Fully Funded PhD Studentship: Correlating the Toxicity of Zinc Oxide Nanowires with Life Cycle Changes in Physical and Chemical Properties
Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship in Nanotechnology. This scholarship is jointly funded by Swansea University and Université Grenoble-Alpes, with the successful candidate being supervised by Dr Thierry Maffeis.
Nanoparticles (NPs) offer several advantages over their bulk counterparts in many technological and medical applications ranging from transistors to sensors. They are also widely used in cosmetics, food and clothing. Human exposure occurs throughout the NPs lifecycle, such as:
- workers during NPs manufacture, handling, and waste treatment
- general population when using NP-based products
- unintentional exposure when NPs are released into the environment.
Pristine NPs degrade rapidly when exposed to the environment through chemical reactions, dissolution, aggregation, surface roughening and physical damage which affect their properties and functionality. It is hypothesized that their toxicity will change too; yet this important issue has yet to be addressed.
ZnO nanowires are the focus of this project because they exhibit optoelectronic and electrical properties that led to the demonstration of novel nanosensors, nanotransducers, photocatalysts and nanogenerators. They can be used for the development of human-electronic interfacing, biomedical diagnosis, drug delivery and wearable technologies that convert mechanical simulation in electricity for self-powered devices.
This project will pave the way towards the determination of safe exposure limits for pristine and weathered ZnO nanowires, enabling their implementation in commercial products. The successful candidate will spend time studying at both Swansea University and Université Grenoble-Alpes.
The project tasks are outlined below:
- Conduct a complete physico-chemical characterisation of the nanowires, before and after ageing (Swansea).
- Design and optimise ageing protocols for UV exposure (dose, duration), water immersion (pH, temperature) and cell culture medium (Swansea).
- Image cell uptake using SEM and TEM (Swansea and Grenoble).
- Assess the viability of keratinocytes cells in terms of mitochondrial activity and membrane integrity (Grenoble).
- Assess long term toxicity with an in vivo colony-forming assay where flow cytometry will be used to measure apoptosis after different culture times (Grenoble).
The successful candidate is expected to start their studentship on 1st October 2016.
Candidates should hold a 2:1 or above at undergraduate level and/or a Master's degree in a relevant subject area, such as Physics, Biology or Engineering.
Applicants who are proficient in communicating in both English and French are highly desirable.
Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of approximately £14,296 p.a.
How to Apply
To apply, please complete and return:
- College of Engineering Research Scholarship Application Form
- Relevant academic and/or language proficiency certificates
to: Dr Thierry Maffeis: email@example.com
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31st August 2016.
Informal enquiries about this scholarship are welcome, and may be directed to Dr Maffeis on the email address above or by telephoning +44 (0)1792 602234.
This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here: