Dr Clara Tran

PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

A28 - Physics Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 1338
Fax +61 2 9351 7726

Website School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

School of Physics

Research interests

Dr Clara (Thao) Tran's research involves using plasma implantation and plasma deposition techniques to modify the surface of polymers and non-polymeric substrates, in order to create advanced materials for use in biomedical applications including implants, biosensors and antimicrobial coatings, as well as in bioethanol production.

"My research focuses on the surface modification of polymers using plasma treatments that change a very shallow layer (at nanometre scale) on an object's surface, increasing its wettability and surface energy. These plasma-activated surfaces can then form strong bonds with biomolecules such as proteins and DNA.

"One example of an application of this process is the plasma treatment of catheters and cannulas, which are made of a polymer called polyvinyl chloride, to attach a layer of antimicrobial peptides on both the inside and the outside of the tube. The presence of this antimicrobial peptide layer helps to prevent infectious bacterial biofilms forming on the surface of these medical devices, reducing the risk of infection and the discomfort of frequent replacement.

"Another example is the use of plasma-based surface-modification techniques to enhance polymer-biomolecule interactions for bioethanol production. The covalent attachment of enzymes and yeast cells on the plasma-treated surface allows the repeated reuse of the attached entities.

"Plasma-based surface engineering has rapidly expanded in recent years, as it is a valuable tool for improving surface properties without changing the bulk material. Unlike traditional chemical methods, surface modification using plasma is a solvent-free process, leaving no chemical residue after the treatment which could potentially affect subsequent applications.

"I have already developed a plasma system to functionalise particles and three-dimensional objects. My future goal is to explore the applications of plasma-treated magnetic particles and nanoparticles in medical diagnostics. I also have great interest in exploring conducting plasma carbon films in electrochemical biosensors.

"Plasma surface engineering is a multidisciplinary field. It requires collaboration between researchers in physics, chemistry, microbiology, medicine, pharmacy and so on. The University of Sydney provides me with many opportunities to establish such collaborations, and therefore to develop new ideas for plasma-treatment applications."

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Tran, C., Ganesan, R., McKenzie, D. (2018). Quantifying plasma immersion ion implantation of insulating surfaces in a dielectric barrier discharge: How to control the dose. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 474(2215), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Craggs, M., Smith, L., Stanley, K., Kondyurin, A., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2016). Covalent linker-free immobilization of conjugatable oligonucleotides on polypropylene surfaces. RSC Advances, 6(86), 83328-83336. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Nosworthy, N., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2015). Covalent immobilization of enzymes and yeast: Towards a continuous simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process for cellulosic ethanol. Biomass and Bioenergy, 81, 234-241. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Chrzanowski, W., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2014). Increasing binding density of yeast cells by control of surface charge with allylamine grafting to ion modified polymer surfaces. Colloids And Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 122, 537-544. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Nosworthy, N., Kondyurin, A., McKenzie, D., Bilek, M. (2013). CelB and B-glucosidase immobilization for carboxymethyl cellulose hydrolysis. RSC Advances, 3(45), 23604-23611. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Chrzanowski, W., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2013). Influence of pH on yeast immobilization on polystyrene surfaces modified by energetic ion bombardment. Colloids And Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 104(April), 145-152. [More Information]
  • Hirsh, S., Bilek, M., Bax, D., Kondyurin, A., Kosobrodova, E., Tsoutas, K., Tran, C., Waterhouse, A., Yin, Y., Nosworthy, N., McKenzie, D., Dos Remedios, C., Weiss, A., et al (2013). Ion Implanted, Radical-Rich Surfaces For The Rapid Covalent Immobilization Of Active Biomolecules. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1525, 364-369. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Hirsh, S., McKenzie, D., Bilek, M. (2012). Ion-implanted polytetrafluoroethylene enhances Saccharomyces cerevisiae biofilm formation for improved immobilization. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 9(76), 2923-2935. [More Information]

Conferences

  • McKenzie, D., Bilek, M., Tran, C., Kosobrodova, E., Kondyurin, A., Wakelin, E. (2016). Plasma surface functionalisation for bio applications. 13th Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Science and Technology (APCPST 2016), Shanghai, China: IOP Publishing.

2018

  • Tran, C., Ganesan, R., McKenzie, D. (2018). Quantifying plasma immersion ion implantation of insulating surfaces in a dielectric barrier discharge: How to control the dose. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 474(2215), 1-16. [More Information]

2016

  • Tran, C., Craggs, M., Smith, L., Stanley, K., Kondyurin, A., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2016). Covalent linker-free immobilization of conjugatable oligonucleotides on polypropylene surfaces. RSC Advances, 6(86), 83328-83336. [More Information]
  • McKenzie, D., Bilek, M., Tran, C., Kosobrodova, E., Kondyurin, A., Wakelin, E. (2016). Plasma surface functionalisation for bio applications. 13th Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Science and Technology (APCPST 2016), Shanghai, China: IOP Publishing.

2015

  • Tran, C., Nosworthy, N., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2015). Covalent immobilization of enzymes and yeast: Towards a continuous simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process for cellulosic ethanol. Biomass and Bioenergy, 81, 234-241. [More Information]

2014

  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Chrzanowski, W., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2014). Increasing binding density of yeast cells by control of surface charge with allylamine grafting to ion modified polymer surfaces. Colloids And Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 122, 537-544. [More Information]

2013

  • Tran, C., Nosworthy, N., Kondyurin, A., McKenzie, D., Bilek, M. (2013). CelB and B-glucosidase immobilization for carboxymethyl cellulose hydrolysis. RSC Advances, 3(45), 23604-23611. [More Information]
  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Chrzanowski, W., Bilek, M., McKenzie, D. (2013). Influence of pH on yeast immobilization on polystyrene surfaces modified by energetic ion bombardment. Colloids And Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 104(April), 145-152. [More Information]
  • Hirsh, S., Bilek, M., Bax, D., Kondyurin, A., Kosobrodova, E., Tsoutas, K., Tran, C., Waterhouse, A., Yin, Y., Nosworthy, N., McKenzie, D., Dos Remedios, C., Weiss, A., et al (2013). Ion Implanted, Radical-Rich Surfaces For The Rapid Covalent Immobilization Of Active Biomolecules. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1525, 364-369. [More Information]

2012

  • Tran, C., Kondyurin, A., Hirsh, S., McKenzie, D., Bilek, M. (2012). Ion-implanted polytetrafluoroethylene enhances Saccharomyces cerevisiae biofilm formation for improved immobilization. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 9(76), 2923-2935. [More Information]

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