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Autonomous Small Scale Stirring Devices to Enable Rapid Medical Diagnosis


   Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering


About the Project

The reliance of modern healthcare on rapid medical diagnostic devices is very clear: for example lateral flow tests are a key part of the response to Covid-19. However, many current and emerging diagnostic devices are limited by the challenges of enhancing mass transport and fluid mixing at small scales. Achieving rapid mass transport is key in order to allow diagnostic molecules to be efficiently captured for detection. The aim for this PhD is to investigate a new technology that can enhance mass transport in diagnostic assays and devices, by stirring very small volumes of fluid. This stirring technology is based on the ability to cause micron and nanoscale objects to rapidly rotate using chemical reactions and surface tension effects. The PhD project will use computational fluid dynamics modelling to design new diagnostic devices and assays based on this new stirring technology. Simulations will allow the effectiveness of our current stirrers to improve diagnostic performance to be determined, and direct the design of a new generation of stirrers.

This PhD will be supported by ongoing experimental laboratory research in my group, involve collaboration with biological and medical researchers, and give opportunities to interact with companies who are interested in this technology. The modelling tools and methods that will be used are widely applied in industry, and so the PhD will provide a valuable transferable skill-set, as well as giving extensive experience in interdisciplinary working. Opportunities for training and participation in commercialisation activities will also be available. 

The PhD will suit someone with a physical sciences or engineering background and an interest in using simulation and modelling tools to develop a new approach to medical diagnosis.

Please see this link for information on how to apply: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cbe/postgraduate/phd/how-apply. Please include the name of your proposed supervisor and the title of the PhD project within your application.

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 Honours Degree in Physics, Chemistry or a relevant Engineering discipline. If English is not your first language then you must have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component, or equivalent. Please see this link for further information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/english-language.


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