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PhD Studentship: Develop Engineering Routes for Reliable, Reproducible, and Large-Scale Production of Nanomedicine

The University of Edinburgh - School of Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: £16,400
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th January 2019
Closes: 1st March 2019

Principal Supervisor: Dr. Michael Chen 

Degree: PhD

Research Institute: IBioE

Related Discipline: Chemical

Contact email:

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Project description 

Many medicines are highly effective but face difficulties in clinical applications such as possessing poor water solubility, low stability, short blood circulation half-life, and high toxicity. To address these issues, nanotechnology has been widely adopted to advance drug delivery systems for improved therapeutic efficacy and reduced side effects. Although promising research results have been consistently reported, we still need to overcome several challenges to move forward the applications of nanomedicine. The important barriers include batch-to-batch variation of the physical and chemical properties of nanomedicine, lack of ability of large-scale production, and extremely low delivery efficiency to disease sites.

The project to be carried out in the Institute for Bioengineering at the University of Edinburgh is going to develop new engineering routes (e.g., microfluidic synthesis) for fabrication of nanomedicine and the subsequent surface modification. A wide range of characterisation tools will be employed for characterisation and in vitro & in vivo application test of the nanostructures. Except drug delivery, nanomaterials for intracellular sensing can also be tested.

To undertake this research, we are seeking a highly motivated candidate with established hands-on experience in nanomaterials synthesis and cell biology. Applications are particularly welcome from candidates with organic chemistry research experience.

Our track record in this work:

  1. X Chen, WJ Zhang, Diamond nanostructures for drug delivery, bioimaging, and biosensing, Chemical Society Reviews, 46, 734-760, 2017.
  2. L Yan, MJ Zhou, XJ Zhang, LB Huang, W Chen, VAL Roy, WJ Zhang, X Chen, A novel type of aqueous dispersible ultrathin layered double hydroxide nanosheets for in vivo bioimaging and drug delivery, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9(39), 34185-34193, 2017.
  3. JF Zhang, YN Li, FF An, XH Zhang, X Chen, CS Lee, Preparation and size control of sub-100 nm pure nanodrugs, Nano Letters, 15(1), 313-318, 2015.
  4. L Yan, JF Zhang, CS Lee, X Chen, Micro- and nanotechnologies for intracellular delivery, Small, 10(22), 4487-4504, 2014.
  5. L Yan, W Chen, XY Zhu, LB Huang, ZG Wang, GY Zhu, VAL Roy, KN Yu, X Chen, Folic acid conjugated self-assembled layered double hydroxides nanoparticles for high-efficacy-targeted drug delivery, Chemical Communications, 49, 10938-10940, 2013.

Further Information:

NB: Do not email CV directly. Applications should always be via the University’s online system; the advert will give a “click here to apply” link that explains how to apply.


The standard stipend in Engineering is £16.4k per year in 2018/19, with annual increments. Any stipend will be at this rate, unless stated below.

EPSRC funded. Tuition fees + stipend available for Home students or EU students who have been resident in the UK for 3 years.  International students or EU students who have not been resident in the UK for 3 years are not eligible for the funding, however applications are welcome from those who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere, or who have their own funding.


All adverts will list our standard entry requirements:

Give any specific entry requirements or restrictions below (e.g. “an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering…”)

Entry requirement: minimum entry qualification – an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) in chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, biomedical engineering, or cell biology. English language requirements need to be satisfied by EU/Overseas applicants.

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