Biomedical engineering of textiles for healthcare
Due to the global population aging and change in lifestyles, healthcare has become one of key societal challenges in UK, Europe, Asia and other continents. Healthcare technologies and development of advanced biomedical products have been set as a key theme for research. Textile is the only discipline focusing on engineering fibres into various soft and hard materials and devices, which are capable to be used to mimic the structures and functions of human biological systems that are largely made of fibrous materials. Therefore, biomedical textile engineering is a unique approach to develop novel healthcare products to achieve the biological functions needed in medical treatment and rehabilitation.
PhD students can select specific research topics in this area, depending on their own academic background and research interests. Novel strategies and concepts will be developed in multi-scale from molecular design to medical devices design and engineering, including: (1) study how to select and engineer biomolecules and investigate their interactions with micro-organisms such as cells and bacteria at the bio-nano interfaces; (2) design and develop novel nano scale drug delivery system and investigate the mechanisms of how to deliver drugs into targeting cells or tissues to achieve desirable therapeutic effects with minimization of the side effects; (3) Explore the science and engineering techniques to generate biomedical functional fibres by integrating the nano scale biomaterials into the fibres with employing different fibre spinning techniques; (4) Design and engineer textile structures by utilizing the functional fibres to achieve required biomedical functions such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, drug delivery and biomechanical performance; (5) Conduct systematic research to design and engineer medical devices such as implants, scaffolds, would dressing and personal protective equipment for medical workers and evaluate their performances in cell model and animal model experiments, human wear trials and/or the practical applications in healthcare, sports and community settings.
Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in one of the areas: physical science, life science, biology, bioengineering, medicine, computer science, mechanical engineering, material science, textile engineering, apparel design and engineering.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £14,057) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award.