PhD Scholarship in Novel Method for the Printing of Hydrogel and Hydrogel Composites

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 25 Apr 2023

The DTU Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering , section of Manufacturing Engineering would like to invite highly motivated and talented applicants for a 3-year PhD position dealing with the development of a novel method for the printing of hydrogel and hydrogel composites. The project is partially financed by the DTU’s alliance PhD scheme and will run in collaboration with DTU and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) .  

Background and Motivation 

Three-dimensional (3D) printing of hydrogels is now an attractive area of research due to its capability to fabricate intricate, complex and customized structures that can support cell adhesion and promote cell infiltration for tissue engineering. It has the potential to have extensive use in advanced medical applications such as in implants, scaffolds, biobots, muscles, etc. One limiting factor for the widespread application of hydrogel for biomedical applications is the lack of mechanical stability of hydrogel. The mechanical strength of hydrogel is not as high as load-bearing tissues or as required by the aforementioned applications. One potential way to overcome this problem is to create composite structures having hydrogel as matrix material combined with reinforcing agents. Moreover, to mimic the behavior of living tissues, self-healing or self-repairing capability of hydrogel materials should be developed.   

This PhD project will join forces from DTU and KAIST to develop hydrogel materials for Tomographic Volumetric printing process that goes far beyond the capacity of the state-of-the-art printing for biomaterials. Many limitations of the current layer-by-layer AM techniques such as process speed, geometry, non-uniform mechanical properties, surface quality, etc. can potentially be eliminated by the development of Tomographic Volumetric (TV) 3D printing. The novel processes developed in the project will pave the way for programming the properties of hydrogels in an industrially adaptive process. The project will develop a process for tailoring the hydrogel composites, optimizing their mechanical, physical, chemical and biological properties. For applications like medical implants, scaffolds, biobots, artificial muscles, etc. the patients have individual needs based on their anatomy and genetic makeup. The proposed method will be suitable for the fabrication of personalized implants, scaffolds and other functional or reconfigurable devices.  

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