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PhD Studentship: Next Generation Drug Delivery Systems using Intestinal Iontophoresis

University of Birmingham - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Covers fees and an annual stipend of £18,622
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd December 2023
Closes: 29th February 2024

Iontophoresis is a drug delivery technique that employs low-level electric fields to transport therapeutic agents across biological barriers such as the skin or mucus membranes. It has been widely used in the delivery of drugs across the skin as it can be used to painlessly and precisely deliver drugs without the use of needles. Iontophoresis as a means of improving the transport of orally delivered drugs has been demonstrated in in-vitro models. While demonstrating the potential impact of this technique for use in the gastrointestinal tract, these proof-of-concept studies also highlight a number of engineering challenges that need to be overcome to make this a viable oral drug delivery technique in the future. This project will focus on developing solutions to some of these engineering challenges, with the end goal being the demonstration of an integrated prototype in in-vitro models of the gastrointestinal tract.

The applicant must have an excellent undergraduate degree (1st class honours degree/Upper second-class honours degree) in Electronic, Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering. The applicant should have some experience in electronics or a demonstratable willingness to learn. Candidates should have a keen interest in the translation of advanced healthcare technologies from the lab into the clinic.

The University of Birmingham is a QS Top 100 University, and the School is one of the Top 10 Schools for Engineering in the UK, according to the Times Higher Education. The University is uniquely positioned to benefit any applicant interested in a future career in healthcare technology. The University emphasises the clinical translation of innovative research to ensure real-world impact through the Healthcare Technologies Institute and the Precision Healthcare Technology Accelerator. The School of Engineering also has an established Biomedical Engineering research group with links to several SME and multinational medical device companies.

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Gerard Cummins at the School of Engineering (G.Cummins@bham.ac.uk). Applications must be made via the University of Birmingham application portal (https://sits.bham.ac.uk/lpages/EPS013.htm).

Funding notes:
There are Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) doctoral scholarships available to fund candidates eligible for Home student fees only. Under funder guidelines, those classed as being Home students are those who are UK nationals, Irish nationals, have settled status, pre-settled status or have indefinite leave to remain or enter the UK. Anyone who does not meet those criteria will not be eligible for funded studentships, which cover fees and an annual stipend of £18,622

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