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(BBSRC DTP) High-throughput microfluidic single-cell analysis using bioimpedance and dielectric spectroscopy to gain insights into sub-cellular structure and mechanics

   Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

About the Project

This project is for a joint PhD between the University of Manchester and the University of Melbourne. High throughput cell analysis is increasingly important for a range of biomedical research and clinical applications. This is especially the case for diagnostic applications, where single-cell shape, structure and mechanics are highly relevant to their disease state, including cancer.

This work aims to develop a novel and impactful approach towards cell analysis, developing a high-throughput microfluidic system utilising high-frequency electromagnetic fields to generate snapshots of cellular parameters down to a single-cell level. The research will involve the design and manufacture of new micro-antenna structures on microfluidic devices, combined with the commissioning of radio-frequency and microwave data-acquisition systems and supporting signal processing and high-frequency front-end electronics. The work will seek to understand and explain the interaction of the cell in an electromagnetic field using new and established dielectric models, equivalent circuits, and electromagnetic simulations, with the goal of relating electromagnetic responses to the cell properties.

Because this interdisciplinary project lies at the intersection of different research fields, self-motivated students with an interest or experience in the following:

·        microfabrication,

·        simulation,

·         analytical modelling and/or microscale physics,

·        electromagnetics,

·        microwave and radio-frequency systems,

·        sensors and instrumentation,

with the potential to develop skillsets in cell culture, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science, engineering or technology. This project is offered as a Dual Award. Applicants for Dual Award projects must meet the entry requirements of both The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne. The University of Melbourne admissions criteria can be found at:

Applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Primary Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible.

How To Apply

To be considered for this project you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website    

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website

Funding Notes

Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

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