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Tailor-Made Biological Polymer Scaffolds for the Development of In Vitro 3D Tissue Models

   Faculty of Science and Engineering

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  Dr Ahmed Eissa  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Approaches for culturing mammalian cells in vitro are increasingly needed to study cell and tissue physiology and to grow replacement tissue for regenerative medicine. For this purpose, a scaffold that incorporates sophisticated biochemical and mechanical cues, mimics the extracellular matrix found in vivo and supports the growth of tissue in three-dimensional (3D) is required. An ideal scaffold should fulfil several criteria including biocompatibility, biodegradability into non-toxic components that are easily excreted by the host, possess an interconnected network of pores of a diameter that permits cell migration and surface chemistry that encourages cell attachment and permits the immobilisation of biomolecules such as growth factors.

Biomaterials (hydrogels and porous polymer materials) that can serve as scaffolds for 3D cell culture and tissue engineering are developed in Dr Eissa’s group using modern synthetic chemistry and bioconjugation methodologies. Recent work has shown that these scaffolds are capable of supporting 3D growth of many cell types including human pluripotent stem cells, human haematopoietic stem cells and human endometrial cells.

This interdisciplinary project will involve creating a range of complex architecture materials that can serve as scaffolds for the culture of cells and, ultimately, tissue in 3D. This will entail the utilisation of the state-of-the-art methodologies including emulsion templating and additive manufacturing 3D printing technologies. One produced, accurately optimised and validated, scaffolds will be used to establish optimal in vitro tissue model to solve a biomedical problem in mind. The outcome will be a robust platform for investigating cell physiology and fabricating tissue in vitro. This will have significant implications which will increase the efficiency of the discovery process and translation of biomedical materials and deliver a ‘step change’ in understanding the cause of diseases and accelerating therapies development.

Experience in subject areas such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Bioengineering or a related field is required. Much of the work will involve working at the interface between materials chemistry and biology. Prior experience is desirable but appropriate training in a range of chemical and biomedical techniques will be provided to the successful candidate. Laboratory work will be undertaken within the University of Wolverhampton’s Life Sciences Centre, the Rosalind Franklin building, which houses a broad range of state-of-the-art research facilities suitable for undertaking this multidisciplinary project. Nevertheless, the work will involve collaborations with external research groups in the UK and beyond (Europe and Australia), providing great experience for the successful candidate.

Applications are welcomed from students with all backgrounds that are suitably qualified and highly motivated.

Further details (or informal enquiries) can be obtained via direct email to Director of Studies, Dr Ahmed Eissa [Email Address Removed]


To apply for the PhD Research Studentship applicants must hold a first class/distinction at Master and/or Bachelor level of study.

Applications to include one identified project, a full CV (including 2 referee names and contact details), transcripts and a letter of application outlining the motivation for applying (maximum of 2 pages). Applicants from outside UK must provide evidence of English Language requirement as stated in

Application submission deadline is 10:00am BST 19 June 2023 to [Email Address Removed]

A shortlist of candidates will be prepared from the pool of applicants, in line with Faculty of Science and Engineering Post Graduate Research (PGR) studentship selection criteria, who will be invited to attend an interview with a panel of academic staff, week commencing 26 June 2023.

Following this process all successful candidates will be notified to enrol in July 2023 on a PhD degree programme. The studentship award will include tuition fees at home level for the first three years of full-time study including any write-up period fees and research support fees.

For further information on fees

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to individual Director of Studies mentioned above.

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