Postgraduate research opportunities Development of a light treatment device for cutaneous leishmaniasis

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Key facts

  • Opens: Friday 13 November 2020
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 36 months

Overview

Leishmaniasis is a serious health threat. We have preliminary data to show that light can have anti-leishmanial activity and the aim of this project is to design a medicinal device that can be used to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis.
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Eligibility

2:1 Honours degree or overseas equivalent

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

A student would develop a medicinal device as a prototype for treatment of CL in this project.  It would have to cope with skin surfaces with different topographies and have a capacity to be charged using solar power.  The device would then be tested for efficacy against the intra-macrophage amastigote stage using cells infected with luciferase-expressing L. major or L. mexicana, two species that cause CL in humans. This will allow the effect of light treatment on parasite survival to be assessed using IVIS imaging. The device will also be tested for its ability to inhibit lesion growth in a murine model of cutaneous leishmaniasis. The student on this project would be trained in a number of techniques including culture of parasites, use of IVIS imaging equipment, in vivo animal experiments, assessment of parasite burdens, analysis and presentation of data.  Dr K. C. Carter will supervise Leishmania studies and has the ethical approval required for experiments.  Dr M. Maclean will provide expertise on phototherapy, and Professor Gourlay will supervise development of the medicinal device.             The ultimate aim of this project is to develop a medicinal device that could be used to treat CL.  This would have to be cheap to manufacture and can be used without requiring an external power source. The device is aimed at individuals in CL endemic areas, and if effective it would improve their quality of life as medicines in many endemic areas are expensive, difficult to assess and often cause adverse effects in the patient. Therefore, development of a novel treatment would be very beneficial.

Further information

1. Sundar S, Singh A. (2016) Recent developments and future prospects in the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. Ther Adv Infect Dis. 3:98-109.

2. Singh OP, Singh B, Chakravarty J, Sundar S. (2016) Current challenges in treatment options for visceral leishmaniasis in India: a public health perspective. Infect Dis Poverty. 5:19.

3. Maclean M, Anderson JG, MacGregor SJ, White T, Atreya CD. (2016) A New Proof of Concept in Bacterial Reduction: Antimicrobial Action of Violet-Blue Light (405 nm) in Ex Vivo Stored plasma. Blood Transfus. 2016:2920514.

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Funding details

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

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Supervisors

Primary Supervisor: Dr K. C Carter

Email: k.carter@strath.ac.uk

Webpage: https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/carterkatharinedr/

 

Secondary Supervisor: Dr M. MacLean

Email: michelle.maclean@strath.ac.uk

Webpage: https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/macleanmichelledr/

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Contact us

Primary Supervisor: Dr K. C Carter

Email: k.carter@strath.ac.uk

Webpage: https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/carterkatharinedr/