PhD candidate 'Chemical Design of Viscoelastic Hydrogels for Biofabrication'

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 15 Mar 2022

We are looking for a PhD candidate to investigate "Chemical Design of Viscoelastic Hydrogels for Biofabrication". This project aims to design hydrogel biomaterials that mimic various aspects of natural extracellular matrix (ECM) for engineering of human tissues through biofabrication strategies. Will you join our team?

Engineering of human tissues for regenerative medicine and in vitro tissue models requires control over ECM properties. Dynamic hydrogels that are formed based on non-covalent or dynamic covalent chemistry exhibit a great potential for replicating various aspects of natural ECM. While conventional hydrogels require large pores or degradable moieties to accommodate cellular activities such as cell migration, the use of reversible interactions in dynamic hydrogels renders these biomaterials adaptable for such cellular processes.

This position is funded by a Hypatia Tenure Track Grant (BoneChipPredict) of Radboud university medical center. BoneChipPredict will combine bottom-up biomaterial design and biofabrication strategies to develop predictive bone-healing-on-chip models. Subsequently, the PhD candidate will focus on bottom-up design of viscoelastic hydrogels as synthetic ECM mimics for development of in vitro models of bone healing. Ultimately, BoneChipPredict aims to deliver an alternative platform for evaluation of regenerative therapies, aiming to provide a new avenue for replacement of traditional animal testing.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • To design and characterize (supramolecular) hydrogel biomaterials (in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology).
  • To investigate the fundamental relationship between composition, structure and functional (biological) properties of hydrogels.
  • To investigate interactions between cells and hydrogel biomaterials for advanced bone-on-chip models at a fundamental level.
  • To collaborate with another PhD student for bioprinting of in vitro bone tissue models, as well as with other PhD students and postdocs within the Regenerative Biomaterials group.
  • To supervise BSc and MSc students and disseminate the obtained knowledge by scientific publications and presentations at (inter)national conferences.
  • To contribute to translation of basic research towards advanced in vitro tissue models.

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