PhD Studentship: Microfluidic systems for a “Lung on a chip”

University of Southampton

Supervisor: Prof Hywel Morgan

Project description

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways and is amongst the commonest chronic conditions in Western countries affecting 5 million people in the UK, with annual UK health care cost of £2.5 billion. No new drugs have been developed since the 1960s despite intense research. This knowledge gap is mainly due to a lack of suitable in vitro models that mimic the in-vivo situation. To address this bottleneck, we are developing a "Lung on a Chip" that enables us to grow patient derived cells in a microfluidic device for long-term monitoring and experimentation.

This studentship is for a fully funded 4 year studentship to further develop this technology. It is a collaborative with the Faculty of Medicine and our industrial partner GSK. The student will extend the current technology to include multi-parameter sensors to measure the viability of the tissue, and developing new scaffold structures. The ultimate aim is to develop a system that takes human cells from donors and grows these in the chip to develop a patient specific human airway model. This will allow us to further our understanding of diseases like asthma and allergies and will eventually lead to new drug therapies.

You will be expected to work with colleagues from engineering and medicine and will spend extended periods of time working at GSK. You should have a good degree (1st or 2i) and ideally a background in bioengineering or a related field, with an interest in biomaterials. You will join a highly multidisciplinary group working across physical and life science.

Please contact: ( ) for further details. 

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2017 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: four years (full-time)
Funding: full tuition fees, for UK/EU students, and a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per year
Assessment: Nine month and 18 month reports, viva voce and thesis examination
Start date: typically September

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