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Swansea University College of Engineering Centenary PhD Scholarship: Deterministic Encapsulation of Particles and Cells in Microfluidic Devices

Swansea University - Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £14,296 The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,296
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st May 2019
Closes: 31st July 2019

Start date: October 2019

Subject areas: Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Complex Fluids and Rheology 

Project description: Early diagnosis of disease remains a challenge in modern medicine. In an effort to expedite clinical tests for point of care diagnosis, tools based on microfluidic devices have been developed. One of the most successful microfluidic techniques is the Drop-seq technology, where cells are encapsulated together with functionalized particles in single droplets, to derive the cell genome. In the current setup, however, only less than 10% of the cells are encapsulated successfully with the functionalized particles. As a consequence, this technique cannot be used for the identification of rare cells, such as circulating tumour cells. This problem can be solved by equally spacing particles and cells prior the encapsulation area, thus achieving the so-called deterministic encapsulation.

In this project, the successful candidate will employ several polymer solutions to promote particle/cell ordering and encapsulation in a microfluidic device, to derive the genome of suspended cells. At the end of the project, the successful candidate will master the ordering and the encapsulation in viscoelastic liquids, and he will demonstrate the first evidence of viscoelastic-Drop-seq technology. This work will also take advantage of the collaboration with an industrial microfluidic partner for the successful implementation of the technique to an industrial scale level.

Project supervisors: Dr Francesco Del Giudice

Co-supervisor: Professor Rhodri P. Williams

Available resources/facilities: High-speed microfluidic station, clean room facilities, Rheometer instrumentations for rheological characterization.

Eligibility

Candidates should hold a first or upper second class (2.1) honours degree and/or MSc in Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics or related subjects.

Candidates with strong background in Fluid Mechanics and Rheology will be given priorities. Microfluidic skills are desirable.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent result) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/english-language-requirements/

The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend for UK/EU candidates but tuition fees only for international candidates. 

   
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