We are looking for a PhD student for a joint research activity between the Biointerfaces Group at the University of Applied Sciences & Arts Northwestern Switzerland (https://www.fhnw.ch/en/research-andservices/lifesciences/chemistry-and-bioanalytics/biointerfaces ) and the Palivan Group at the University of Basel (https://palivan.chemie.unibas.ch/en /).
Combining multiple drugs with complementary modes of action has been shown to provide synergistic and additive efficacy in cancer chemotherapy. However, the distinct pharmacokinetics of individual drugs often result in non-coordinated biodistribution and suboptimal accumulation at the tumour site. Consequently, novel strategies are emerging for targeted and simultaneous delivery of anti-cancer drugs or prodrugs using nanocarriers . However, it remains a formidable challenge to deliver distinct therapeutic agents in a single carrier with an independent control over the release of each drug type. In this project, we aim to address this challenge by developing the next generation of drug delivery systems with internal compartments, which can be triggered selectively and independently to release their content.
We will utilize self-assembly and encapsulation approaches to create selectively-triggerable individual compartments based on 'smart' nanocarriers, and to integrate them into single larger vesicles ('nanofactories') in a bottom-up manner (Scheme 1). To achieve this ambitious goal, this study takes advantage of established expertise and experimental capabilities in both collaborating labs.
Candidates are required to have a MS degree in natural sciences relevant and a background in organic or polymer chemistry and synthesis (must). Experience with developing self-assembled nanostructures would be a plus. Over the course of the project, the candidate will acquire a wide range of skills in: self-assembly, microfluidics, imaging tools (AFM, fluorescence, SEM, TEM), and cell culture techniques.. Prior experience in any of the mentioned techniques is a plus. We seek a scientifically ambitious individual who enjoys working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment on a highly competitive subject.
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