About the Project
The regeneration of injured tissues can best be achieved through the action of appropriate stem cells that proliferate and differentiate to heal the injury. While the surgical delivery of stem cells is currently an option, it does need donor matching, expensive in vitro stem cell expansion, and invasive surgery. The activation of the body’s own stem cells at the injury site is a much more attractive approach. This PhD project aims to develop a nanoparticle based delivery system that can be applied systemically to supply differentiation enhancing growth factors to injury sites inside tissues. Our targeted tissue type for this project will be bone, for which we have a number of well-developed mesenchymal stem cell models to test the developed nanoparticles in culture. The project will build on the PhD of a previous student who generated coated nanoparticles that could promote the growth of cultured cells when triggered with a magnetic field. The work will be based in the Biology Department, but run in collaboration with the Chemistry (Dr Victor Chechik), Physics (Dr Andy Pratt) and Electronic Engineering Departments (Dr Iain Will) at York, to tackle this highly interdisciplinary problem. The student will therefore receive extensive training in stem cell biology, tissue culture, biochemistry, synthetic chemistry, physico-chemical analytics and the generation and use of magnetic fields. By providing such highly interdisciplinary training, this PhD will provide the candidate with excellent employment opportunities. The completed project will aim to generate a validated magnetic nanoparticle product that can be triggered in vivo to release stem cell inducing proteins that can facilitate tissue regeneration, and is ready for clinical translation.
This is a self-funded project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme. Please see information on tuition fee costs, living expenses and funding opportunities.