Postgraduate research opportunities

Biomedical use of Silk

Drug and stem cell delivery using biopolymers

Number of places

1

Opens

5 March 2020

Duration

36 Months

Eligibility

First class honours or Master’s degree

Project Details

We have a particular interest in exploring the use of silk for drug and cell delivery applications. Silk is an approved biopolymer for use in humans and has remarkable physical properties (e.g. it is tougher than any manmade fibre). Silk, a common suture material, has long been recognised for its biocompatibility and biodegradability. We are using silk as a scaffold for tissue engineering and as a biopolymer for drug and cell delivery. Silk can be processed under mild aqueous conditions to generate several biomedically useful formats, including self-assembling silk hydrogels, nanoparticles, films and scaffolds. This PhD study will go beyond the current state-of-the-art to open up an entirely new silk toolbox. This PhD will deliver ambitious and adventurous science as evidenced by high impact publications resulting from this work. The exact project will be tailored according to the specific interest of the PhD candidate and will be informed by the latest discoveries of the Seib lab.

 

Techniques used: A broad range of techniques will be used. These include but are not limited to biopolymer processing, DLS, DSC, FTIR, rheology, SDS-PAGE, RT-PCR, confocal microscopy and mammalian cell culture.

Funding Details

Applicant will need to self-fund, find sponsorship for tuition and bench fees of £15000 per annum for duration of studies

Further information

Holland C, Numata K, Rnjak-Kovacina J, Seib FP (2019). The biomedical use of silk: past, present, future. Advanced Healthcare Materials 8, e1800465 doi:10.1002/adhm.201800465

 

Totten JT, Wongpinyochit T, Carolla J, Duarte I, Seib FP (2019). PEGylation-dependent metabolic rewiring of macrophages with silk fibroin nanoparticles. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11, 14515-14525. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b18716