- Opens: Monday 7 June 2021
- Number of places: 2
- Duration: 3 years
OverviewThis cross disciplinary PhD project will explore physical modifications of the protein biopolymer silk that will be 3D printed into higher order structures. These modifications are aimed at maximising the function of silk to ultimately enhance the performance of silk to serve as tissue matrix for stem cells.
A first class or 2.1 undergraduate or Master’s degree in biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, chemistry, biology, pharmacy or related discipline. Applicant is expected to hold an external scholarship (for example, Royal Government of Thailand Scholarship, DAAD, Fulbright etc).
This PhD project represents a step change for the manufacture and application of self-assembling silk hydrogels for tissue engineering and stem cell delivery. Specifically, this PhD project will develop second generation silk hydrogels that have been physically tuned to provide silk with novel functions and complex structures. This is important because engineering an effective orphan microenvironment for stem cells is critical for providing cell-instructive cues to maximise therapeutic potential. Engineered silk hydrogels are ideal to tackle these issues because they provide a complex multiscale architecture that mimics the native extracellular matrix (ECM), which is critical in regulating stem cell behaviour. Self-assembling silk hydrogels are exciting cell carriers because of their many advantages, including biocompatibility, tuneable biodegradation, mild processing conditions, triggered solution-gel transitions, tuneable hydrogel elasticity and ability to form physically crosslinked molecular networks that mimic the biological extracellular matrix. Few, if any, synthetics or biopolymers share these characteristics. This project will enable the PhD candidate to develop advanced skills at the interface of material science, 3D printing and cell biology with the overall aim of generating novel silk hydrogels.
Please check out our webpage, Seib Lab.
The project detailed here can be further tailored to suite your specific needs; the overall common thread of this PhD (and the Seib lab) will be the use of the biopolymer silk.
Please contact Dr Seib (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an informal chat.
Start date: Oct 2021 - Sep 2022
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences