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Projects 2021-22

  • ASTON

    Developing eye models to improve eye treatments and contact/intraocular lens technologies

    The eye is a vital organ for our sense of vision, but there are currently no established in-vitro models for the anterior eye (including the transparent window to the eye [the cornea], and the crystalline lens which allows us to focus at different distances when we are young). This project will optimise a mechanical holder to mount porcine eyes (a waste project of meat production), a fluid pump mechanism to circulate biological fluids which can maintain the physiology of these tissues for 7-10 days, and the mechatronics to simulate blinking and the muscle contraction that controls eye focus. The PhD student will work as part of a multidisciplinary team including mechanical and electrical engineers, clinicians and surgeons to investigate the biological effects of contact lens and surgical implantation of intraocular lenses following cataract surgery and how optimal vision can be restored. Additional projects will include accelerating the ageing of the crystalline lens, such as through growth hormones and microwaves, to simulate fibrotic changes with time.

    This project is available at Aston University. Application deadline is 18th July 2021

    Funding and eligibility: Fully funded studentships are available at the UK home rate only:

    • UK Home studentship – “UK nationals will have their PhD fees fully covered. Other candidates will be considered if they can cover the difference in fees between the international and UK rate, proof of this must be included at application stage.

    All applications regardless of the UK University that you wish you study at should be submitted via the University of Glasgow online system.

    Make an application

    Theme:

    Translation and Manufacturing

    Primary supervisor:

    Prof. James Wolffsohn

    Stakeholder supervisor:

    Dr. Nat Davies, Rayner

    GLASGOW

    Magnetic Hydrogels for Bone Tissue Engineering

    Tissue engineering is used to generate lab-based replacements for tissues which have been damaged or need replacement due to disease, following an accident, surgical excision or loss of function. The strategy is to develop 3D structures which mimic the natural tissue in terms of the biological and mechanical properties, this then allows for cell growth, development and differentiation into functional tissue. In this regard, hydrogels have an established track record as 3D models.

    Bone tissue engineering is high profile due to the increased need for tissue replacement in trauma, tumour excision, disease (e.g. osteoporosis) or skeletal abnormalities. Engineered 3D materials for bone can make use of different stimuli, to accelerate the repair and regeneration of the tissue. In particular, magnetic stimulation can promote increased bone formation, allowing for a more rapid and better healing process. Static magnetic fields were found to accelerate cell proliferation, migration and the differentiation of osteoblast-like cells, as well as induce osteogenesis in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

    In this project, we aim to generate magnetic hydrogels for bone tissue engineering, which in combination with a static magnetic field, will act to accelerate osteogenesis in bone marrow MSCs.

    This project is available at University of Glasgow. Application deadline: 26th July 2021

    Funding and eligibility: Fully funded studentships are available at the UK home rate only:

    • UK Home studentship – “UK nationals will have their PhD fees fully covered. Other candidates will be considered if they can cover the difference in fees between the international and UK rate, proof of this must be included at application stage.

    All applications regardless of the UK University that you wish you study at should be submitted via the University of Glasgow online system.

    Make an application

    Theme:

    Cell and Tissue Engineering

    Stakeholder supervisor:

    Dr Chris Allan, Biogelx Ltd