Mr Amir Rastar

BSc, MSc, PhD, PhD candidate

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy

Biography

I started my undergraduate study in textile engineering at Isfahan University of Technology, working on the color matching of printed textile fabrics. I studied a Master of Science in Textile Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology (formerly Tehran Polytechnic), working on spectral estimation of images using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method.

For my PhD in Textile Engineering at Islamic Azad University, I investigated the optical properties of metal nanoparticles using basic light scattering theories (Mie approximation). While pursuing my doctorate, I worked in the university as a lecturer, mostly teaching color science and computer programming.

Starting my second PhD, at the University of Auckland I began investigating visual aids for helping color deficient health practitioners in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, then transferred to the Auckland Bioengineering Institute to work on lung research under Professor Merryn Tawhai.
 

Research | Current

Thesis

Computational models for image- and model-based biomarkers in asthma

The prevalence of asthma has consistently increased since the 1980s across all age, gender and racial groups. Asthma is primarily considered an airway disease, characterized by pulmonary airway narrowing that is caused by contraction of the bronchiolar smooth muscle, inflammation and/or mucus secretions, and ultimately, airway remodeling.

Asthma is a heterogeneous disorder, but even in patients with an apparently identical clinical phenotype, response to drug treatment may be remarkably variable. While some patients respond favorably to a given treatment, others fail to show any improvement in their lung function. Thus, there is a pressing need to develop new approaches to treatment for asthma.

Asthma is varied in its presentation, and gaining insight into the underlying physiology may allow for the identification of patients that would most benefit from specific therapies.

Current asthma therapies include inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long acting β2-agonists (LABA), and emerging therapies are testing the efficacy of systemic delivery of drugs, and ablation of the airway smooth muscle by bronchial thermoplasty. Limitations for the development of new therapies are that the current gold standard for measuring lung function (forced spirometry) is not sufficiently sensitive to demonstrate significant clinical benefit, and trial populations often include subjects that will derive limited benefit from any treatment.

What is currently needed are more sensitive biomarkers of lung function, and methods that can predict maximal patient benefit following treatment to improve the selection of subjects in clinical trials, and ultimately to guide the most appropriate therapy for different phenotypes of asthma.

Supervisors

Research group

Lungs and respiratory system
 

Areas of expertise

  • Color science
  • Imaging science
  • Vision science
  • Textile science
  • Computer programing
  • Computer networks
  • Information technology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Rastar, A., Rashidi, A., Yazdanshenas, M., & Bidoki, S. M. (2013). Theoretical review of optical properties of nanoparticles. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, 8 (2), 85-96. Related URL.
  • Rastar, A., Yazdanshenas, M. E., Rashidi, A., & Bidoki, S. M. (2012). Estimation and prediction of optical properties of PA6/TiO2 nanocomposites. Arabian Journal of Chemistry10.1016/j.arabjc.2012.07.025
  • Rastar, A. (2009). Cinematic-film protection using metameric blacks. Color Research & Application, 34 (1), 93-96. 10.1002/col.20460