Ali AKPEK – Biography

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Assoc. Prof. Ali AKPEK

Gebze Technical University

Novel Approaches for Artificial Organ Biofabrication

About the Seminar:

The effects of non-uniform temperature field to viscosity measurement is investigated. Non-uniform temperature field is a serious problem that degrades the viscosity measurement accuracy and causes severe problems for the researches in academia and industry. When an artificial blood pump (or simply an artificial heart) is used in a patient, thrombosis occurs and red blood cells start to accumulate within the interior surface of the blood pump. In a couple of years, this accumulated red blood cells cause serious damages to the pump and therefore patients need to replace their pumps. This project aims to detect the amount of thrombosis within the artificial blood pumps and help the experts to decide when to replace the pumps. When thrombosis occurs and red blood cells accumulate inside the blood pump, the viscosity of the blood inside the pump starts to increase. In our study, the impeller of the blood pump is improved not only to rotate but also to vibrate with a specific frequency. As the viscosity of the blood starts to increase, the force which is necessary to keep the vibration frequency of the impeller constant starts to increase. Therefore, there is a linear relationship between the electromagnetic driving force that keeps the impeller in constant frequency and the viscosity of the blood. By capitalizing on this, the blood viscosity and the ideal replacement time for blood pumps may be determined. In summary, this project aims to convert an artificial blood pump into a vibrational viscometer to measure blood viscosity.

In addition to artificial heart studies, the seminar will include artificial skin, artificial vein and various organs on a chip platform researches.


About the Speaker:

Dr. Akpek was born in Karsiyaka, Turkey. He received his B.Eng degree from Department of Biomedical Engineering of Baskent University as one of the first biomedical engineers of the country. During his education, he mainly focused on biomedical electronics. After graduation, he expanded his research interest to biotechnology and obtained a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from Ege University. He mainly focused on microbiology and nanoionics during his master training. In 2010, he was awarded with Monbukagakusho scholarship from Japan and worked as a research scientist in Bionanotechnology Laboratory at Department of Bioengineering of University of Tokyo. His main research theme was “Nanochannel Fabrication Methodologies for Cell Fusion”. He started his Dr. Eng training in Department of Mechano-Micro Engineering (Micro-Mechatronics) of Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2011. His main doctoral researches were “Non-Uniform Temperature Field in Viscosity Measurement” and “Adapting a Magnetic Levitating Artificial Blood Pump as a Vibrational Viscometer”. This research is supervised by Prof. Toshiharu Kagawa. During his doctoral training, he was mainly focused on Fluid Engineering and Heat & Mass Transfer phenomenon.

Later, he joined Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Science & Technology as a visiting professor. During his residency, he focused on tissue engineering, 3D Bioprinting technologies, and Organs on a Chip devices.

Dr. Akpek worked in Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Currently, he is working as an Associate Professor of Bioengineering in Gebze Technical University. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center.