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Doped magnetic nanomaterials: synthesis, characterisation and biological studying their thermal therapeutic potentials for cancer treatment

   Department of Physics and Astronomy

   Thursday, December 15, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Magnetic nanoparticles have been widely investigated for their great potential as mediators of heat for localised hyperthermia therapy. Nanocarriers have also attracted increasing attention due to the possibility of delivering drugs at specific locations, therefore limiting systematic effects.

We have recently demonstrated that iron oxide nanoflowers provide 3 times higher heating rates, than any commercially available nanoparticle alternative. This is attributed to the flower-like shape for the iron oxide nanostructrures.

Iron oxide nanoparticles have already been recognized as biocompatible by FDA, and currently they are the best candidate nanoscale materials for magnetic hyperthermia (MH). MH therapy has been approved by FDA for MagForce AG for the focal ablation of intermediate-risk prostate cancer using their NanoTherm® therapy system.

Our ion oxide nanoflowers (IONFs) show very promising results potential for production at large-scale and at significantly reduced costs. That’s why it is very important to understand the thermal effect of magnetic nanoparticles in cancer biology. 

The massive improvement of IONP heating rates was explained by the enhanced magnetic coupling between the IONF building blocks. As this principle is universal for transition metal oxides and can be enhanced when doping other metals. We will focus on physical characterisation of doped IONFs and in vitro testing of doped IONFs.

Person Specification: The successful applicant should expect to achieve a first MSci degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Science or Pharmaceutical Sciences. Candidates should also have excellent written and verbal communication. 

Eligibility: Please refer to the following websites for eligibility criteria:

The start date is Sept 2022. The studentship will cover all university fees and includes funds for maintenance at the standard UK rate and for participation in international conferences and workshops. 

Application procedure: Interested candidates should submit a supporting statement, a full CV (including including full details of all University course grades to date and contact details for at least two academic referees) and a copy of transcripts to-date to Prof Nguyen TK Thanh ().

A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining (i) your suitability for the project with reference to the criteria in the person specification, (ii) what you hope to achieve from the PhD and (iii) your research experience to-date. 

Please include a contact telephone number and an email address where you can be easily reached. 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit a formal application to UCL, and References will be given to UCL online application form. 

Early applications are welcome, and interviews will be held as soon as suitable candidates are found. 

The project will commence in September 2022. Any inquiries or further information about the studentship should be emailed to Prof Nguyen TK Thanh ().

Funding Notes

Student Eligibility
UK nationals are Home category, provided they meet residency requirements.
EU nationals with settled status are Home category.
EU nationals with pre-settled status are Home category, provided they meet residency requirements.
Irish nationals living in UK or Ireland are Home category
Those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter are Home category.
All others are classified as International category.
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[1] Cancer Research UK:
[2] Hervault A., and Thanh, N. T. K* (2014) Magnetic Nanoparticles-Based Therapeutic Agents for Thermo-Chemotherapy Treatment of Cancer. Nanoscale, 6: 11553-11573.
[3] Storozhuk, , Besenhard M. O., Mourdikoudis, S., LaGrow, A. P., Lees, M.R., Tung, L. D., Gavriilidis, A., Thanh, N. T. K* (2021) Simple and Fast Polyol Synthesis of Stable Iron Oxide Nanoflowers with Exceptional Heating Efficiency. Journal of Applied Materials and Interface. 13: 45870−45880.
[4] Storozhuk, L., Besenhard, M. O., Gavriilidis, A. and Thanh, N. T. K. (2021) Multi-core magnetic metal oxide nanoparticles. UK Patent Application No. 2108250.8

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