Project Description:

Implantable sensors are biosensor devices that can be implanted under the skin or elsewhere within the body. At present implantable biosensor technology is still in its infancy, and the most promising application to date has been for diabetes management. A relatively new area of research is developing ‘theranostic’ tools which combine diagnostic (i.e. biosensing) with therapeutic (e.g. drug delivery) capabilities into a single device. The potential future applications for these devices will only be limited by the physiological measurements they can assess. ‘Hollow-Core Fibres’ are strong candidates for delivering these new innovations. Phosphate-based glass (PBG) biomaterials are of huge interest within the biomedical field due to their easily tailored properties, such as fully controllable degradation characteristics, which can range from weeks, months to years. They are also highly biocompatible as their degradation products are natural components of the body. As such they possess the ideal characteristics for developing into unique hollow-core optical fibre biosensors. 

This project will seek to develop manufacturing processes to produce hollow core fibres from PBGs. This will involve understanding of glass formulation manufacture and characterisation, including glass fibre manufacturing processes. The Advanced Materials Research Group (AMRG) has both melt-draw and pre-form draw fibre manufacturing systems. 

This project will also involve characterisation studies, to determine fibre diameters and confirmation of chemical formulations developed, including thermal, high-temp viscosity analysis and fibre mechanical properties. The PhD candidate will also characterise the refractive index of the hollow-core fibres. 

Eligibility:

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second-class graduate in biomaterials science/bioengineering/biomanufacturing/inorganic chemistry to develop strong knowledge in these areas. Appropriate training will be provided for the right candidate. 

Funding:

Fully funded PhD studentship covering fees as well as a stipend equivalent to UKRI rates (£15,609 for 2021/22) for those eligible for ‘Home’ fees. 

How to apply:

Applications, with a detailed CV and letter of application, together with the names and addresses of two referees, should be sent to directly to Dr Ifty Ahmed ([email protected]). Please note this opportunity is being readvertised and is only applicable to those eligible for home fees. 

Closing Date: 25th August 2021

Start Date: October 2021 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Ifty Ahmed for further information:

Email: [email protected] Tel: 0115 7484675

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