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people die from malaria. Malaria is a parasite which is passed around through mosquito bites. During a malaria infection, the parasite attaches itself to the red blood cells of the bite victim. My research aims to understand the adhesion between a malaria parasite and red blood cell. I use laser tweezers (yes, tweezers made of a laser) to rip the parasite off a red blood cell. At the microscopic scale, there are physics equations which say that the parasite will rip off differently for each attempt, which opens the possibility of finding an ‘adhesion signature’. If such an ‘adhesion signature’ exists and can be found, we can develop new disease diagnostic tools. My fundamental research has the potential to link researchers, and create new jobs, across the biological, chemical, and physical sciences and engineering.


Marty Hillier
11 months ago

Maybe have applications in genetic engineering?

Ann Bui
11 months ago

Optical tweezers is entering the world of genetic engineering. My aspect of this project focuses on the thermodynamics involved, although a previous project of mine did use optical tweezers to handle chromosomes :)

Thanh Loan
11 months ago

Proud of you, Ann!

Nguyen Bao Anh
11 months ago

Voted 😁

Ann Bui
11 months ago

Thanks for your support!

Amir Farokh
11 months ago

It is a good idea to apply thermodynamics for such modeling. I applied that before and it was very powerful.

Khiem Pham
11 months ago

Very cool Ann !!! please keep me updated on this research

Khai Pham
11 months ago

Hope the adhesion signature would be found soon. Great Research Ann!!!

Martin Knox
11 months ago

Brave work, spanning several disciplines. Best wishes.

Khang Pham
11 months ago

Great work Ann. Keep it up.
Love from Vietnam

Trang Van
11 months ago

Hi Ann. Well đone. Cogratulations on your research

Ann Bui
11 months ago

Thank you everyone!


Ann completed her PhD in optical physics at the University of Queensland. She is currently at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.

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