Bioelectrochemistry is a rapidly growing area that harnesses the structural and functional versatility of biomolecules with simple yet effective electronic signal acquisition. A very recent application of bioelectrochemistry is represented by biological fuel cells (BFCs) that may become a sustainable route towards clean and portable low-power electrical energy. Biological fuel cells are based on two electrodes coated with catalysts, with the anode oxidizing fuel and acting as an electron source and the cathode reducing the oxidant acting as an electron sink. The conversion of the organic substrates into electricity is catalyzed by enzymes, which can be within an organism (microbial fuel cells, MFC), or alone (enzymatic fuel cells, EFC).
In the actual contest of a high demand for miniature and sustainable electrical power sources to develop autonomous self-sufficient micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) implants and wearable devices, micro machining the BFC technology is of high interest. Micro BFCs could be implemented as power source for a number of biomedical devices, including biosensors, neurostimulators, hearing and vision devices, drug pumps and others.
Excellent students are invited to compete for Annual University Research Studentships (URSA) award to work on micro BFCs, focusing on the system design, electrode material, engineering of the biocatalyst, and its functional immobilization onto the electrode surface.
The project has a multidisciplinary nature and will be supervised by Dr Di Lorenzo Mirella, a lecturer of Biochemical Engineering at the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Students will work with internationally leading research groups and are expected to present the research at international conferences in the field of biological fuel cells, wearable devices and micro-electro-mechanical systems.
Candidates from relevant scientific/engineering backgrounds will be considered, including Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or a related numerate or analytical discipline.
Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo ([email protected]
) directly for further details. Please send a CV and a cover letter to Dr Di Lorenzo no later than 30th November 2015. Candidates will be shortlisted for the full online application.
The Annual University Research Studentships (URSA) are extremely competitive, University-wide awards for UK and EU students. They cover fees, a generous tax-free allowance of about £ 13,500 per year and a training support grant.
Prospective students should hold or expect to gain a UG First Class /MSc Distinction background, or the equivalent from an overseas institution. English language requirements must be satisfied in advance of an offer of funding. No offers of funding will be made conditional on English.
Please note that for overseas (e.g. outside EU) students this scholarship provides tuition fees only but NO STIPEND.