Research Associate (Biomaterials)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Cardiff, WALES
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 23 Oct 2020

Cardiff University, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, School of Dentistry invites applications for a full time Research Associate post (RA, 2 years fixed term post, preferably with a PhD and experience in biomaterials, microbiology and/or materials characterisation). 

Around 3,000 joint replacement revisions are performed annually in the UK due to infections.  These procedures are complicated and costly to treat (costing the NHS £70 million per annum), require longer surgical and hospital inpatient times, and are often at a higher risk of repeated failure. This affects patient quality-of-life through increased morbidity and in severe cases can also result in amputation or death. Few commercial technologies exist to prevent this problem and oral/intravenous antibiotics poorly target the implant site. Coatings attempt to achieve a prolonged local release of antibiotics; however, this is often associated with toxicity issues and antibiotic resistance. Other technologies such as implant topographies only slow bacterial attachment and do not eliminate the problem entirely. There is a clear need for smarter, more effective technologies to prevent infections in orthopaedics.

This EPSRC funded project will develop a smart implant coating that only releases an antimicrobial in the presence of bacteria. The concept exploits the fact that Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium implicated in joint replacement infections, releases alpha-haemolysin, a pore-shaped protein. This protein inserts itself in cell membranes causing leakage and cell death. The coating mimics cell membranes however it contains a reservoir of antimicrobial within it. When alpha-haemolysin is released, this triggers the antimicrobial to release, eradicating the infection locally.

The project has 3 key objectives: (1) Optimise and characterise the coating to maximise triggered release; (2) Scale up the coating process and evaluate antimicrobial activity and toxicity; (3) Evaluate the performance in a bone infection model.

The RA will join the interdisciplinary Regenerative Biology Group at the School of Dentistry ( ), with access to world-leading facilities across Cardiff University and through external collaborators.  The RA will also receive specialist training and mentoring; will have the opportunity to undertake research and clinical visits and engage in patient and public involvement events.

For confidential, informal enquiries regarding this vacancy please contact (Dr Wayne Nishio Ayre, Lecturer in Biomaterials,

Further details:

This post is full-time (35 hours per week) and fixed term from 4 January 2021 until 3 January 2023.

Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum (Grade 6)

Closing date: Friday, 23 October 2020

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only. We now invite external applications.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrang

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