Ultrashort peptide hydrogels as novel scaffolds for adult stem cell culture
*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*
Novel semi-synthetic hydrogels
The development of suitable biological scaffolds to recruit and retain stem cells is the first stage is an important aspect of tissue engineering approaches. The ideal biological scaffold should mimic the natural environment of the cells and exhibit anti-microbial and/or anti-inflammatory properties, suitable for controlling inflammation in the underlying tissues. Synthetic polymers have previously been tested as biological scaffolds but they fail to mimic the natural cellular environment. Natural proteins such as collagen provide excellent scaffolds as they are components of the natural extracellular matrix but these proteins require extensive purification from animal sources and are subject to batch to batch variation. Novel semi-synthetic scaffolds combine the advantages of reproducible synthesis and biocompatibility making them an ideal for use as a biological scaffold in regenerative dental treatment. The aim of this project is to test the hypothesis that novel semi-synthetic scaffolds are suitable for the recruitment and retention of adult stem cells appropriate for future use in regenerative medicine therapies.
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.
Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.
The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.
For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/
*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*
DEL Research Studentships
Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.
Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.
For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm
Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Infection and Immunity, website for further details about the Centre:
When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.