The rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant superbugs poses a serious global health and socioeconomic threat. This project builds upon our expertise in the facile and scalable synthesis of novel, highly uniform porous silica nanoparticles for drug delivery. The student will now extend the application of this novel system to further develop smart porous silica nanoparticles that are sensitive to the infection microenvironment for the improved delivery of promising antimicrobial agents. This approach is expected to lead to enhancements of the safety and efficacy of current infectious disease therapies. This project will suit a self-motivated student with a keen interest to use novel nanotechnologies to address real-world biomedical problems. The student will join an interdisciplinary team to synthesise and characterise the multifunctional porous silica nanoparticles that are sensitive to biochemical changes at bacterial infection sites as well as evaluate the antimicrobial efficacy and biocompatibility of the novel nanomedicine.
Candidates are expected to possess a minimum of an upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant Physics, Chemistry, Engineering/Materials science, or Pharmaceutical/biomedical science background. The student will gain hands-on experience in a wide range of interdisciplinary research skills such as nanoparticle synthesis, materials characterisation (e.g. transmission and scanning electron microscopes, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering) as well as mammalian and bacterial culture. This project will be supervised by Dr Zhan Ong (School of Physics and Astronomy/Leeds Institute of Medical Research) and Dr Andrew Kirby (School of Medicine). The student will therefore benefit from working in a vibrant and multidisciplinary environment in the Bragg Centre for Materials Research as well as with staff and students from the Schools of Physics and Medicine at the University of Leeds. Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr. Ong ([Email Address Removed]). Applications are invited on an on-going basis but early expressions of interest are strongly encouraged.
Further information about this project and how to apply can be found on our website.