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Development of biodegradable polymeric systems for drug delivery & tissue engineering applications (SAEEDA_U23SF)

   School of Pharmacy

About the Project

The goal of this project is to create a new line of biodegradable polymeric delivery systems with built-in cell adhesion moieties for formulation of therapeutic agent drug delivery as well as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

 You will be trained to synthesise these biodegradable polymers and formulate them into various sizes of interest for the aforementioned applications. You will gain knowledge of formulation as well as pre-clinical testing of the formulation in a cell culture suite using clinically relevant cell types. You will be trained on how to grow cells and monitor their proliferation, viability, and differentiation into different cell types using an advanced suspension cell culture system. You will have received training in both the chemistry lab and the cell culture suite, gaining multidisciplinary skills. You will receive training and have access to cutting-edge facilities such as material characterization (TGA, DSC, HPLC, GPC, NMR, IR, and Raman microscopy). You'll also have access to an imaging suite, which includes advanced SEM, cryo-SEM, and a fluorescent imaging centre. You will receive regular supervision, training, and support to help you develop critical thinking, presentation skills, and scientific output.

Associate Professor Aram Saeed from the School of Pharmacy and Dr Darrell Green from Norwich Medical School will supervise this PhD. You will be trained and developed in both labs in a supportive environment to become an expert in cell therapy, 3D cells culture system, molecular biology, and bone cancer.

Informal inquiries should be directed to Associate Prof Aram Saeed () along with a copy of your curriculum vitae and a cover letter expressing your interest in the project. The ideal candidate for this project will have a 2.1 or higher in Chemistry, Biomedicine, Materials Science, Pharmacy, or a related field.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) A thermoresponsive and magnetic colloid for 3D cell expansion and reconfiguration. Saeed, Aram; Francini, Nora; White, Lisa; Dixon, James; Gould, Toby; Rashidi, Hassan; Al Ghanami, Racha Cheikh; Hruschka, Veronika; Redl, Heinz;Saunders, Brian R.; Alexander, Cameron; Shakesheff, Kevin M. Advanced Materials. 2015. Vol. 27, No. 4, 27.01.2015, p. 662–668. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201403626
ii) Prefunctionalised PLGA microparticles with dimethylaminoethyl moieties promote surface cell adhesion at physiological condition. Noelia D. Falcon, Aram Saeed. European Polymer Journal, Volume 152, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2021.110466.
iii) Hruschka V, Saeed A, Slezak P, Cheikh Al Ghanami R, Feichtinger GA, Alexander C, Redl H, Shakesheff K, Wolbank S. Evaluation of a thermoresponsive polycaprolactone scaffold for in vitro three-dimensional stem cell differentiation. Tissue Eng Part A. 2015 Jan;21(1-2):310-9. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0710. Epub 2014 Nov 11. PMID: 25167885.
iv) Green D, Eyre H, Singh A, Taylor J, Chu J, Jeys L, Sumathi V, Coonar A, Rassl D, Babur M, Forster D, Alzabin S, Ponthan F, McMahon A, Bigger B, Reekie T, Kassiou M, Williams K, Dalmay T, Fraser WD, Finegan KG (2020) Targeting the MAPK7/MMP9 axis for metastasis in primary bone cancer. Oncogene 39: 5,553-69.

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