Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
Gdansk University of Technology Featured PhD Programmes
Solent University Featured PhD Programmes

Nanomaterial based antimicrobials to treat hospital acquired infections

   School of Engineering

About the Project

Healthcare-acquired infections (HCAI) can develop as a result of healthcare interventions such as medical or surgical treatment, or from the interactions with healthcare staff and facilities. The ability to treat these infections is becoming increasingly problematic as the overuse of antibiotics to date has caused common pathogenic microorganisms to develop mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The rapid spread of these drug resistant microorganisms has caused traditional antimicrobial agents to become less effective. In fact, it is predicted that by 2050, the rise of resistant microorganisms and the ever-growing threat of AMR will be the cause of 10 million deaths annually, and will burden the global economy by £64 trillion. Therefore there is an urgent need for the accelerated discovery and development of novel alternative antimicrobials to prevent and control infections. This pressing challenge has been outlined in the UK Five Year Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance 2019–2024 and the UK Twenty Year Vision for Antimicrobial Resistance.

In the past decade there has been significant growth in research activities aimed at exploring inherent antimicrobial properties of nanomaterials. Materials in the nanometre range exhibit unique physical and chemical properties and are increasingly developed as antimicrobial agents. Properties such as size, shape, composition of these materials can be modulated to tune antimicrobial efficacy. The aim of this studentship is to rational design and develop novel inherently antimicrobial nanomaterials that are not antibiotics to treat bacterial and viral infections. 

This is a highly interdisciplinary project that sits at the interface between materials sciences and microbiology. The student will have the opportunity to attend University-run courses in relevant subject areas, as well as to interact with students and postdoctoral researchers from a wide range of scientific backgrounds. Extensive training will be provided throughout the project as part of internationally renowned research teams. The studentship will provide the candidate with a wide range of skills in basic science and translation that will strategically position them for a career in several different sectors. 

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Chemistry, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, or a closely related discipline. Students with a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s degree may also be considered.

For any enquiries please contact Dr. Raechelle D’Sa:

To apply please visit:


1. Nitric Oxide-Releasing Titanium Surfaces for Antimicrobial Bone-Integrating Orthopaedic Implants M Li, J Aveyard, G Fleming, JM Curran, F McBride, R Raval, and RA D’Sa ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 20, 22433–22443
2. Effect of Polymer Demixed Nanotopographies on Bacterial Adhesion and Biofilm Formation G Fleming, J Aveyard, JL Fothergill, F McBride, R Raval, RA D’Sa Polymers 2019, 11 (12), 1921
3. Antimicrobial nitric oxide releasing contact lens gels for the treatment of microbial keratitis JL Aveyard, RC Deller, R Lace, RL Williams, SB Kaye, KN Kolegraff, J Curran and RA D’Sa ACS Mater and Interf. 2019, 11, 41, 37491-37501
4. Nitric Oxide Releasing Polymeric Coatings for the Prevention of Biofilm Formation G Fleming, J Aveyard, JL Fothergill, F McBride, R Raval, RA D’Sa Polymers 2017, 9 (11), 601
5. Modified Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles with Dual Synergetic Antibacterial Effect M Michailidis, IB Sorzabal, EA. Adamidou, J Aveyard, D Grigoriev, R Raval, RA D’Sa and D Shchukin ACS Mater and Interf. 2017, 9, 44, 38364–38372

Email Now

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs