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  Embryonic stem cell patterning using microfabricated patterns of parylene-C

   Department of Biomedical Engineering

  , Dr Samuel Boateng  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Project Overview

Micro-patterns of parylene-C on a SiO2 background can precisely guide the growth of neurons and astrocytes, derived from the rat hippocampus. The produced cellular patterns can be preserved for over a month with the use of antimitotics (Ara-C) and can thus be utilizsed in long- term functional studies of neuronal and astrocytic activity (e.g. Ca2+ dynamics). There is also evidence (unpublished data) that stem cells can preferentially attach to parylene-C tracks. We wish to establish the degree of conformity of the stem cells to underlying patterns, as well as the possibility to differentiate them in situ to cardiomyocytes. We can employ simple, established protocols to differentiate patterned stem cells into cardiac muscle cells without resorting to embryoid body formation. Furthermore, we will assess patterned cardiomyocyte function and spontaneous beating.


School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading: 

The University of Reading, located west of London, England, provides world-class research education programs. The University’s main Whiteknights Campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, a 30-minute train ride to central London and 40 minutes from London Heathrow airport. 

Our School of Biological Sciences conducts high-impact research, tackling current global challenges faced by society and the planet. Our research ranges from understanding and improving human health and combating disease, through to understanding evolutionary processes and uncovering new ways to protect the natural world. In 2020, we moved into a stunning new ~£60 million Health & Life Sciences building. This state-of-the-art facility is purpose-built for science research and teaching. It houses the Cole Museum of Zoology, a café and social spaces.

In the School of Biological Sciences, you will be joining a vibrant community of ~180 PhD students representing ~40 nationalities. Our students publish in high-impact journals, present at international conferences, and organise a range of exciting outreach and public engagement activities.

During your PhD at the University of Reading, you will expand your research knowledge and skills, receiving supervision in one-to-one and small group sessions. You will have access to cutting-edge technology and learn the latest research techniques. We also provide dedicated training in important transferable skills that will support your career aspirations. If English is not your first language, the University's excellent International Study and Language Institute will help you develop your academic English skills.

The University of Reading is a welcoming community for people of all faiths and cultures. We are committed to a healthy work-life balance and will work to ensure that you are supported personally and academically.


Applicants should have a good degree (minimum of a UK Upper Second (2:1) undergraduate degree or equivalent) in Engineering or a strongly-related discipline. Applicants will also need to meet the University’s English Language requirements. We offer a Pre-sessional English programme - International Study and Language Institute at the University of Reading which can help with meeting these requirements.

How to apply:

Submit an application for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at


Further information:


Please see Dr Evangelos Delivopoulos’ academic profile:

You can also view Dr Sam Boateng’s profile:



Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project.
If you are applying to an international funding scheme, we encourage you to get in contact as we may be able to support you in your application.

Register your interest for this project