A 36-month research studentship is available from 1st August 2016 on characterising the dynamics of nano-particles interacting in various liquid mediums. Recent research has led to the development of nanoscopy in which the three-dimensional movement of nano-particles in a medium can be tracked in real-time [1,2]. The project will utilise and extend this capability with the aim of developing approaches to characterise the dynamics of nano-particle behaviour in liquid mediums, including the formation of particle aggregates and protein corona [3,4]. The motivation for the research is to support the development of quantitative property-activity relationships (QPAR) for computational prediction of nano-material behaviour in liquid media and to enable the appropriate grouping and categorisation of nano-particles with similar behaviour based on their extrinsic as well as intrinsic properties. Such grouping and categorisation is relevant to regulatory regimes associated with the safety of nano particles that only use size as the primary property discriminator and thus neglect the effect of properties such as particle size and coating on the dynamics of its interactions with biological systems, including cells . The project is likely to consist of two overlapping stages: (i) the acquisition and analysis of data for a range of metallic nano-particle types in liquid media representative of various biological and ecological conditions; and (ii) the characterisation of the dynamics of the nano-particles in these media to enable both predictive capability and to aid grouping and classification based on behavioural modes.
The studentship will be based in Liverpool with periods of up to five months spent at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (http://ihcp.jrc.ec.europa.eu) in Ispra, Italy and will be jointly supervised by Professor Eann Patterson at the University of Liverpool and Professor Maurice Whelan at the the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection.
The successful candidate will have a good quality degree in an appropriate field of engineering or physical sciences and be an EU citizen. For further details and to apply contact Eann Patterson ([email protected]
 Gineste, J-M., Macko, P, Patterson, EA, Whelan, P, 2011, Three-dimensional automated nanoparticle tracking using Mie scattering in an optical microscope, J. Microscopy, 243(2):172-178.
 Patterson, E.A., Whelan, P., 2008, ‘Optical signatures of small nanoparticles in a conventional microscope’ Small, 4(10):1703-1706.
 Natte, K., Friedrich, J.F., Wohlrab, S., Lutzki, J., Klitzing, R., Österle, W., Orts-Gil, G., 2013, Impact of polymer shell on the formation and time evolution of nanoparticle-protein corona, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces,104:213-220.
 Liu, W., Rose, J., PLantevin, S., Auffan, M., Bottero, J.Y., Vidaud, C., 2013, Protein corona formation for nanomaterials and proteins of a similar size: hard or soft corona?, Nanoscale, 5, 1658.
 Rauscher, H., et. al., 2015, Towards a review of the EC Recommendation for a definition of the term "nanomaterial": Part 3: Scientific-technical evaluation of options to clarify the definition and to facilitate its implementation, EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports, doi 10.2788/770401; also, see https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/ec-nanomaterial-definition-published