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Optical manipulation of biomimetic soft interfaces

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: WS27
Start date of studentship: 1 January 2020
Closing date of advert: 16 September 2019
Interview date: TBC

Primary supervisor: Francois Nadal
Secondary supervisor: Guido Bolognesi

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

Biomimetic structures, based on multiple compartments delimited and interconnected by soft interfaces, have shown a great potential as minimal cells in synthetic biology, simplified model systems for biophysical/biochemical studies and smart containers for drug delivery and microreactor technologies. Consequently, there is a great interest in developing new strategies for the manufacturing of such soft structures as well as exploiting their properties for a wide range of applications, especially in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

This research project aims at developing new synthetic biomimetic systems, made of cell-like micro-compartments connected by nanotubular structures, and investigate liquid and particle transfer processes occurring therein. The successful candidate will produce and characterise these multiscale structures by using a range of optical techniques, including fluorescence/confocal microscopy and optical tweezers. He/she will also develop analytical and numerical models to interpret the experimental results and unveil the fundamental physical and chemical mechanisms governing the functions and properties of these structures. This research will be performed in collaboration with partners based in other UK institutions, including Imperial College London, University of Sheffield and the Central Laser Facility (STFC).

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics or Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Applied Mathematics, Theoretical and Experimental Fluid Dynamics, Colloids and Interface Science.

Successful students will be notified by 30 September 2019.

Contact details

Name: Francois Nadal
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 227057

Name: Guido Bolognesi
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222505
How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’

Please quote reference number: WS27

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘WS’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.

If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,327 per year). Whilst we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available.

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