Highly porous polymer nanofibres for biomedical application
It has been well established that the topography of a biomaterial substrate and/or scaffold plays an important role in regulating cellular activities, ranging from attachment and morphology to proliferation and differentiation through a process known as contact guidance. Lots of scientists are now working on ways to create artificial substrates with controlled micro- and/or nano-topographical features which closely mimic the micro-/nano-scaled fibrous topography of the structural components (e.g., collagen) found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of many native tissues.
A novel strategy will be developed in this study to prepare highly porous polymer nanofibres by electrospinning. The polymer solution is firstly elctrospun to be micro-/nano-scaled fibres. Then, highly porous structure will be achieved on the surface and even throughout the polymer fibres after a designed post-treatment process. The hollowed-out polymer fibers provide enormous surface areas which offer great potential for regulating drug loading and controlled releasing, cellular responses other than those related to chemical, biological or mechanical signaling modalities.
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.
Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Materials Science or a relevant physical science subject.