R190275 - Optimisation of 3D Printed PVA Permeability for Use as Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Birmingham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime

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Engineering and Applied Science - Studentships
Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Monday 26 August 2019
Reference:  R190275

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship funded by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry department (linked to the Aston Institute of Materials Research at Aston University.   The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on synthesis and characterisation of hydrogels for biomedical applications. The project is a collaboration between Aston University (Dr Anisa Mahomed) and the University of Birmingham (Dr Lauren Thomas-Seale).

The position is available to start in either October or April or July, subject to negotiation 

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home/EU fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £15,009 in 2019/20 (subject to eligibility).  

Overseas Applicants

Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £12,573 in 2019/20.

As part of the application you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or, secured this additional funding.

Background to the Project

Injury to tissue often needs external support (scaffolds) to provide a platform for cell migration to site and form new tissue. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogels show promising potential for a range of tissue engineering applications (skin, vascular, cartilage). The recent additive manufacture (AM) of PVA has vastly increased the design potential of this versatile polymer. However, the barrier to progression of 3D printed tissue engineering scaffolds, is the trade-off between mechanical strength and mass transfer of nutrients through the material. Through the increased potential of complex topology provided by AM and tailoring of the mechanical properties through manufacture and post-processing, PVA possesses the potential to provide both the mechanical and diffusion requirements of a tissue scaffold. The aim of this PhD project is to assess the impact of design, manufacture and physiological parameters on permeation across PVA. 

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, Biomedical Engineering or similar.  Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of knowledge/experience of commercial operations, laboratory procedures, analytical chemistry, Microsoft Office, project management, modelling and good communication and written skills.  

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter , recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project contact Dr Anisa Mahomed by email at a.mahomed2@aston.ac.uk  

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here .  

The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project and should also be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at seasres@aston.ac.uk  


Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via recruitment@aston.ac.uk


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