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Synthesis and application of novel polymeric inorganic hybrid nanomaterials for optical biosensing


Project Description

Hybrid nanomaterials, composed of hierarchically-structured composite materials with one or more components of a nanostructured domain, have the potential to pave the way for the next-generation of device materials for sensor nanotechnologies. Selection of the appropriate nanostructured materials as building blocks, and the development of methods to assemble these materials to meet targeted applications, is a requisite to produce nanocomposite materials with unique optical properties. Synthesizing hybrid nanomaterials with unique physico-chemical properties, biocompatibility and implementing robust surface functionalization strategies with polymers is a prerequisite for developing reliable and accurate sensors/biosensors.
 
Opioid use is currently on the increase and its abuse poses serious risks that affects economic state of all societies worldwide as well as health and social wellbeing. It is estimated that opioids affect 26.4 to 36 million people worldwide where 25% of users are unable to be treated with existing medical therapies. Many of the synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and derivatives, are produced and distributed illegally. With an increased availability of illegally and prescribe opioids over the last 30 years, there has been an alarming increase in their use and in deaths associated with their use. Currently there is a lack of state-of-the art technology to accurately detect and identify the sequential evolution of closely-related derivatives of opioid drugs which can be used at point of seizure.
 
This is an exciting project which will seek to develop new polymeric hybrid nanomaterials with multifunctional properties for the optical detection of opioids and fentanyl-related substances. Emphasis will be focused on the binding of biological or chemical receptors on the polymeric hybrid nanomaterials surface for selective detection of the target drug. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in advance nanomaterials synthesis and characterization, bioconjugate chemistry, polymer chemistry and biosensor fabrication.
 
We are looking for a research driven, problem solving and highly motivated student with an excellent degree in chemistry, materials science or chemical biology to join our multi-disciplinary team. The ability to think outside the box and come up with cutting-edge research ideas will be a unique advantage.

To register their interest candidates are requested to submit a full CV and cover letter, these should be sent to Dr Oluwasesan Adegoke () and Professor Niamh Nic Daeid ().

Funding Notes

The studentship is based at the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS), University of Dundee. Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Oluwasesan Adegoke () and Prof Niamh Nic Daéid (). UK and EU students will be eligible for a full-fee studentship and will be eligible for a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum. Non-UK or non-EU students may be admitted to the programme but will be required to pay full overseas fees and costs if accepted.

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