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Personal profile

Research interests

Mechanobiology of microbial motility in complex environments

Fluid-structure interactions in flagella and cilia and their biochemical regulation

Cytoskeleton-driven amoeboid locomotion of cells on surfaces

Bio-inspired soft devices for microfluidic mixing and pumping

Rheology, microstructural constitutive models and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics of  viscoelastic polymer solutions and complex interfaces

Particle-based simulation methods for complex fluids e.g. Smoothed Dissipative Particle Dynamics

Mesoscopic simulation methods such as Brownian Dynamics, Dissipative Particle Dynamics and Stokesian Dynamics

 

 

 

Supervision interests

Mechanobiology of microbial motility in complex environments

Fluid-structure interactions in flagella and cilia and their biochemical regulation

Cytoskeleton-driven amoeboid locomotion of cells on surfaces

Bio-inspired soft devices for microfluidic mixing and pumping

Rheology, microstructural constitutive models and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics of  viscoelastic polymer solutions and complex interfaces

Particle-based simulation methods for complex fluids e.g. Smoothed Dissipative Particle Dynamics

Mesoscopic simulation methods such as Brownian Dynamics, Dissipative Particle Dynamics and Stokesian Dynamics

Monash teaching commitment

Fluid Mechanics II (MEC3451): 2012 - present

Research Practices (MEC6410): 2016 - present

Thermofluids and Power Systems (TRC2200): 2008 - 2014

Computers in Fluids and Energy (MEC4447): 2008 - present

Computational Fluid Mechanics (MAE5406): 2008 - 2011

Biography

Prabhakar works at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University as a Senior Lecturer.

He is interested in understanding how cells exploit mechanics -- motion and forces -- to their advantage. Such understanding could lead to novel medical applications or to the development of biomimetic devices and processes.

For instance, Prabhakar is working with Moira O' Bryan in the Faculty of Medicine to understand how a mammalian sperm cell in uses their tail (flagellum) to navigate through the complex fluid environment in an oviduct to reach and fertilize an egg. Male infertility is an emerging issue not only in men, but for farmers, animal breeders and conservation efforts. This study will help design new methods of assessment and treatment of male infertility. Understanding flagellar propulsion could also enable the design of artificial filaments for pumping and mixing fluids in microfluidic devices. Besides sperm cells, Prabhakar's group also studies the mechanics of amoeboid locomotion of animal cells on surfaces, and the collective migration of infectious bacteria on surfaces.

Prabhakar uses mathematical modeling and computer simulations to relate the observed motion and behaviour in such systems to their complex mechanical properties, internal forcing by protein motors, and biochemical and genetic regulation. He collaborates with other groups on experiments to validate these models.

 

Keywords

  • Modeling And Simulation
  • Biomechanics
  • Mechanobiology
  • Rheology
  • Constitutive modelling
  • Brownian Dynamics
  • Computational Biology
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Sperm function
  • Microfluidics

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Research Output 2002 2019

CRISP2 Is a Regulator of Multiple Aspects of Sperm Function and Male Fertility

Lim, S., Kierzek, M., O'Connor, A. E., Brenker, C., Merriner, D. J., Okuda, H., Volpert, M., Gaikwad, A., Bianco, D., Potter, D., Prabhakar, R., Strünker, T. & O'Bryan, M. K., 1 Apr 2019, In : Endocrinology. 160, 4, p. 915-924 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Linear stability of an active fluid interface

Nagilla, A., Prabhakar, R. & Jadhav, S., 1 Feb 2018, In : Physics of Fluids. 30, 2, 7 p., 022109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Effect of stretching-induced changes in hydrodynamic screening on coil-stretch hysteresis of unentangled polymer solutions

Ranganathan, P., Sasmal, C., Nguyen, D. A., Sridhar, T. & Prakash, J. R., 1 Jan 2017, In : Physical Review Fluids. 2, 1, 8 p., 011301.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Influence of stretching induced self-concentration and self-dilution on coil-stretch hysteresis and capillary thinning of unentangled polymer solutions

Prabhakar, R., Gadkari, S., Gopesh, T. & Shaw, M. J., 1 May 2016, In : Journal of Rheology. 60, 3, p. 345-366 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Extensional viscosity of copper nanowire suspensions in an aqueous polymer solution

McDonnell, A. G., Jason, N. N., Yeo, L. Y-M., Friend, J. R., Cheng, W. & Ranganathan, P., 2015, In : Soft Matter. 11, 41, p. 8076 - 8082 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review