Graphene and graphene-related materials have attracted huge attention in recent years due to their outstanding properties and a wide range of potential applications. Among these materials, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) have great potential in biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and tissue engineering due to their large specific surface area, mechanical strength, good biocompatibility, and the presence of various functional groups for further functionalisation with other molecules. Furthermore, studies have shown that graphene-related materials have good antiviral (including COVID-19) and antibacterial properties due to the possible interactions with the surfaces of these nanostructured materials. Recently, we have developed a new method to synthesize high quality monolayer GO at various sizes, and reduce GO to rGO with good electron conductivity. Also, our preliminary results showed that GO is not toxic to human cells but has size-dependent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus. This PhD project aims to investigate how different factors and preparation methods of GO and rGO affect their anti-microbe activity, understand the mechanisms of the interactions between surfaces of graphene-based materials and microbes, as well as explore the potential application of these materials in antiviral or antibacterial field. This multidisciplinary project will provide an excellent opportunity for a highly-motivated student to learn and develop many essential experimental skills and knowledge in materials, biochemistry, and biology. The results of this study may provide important insight in prevention and/or therapy of antimicrobial resistance of global health importance.
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience, particularly in graphene related materials, biochemistry, and cell cultures are particularly encouraged to apply.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact [Email Address Removed]
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.
We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).