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Controlled Delivery of Therapeutics from Medical Implants

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S McGinty
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5 year PhD project entitled ‘Controlled delivery of therapeutics from medical implants’ within the Biomedical Engineering Division.

The local delivery of therapeutics is now common in clinical practice. Examples include cardiovascular drug-eluting stents, therapeutic contact lenses, transdermal patches and most recently orthopaedic implants. By targeting the therapeutic exactly at the site where it is required and in a controlled manner, these devices provide a significant advantage over more traditional forms of delivery. For example, with targeted delivery, potentially higher doses of drug can be administered, with less impact on the rest of the body compared with, say, oral drug delivery. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that the release rate can be controlled, so that the correct dose can be delivered over an extended period of time.

The therapeutic is typically contained within some durable/biodegradable polymer coating or embedded within a nanoporous structure. From the manufacturing and clinical point of view it is of interest to give careful consideration to the implant design so that therapeutics at appropriate levels are attained for the necessary period of time. For example, toxicity can arise if an excessive amount of drug is delivered, or if the drug is released too quickly. On the other hand, the therapeutic action may vanish when the concentration drops below a given threshold. Even if it is clear what type of therapeutic should be delivered, the success of a therapeutic releasing implant is therefore heavily dependent on the release kinetics and transport processes in the body. In this respect, mathematical and computational modelling provides a useful tool to understand the combined action of these processes, and consequently to help devise optimisation strategies for targeted delivery of therapeutics.

This PhD project is highly multidisciplinary and the student will benefit from close interaction with local and international clinicians, mathematicians, biomedical and mechanical engineers and life scientists. They will be exposed to both modelling and experimental approaches and will develop a wide range of highly desirable skills which will greatly enhance their future employability within academia or industry.

Applicants should hold a minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Mathematics, Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants from a mathematical/computational background should demonstrate a willingness to learn about biological processes and biomedical engineering approaches, whilst applicants from an engineering background should display an aptitude for mathematical/computational modelling. Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Sean McGinty as early as possible to discuss the project in more detail.

Funding Notes

The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,057 per annum for 3.5 years.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply. For full details about eligibility please visit:

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