Vacancy for PhD student at KU Leuven BIOMAT

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 20 Apr 2020

(ref. BAP-2020-187)

Laatst aangepast : 27/03/2020

The BIOMAT research group focuses on diverse kinds of biomaterials with orofacial application, and encompasses fundamental material science and biological cell culture, micro-organism and animal research, as well as applied laboratory and clinical research. Current major research lines include: . Biocompatibility and cariogenicity of dental biomaterials . Dental adhesive technology . Translational research from fundamental material science to clinical trials . Dental ceramics as restorative and implant biomaterial . Endodontology (including pulp capping, pulp revascularization and regeneration) . Clinical evaluation of direct, semi-direct and indirect adhesive restorative materials and procedures BIOMAT’s research expertise in dental biomaterials supported by the scientific expertise from existing research collaborations with bioengineers, chemists, environmental health scientists and material scientists, along with state-of-the-art and high-end research equipment available at BIOMAT and KU Leuven, altogether form the structure needed to succesfully run this project and to provide data that can serve as a good basis for future applied research in the research domains involved. In the past years, we have built a vast expertise in material development, physico-mechanical and chemical biomaterial characterization, as well as mechanistic research on biological interactions of biomaterials.


Project

Towards a new generation of BIOSAFE & BIOACTIVE composites for tooth restoration

Resin composite is currently the most widely used material in dentistry, enabling minimally invasive and invisible tooth restoration. However, there is a particular safety concern regarding the release of the endocrine disruptor 'bisphenol A' (BPA). BPA can be present in composites as production contaminant and/or degradation product, originating from BPA-based monomers such as BisGMA. The latter serves as a polymerization 'cross-linker' and is a main monomer matrix ingredient of today's commercial dental composites. Thanks to a recently patented KU Leuven research&development breakthrough, BPA-free bi-aromatic diols have been synthesized from wood and appear very promising to replace BisGMA with even the potential to further improve the physico-mechanical properties of composite. Besides improved biocompatibility, there exists a definite need to upgrade dental composite with therapeutic function. Resin composite with antibacterial and/or remineralization potential to prevent secondary caries and eventually to extend the longevity of composite restorations is highly desirable. A self-developed method using Na-montmorillonite clay as a carrier for gradual antibacterial agent delivery as well as dual-functional bioactive glass filler possessing both antibacterial properties and remineralization capability are innovative technologies that will be employed to develop a new generation of BIOSAFE and BIOACTIVE dental composites.


Profile

The candidate should be a holder of a university degree (such as or equivalent to Master in ‘Biomedical Sciences’, ‘Dentistry’, ‘Medicine’, ‘Biology’, ‘Bio-science Engineering’, ‘Materials engineering’, ‘Chemistry’, etc.) and should have a particular interest in biomaterials research (physico-mechanical biomaterial properties, chemical analysis, bioactive properties, etc.). The candidate must be able to work in team, as he/she will work in close collaboration with another PhD student, who will focus on biocompatibility testing. The candidate is expected to conduct the project towards a PhD degree, which includes a 4-year program, and therefore needs to enroll in the KU Leuven PhD program of the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral School.


Offer

- Attractive 4-year full-time employment contract

- Continuation after the first 6 months/year is dependent upon a positive evaluation.

- Supervision by recognized experts and access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure.

- Highly innovative research project aiming to improve dental composite technology.

- Training in complementary skills via participation at local and network-based events.

- Salaried position according to the KU Leuven salary rates for PhD students.


Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bart Van Meerbeek, tel.: +3216337587, mail: bart.vanmeerbeek@kuleuven.be or Mr. Ben Mercelis, tel.: +3216332414, mail: benjamin.mercelis@kuleuven.be.


KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.


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