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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
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School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

Collagen Based Bioactive Electrospun Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

Supervisors: Elizabeth TANNER

Application Deadline: 31-01-2019

This project will be supervised by Professor Liz Tanner School of Engineering and Materials Science, QMUL in collaboration with Dr Karin Hing (QMUL) and Professor Lucy Di Silvio (King’s College London) with support from Collagen Solutions Ltd., Glasgow.

Most natural tissues contain substantial amounts of collagen, a natural polymer. Bone consists of Type I collagen reinforced with approximately 40vol% bone mineral, a version of hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2). The aim of this project is to optimise the production of a bioactive, porous scaffold based on dual core electrospinning. Dual core electrospinning will be used to coat each fibre of a slowly degrading ductile polymer, with a more bioactive outer layer, attracting cells to accelerate bone formation. The inner fibre core will be polycaprolactone, the outer layer clinical grade Type I collagen to be either mineralised in vitro or manufactured containing HA. Natural collagen provides a framework of extracellular matrix (ECM) for tissues. Collagen is substantially more bioactive and biocompatible than most polymers, but the supply system is complex to ensure clinical grade material and needs careful processing to ensure controlled degradation of the materials/device produced, for this project will be supplied by Collagen Solutions Ltd. Additionally, peptides have been employed to mimic natural tissue fibrous structures of the extra cellular matrix. Synthetic ionic self-assembly oligo-peptides (iSAP) have the ability to drive differential cell responses by specific ligand-receptor interaction. In this study we will functionalise the scaffold surfaces with a novel iSAP. Composite optimisation will be based on mechanical properties, principally strength and ductility, followed by assessment of bioactivity with further optimisation.

EPSRC Research Studentship Details

  • To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees) applicants must have: 
  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to October 2019. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences) and
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (This does not apply to UK nationals).
    See: https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/help/eligibility/ for more details.
  • Full Time programme only.
  • Applicant required to start in October 2019.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £16,777 in 2018/19).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language then you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).

Supervisor Contact Details
For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Professor Liz Tanner
Tel: 020 7882 6785
E-mail: k.e.tanner@qmul.ac.uk

Application Method
To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Biomedical Materials programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/subjects/materials.html

Further Guidance: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2019 SEMS EPSRC DTP EKT1’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.

Website: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/subjects/materials.html