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A 3.5 year PhD studentship in development of a simple, cheap, reliable device with shape variant nanoparticles for pathogen sensing

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Nguyen T. K. Thanh
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Studentship
This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR IMRE in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend £16777 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU citizens are eligible for this studentship.

The Project
Infectious diseases are major public-health problem all over the world. Nanomaterials exhibit unique optical properties that are important in biosensor development. For diagnosis, nanosensors have great potential for on-site rapid detection, with the remaining challenges to be overcome, for example, ultrahigh sensitivity requirement for known analytes such as Dengue NS1, and low cost for home testing. This project aims to address these challenges, focusing on the development of plasmonic shaped variant nanoparticle-based sensing techniques.

The scopes include (1) developing highly sensitive plasmonic nanostructures through bottom up synthesis, coupled with biomarkers for Dengue NS1. We will identify the appropriate antibody/antigen pairs for different diagnostic tests (clinical management of diseases, or for monitoring and surveillance or home testing); (2) studying photochromic property for sensing; (3) engineering the sensors for on-site application including using portable optical detectors and printing the metal structures onto low-cost paper format. (4) Testing sensors for against the library of samples.

Please contact Professor Nguyen TK Thanh([Email Address Removed]) for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 15 July 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

Funding Notes

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve 1st or 2:1 class Integrated Masters degree (MSci, MChem, etc.) or 2:1 minimum BSc plus stand-alone Masters degree with Merit in Chemistry, materials science, or condensed matter physics. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

References

Ref:
1. Thanh, N. T. K., Rosenzweig, Z. (2002). Development of an aggregation based immunoassay for anti-protein A using gold nanoparticles. Analytical Chemistry 74, 1624-1628. Impact Factor: 5.9, Citation: 348 by 2/2015
2. Thanh, N. T. K. (Ed.) (2012). Magnetic Nanoparticles: From Fabrication to Clinical Applications. 22 chapters, 616 Pages. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis
3. R. M. Pallares, X. Su, S. H. Lim, Thanh, N. T. K., Fine-Tuning Gold Nanorods Dimensions and Plasmonic Properties Using the Hofmeister Salt Effects. Journal of Material Chemistry C. 2015, 4, 53-61 (Front Cover).
4. Su, X. D.,* and Kanjanawarut, R., Control of metal nanoparticles aggregation and dispersion using PNA and PNA-DNA complexes, and its use for colorimetric DNA detection. ACS Nano 2009, 3, 2751–2759.
5. Pallares, R. M., Kong, S. L., Tan, H. R., Thanh, N.T.K.*, Lu, Y., and Su, X. D.,* A plasmonic nanosensor with inverse sensitivity for circulating cell-free DNA quantification. Chem Comm 2015, 51, 14524-14527.

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