Developing microfluidic assays for cancer research
This project is one of seven (7), 4-year PhD Studentships funded by Medical Research Scotland (http://www.medicalresearchscotland.org.uk) and delivered jointly by the named University and Company. The Studentship will provide the first-class academic and commercial training needed to equip the successful student for a science career in an increasingly competitive market.
Development of microfluidic high-throughput bioassays based on 3D matrix-supported spheroids - delivered by the University of Strathclyde and AMS Biotechnology (Europe) Ltd (http://www.amsbio.com).
Academic Supervisors: Dr Michele Zagnoni & Professor David Flint; Industrial Supervisor: Dr Elad Katz
A major drawback in the development of anti-cancer treatments and anticancer drug testing is the use of 2D cell cultures as a model for solid tumours. The aim of this project is to develop novel drug screening and therapeutic methodologies for cancer based on the use of microfluidic techniques that enable the formation of 3D cell cultures. For this, in collaboration with AMS Biotechnology (Europe) ltd, we will use micron-sized emulsions to create solid tumour models by forming and manipulating matrix-supported spheroids. This miniaturised approach, combined with the high control over fluid flows offered by microfluidic techniques, will allow the assessment of a wide range of drugs and radiotherapies on tumour microenvironments in 3D spheroid models which are more representative of micro-metastases in vivo. The technique uses reduced cell volumes and drug quantities with respect to conventional procedures, thus decreasing the cost of the assay without compromising the throughput. Outcomes from this project are expected to provide both devices and methodologies that can be used for developing tumour growth and invasion assays, novel combination therapeutics and also in-vitro systems that mimic the extravascular diffusion of anticancer agents in tissues.
The successful applicant will join a multidisciplinary research team with international experience in technology development for the biosciences. The research will be carried out in the Centre for Microsystems and Photonics (http://www.strath.ac.uk/eee/research/cmp/) within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering of the University of Strathclyde and the Strathclyde Institute of Biomedical Sciences. During the PhD, the student will also regularly engage with our industrial partner AMS Biotechnology (Europe) Ltd. This is a challenging and rewarding project, which offers an exceptional research and industrial experience, providing training and transferable skills in diverse engineering and cancer biology sectors.
The PhD Studentship provides: an annual tax-free stipend of £16,500, increasing to £17,000 over the four years; tuition fees at UK/EU rates only (international fees are not covered); and consumables.
Applicants should possess or be about to obtain a 1st class or 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline: either electronic, mechanical or chemical engineering, pharmacology, biology or chemistry related subjects, with a strong technological-oriented and problem-solving attitude. To apply, email your CV and a covering letter highlighting your interests and suitability for the project to Dr. Michele Zagnoni ([Email Address Removed]). Interviews: Early April 2014.