Taking a sample of breastmilk could be as simple as placing a drop of milk on a card
Breastmilk collection and analyses approaches to date has been based on collection into tubes with subsequent analysis on frozen samples. Human milk is a unique matrix requiring specific validation with issues for collection, storage, transport and analyses. This approach does not allow for storage of large numbers of samples or collections in remote areas.
Dried Milk Spots (DMS) provide an approach and collection system that solves these inherent problems. Although DMS collection systems exist for measurement of milk fatty acids and other compounds (IL-6 receptor blocker, antiretroviral therapy) there is a requirement to further develop these systems for multiple sensor nor DMS exists that targets the different milk components macronutrient or micronutrients relevant to infant growth and development.
- Optimise a Dried Milk Spot card for the collection of human milk
- Determine optimal storage conditions for the Dried Milk Spot care
- Develop methods to measure a suite of human milk components from the Dried Milk Spot card.
This PhD student project will involve the application development of assays to measure quantitatively the components of breastmilk placed on a card developed for collection of human milk samples.
- Rudolph, M.C., Young, B.E., Jackson, K.H., Krebs, N.F., Harris, W.S., MacLean, P.S., 2016. Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition: Comparison of Novel Dried Milk Spot Versus Standard Liquid Extraction Methods. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
- Jackson, K.H., Polreis, J., Sanborn, L., Chaima, D., Harris, W.S., 2016. Analysis of breast milk fatty acid composition using dried milk samples. International breastfeeding journal 11(1), 1-7.
- Saito, J., Yakuwa, N., Kaneko, K., Nakajima, K., Takai, C., Goto, M., Yamatani, A., Murashima, A., 2019. Clinical application of the dried milk spot method for measuring tocilizumab concentrations in the breast milk of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 22(6), 1130-1137.
- Waitt C, Diliiy Penchala S, Olagunju A, Amara A, Else L, Lamorde M, Khoo S. Development, validation and clinical application of a method for the simultaneous quantification of lamivudine, emtricitabine and tenofovir in dried blood and dried breast milk spots using LC-MS/MS. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017 Aug 15;1060:300-307
Prof Geddes is a lactation biologist, with a major focus on the mechanisms by which breastfeeding programme early and later life health outcomes. She is located at the School of Molecular Sciences at UWA where she measures milk composition in relation to infant outcomes. She leads a large group that works in the areas of human milk microbiome, metabolomics, biochemistry and physiology.
Funding and Collaborations
- This project is partially funded by an unrestricted research grant from Medela AG
How to Apply
- To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
- Requirements specific to this project:
- A minimum 2A Honours degree or Masters degree in a related field
- Undergraduate degree in science/ biomedical science/relevant degree
- Eligible to enrol in a PhD at UWA
- Excellent communication skills including oral presentation and writing
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- After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to proceed with your application