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*Engineering novel cell mimetic membrane architectures

  • Full or part time
    Dr Y Elani
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

*this is a Chemistry departmentally funded studentship (i.e. not funded through the Leverhulme Trust), but the awardee will join the Cellular Bionics and ICB CDT cohorts and bespoke training oportunities. Please apply directly to Imperial Gateway

Supervisors: Dr Yuval Elani | Prof John Seddon

Cell mimicry – the ability to imitate the physical architecture, function and behaviour of cells – is proving to be an increasingly useful conceptual framework in (i) furthering our understanding of biological systems and (ii) constructing novel bio-inspired devices for clinical and industrial applications. The ability to generate membrane-based structures is proving to be especially powerful in both respects. However, the field has reached an impasse: although plasma membrane mimics are well established, mimics of alternative membrane structures are lacking. In this project, a suite of droplet-based technologies to assemble, manipulate, and functionalise synthetic analogues of a repertoire of membranous motifs — including fusogenic exosomes, synapses, and double membranes — will be developed, and their biophysical properties characterised. The use of these structures as functional components in vesicles microreactors and synthetic tissues will be explored. This project will lead to a step change in our ability to generate Synthetic Biology systems from the bottom up, allowing us to reproduce features associated with intra-cellular compartmentalisation and inter-cellular communication. This project is multidisciplinary, incorporating elements of chemical biology, microfluidics, biophysics and biointerface science.

For further information please contact Yuval at

Funding Notes

Applications are encouraged as soon as possible, since positions will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found.
To see our other projects, our eligibility criteria, and to find out how to apply, please visit our studentships page: View Website
For more information about the Leverhulme Centre please visit our homepage: View Website

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