PhD scholarship in Fabrication and Characterization of Drug Delivery Vehicles with Stealth Coatings

Updated: 2 months ago

A 3-year PhD position is available at the Biomimetics, Biocarriers and Bioimplants group (The 3Bs) headed by Assoc. Prof. Leticia Hosta-Rigau, DTU Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

The 3Bs is a highly interdisciplinary and positive group with open-minded and supportive members. The 3Bs research lies on the interface of materials science, organic/polymer chemistry together with molecular and cell biology. The research focus areas of the group are drug delivery, tissue engineering and cell mimicry.

The 3Bs are well embedded into the Biomimetics section, where multiple young research groups work closely together to create a motivating environment.

With this announced position, we will assemble drug delivery vehicles (DDVs) coated with membranes extracted from red blood cells (RBCs) to render them with a stealth coating.

Responsibilities and qualifications
DDVs have a tremendous potential in clinical applications since they promise sustained systemic delivery and better targeting through both passive and active mechanisms. To accomplish such potential, achieving long circulating life times in the bloodstream is crucial. Once in the bloodstream, uptake by the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) is one of the major hurdles that almost all intravenously administered carriers need to overcome.

On the other hand, biological RBCs are nature’s long-circulating vehicles since they can stay in circulation for about 120 days. This is a result of their limited clearance by the MPS which is mainly governed by their cell membranes where a collection of “self-marker” biomolecules are embedded into their lipid bilayer.

Thus, a powerful emerging strategy to extend the circulation life times is the coating of DDVs with cellular membranes extracted from biological RBCs.

This project will involve the fabrication and characterization of DDVs with cell membranes extracted from native RBCs. This is a highly interdisciplinary project lying in the interface of materials science, biochemistry and cell biology. The successful candidate will be responsible of:

  • Fabrication of DDVs via self-assembly
  • Coating with membranes extracted from donor RBCs
  • Thorough characterization by several techniques (optical microscopy, SEM, TEM, DLS, flow cytometer, ELISA etc)
  • Assess their interaction with other relevant cell types.

As such, experience within one or more of the aforementioned techniques will be an advantage. You must also be highly independent, driven, and be able to speak and write English fluently.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Leticia Hosta-Rigau.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. The starting date is the 1 September 2021 or according to mutual agreement.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Leticia Hosta-Rigau (leri@dtu.dk ) and more information can be obtained from www.healthtech.dtu.dk/3bs .

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english .

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark . 

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than5 July 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.


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