Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at Trinity College Dublin
Project Title: Functionalised Injectable Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration
Project Description: This project is part of multidisciplinary team that is developing advanced extracellular matrix (ECM) derived biomaterials for use as injectables and 3D bioprinting applications for intervertebral disc regeneration. Many of the existing ECM-derived biomaterials lack the necessary physiologically relevant mechanical properties, e.g. compressive strength, shear thinning behaviour. Other drawbacks include slow thermogelation times, hindering printing speeds and limiting their potential active therapeutic window for in vivo applications. Additional functionalisation of the ECM using complexation to the collagen fibre backbone allows for development of materials with enhanced shear thinning and self-healing capabilities. To this end, we are developing a range of ECM shear thinning and self-healing hydrogels, which can be used as injectable therapeutics or as bioinks for 3D bioprinting applications. This approach aims to combine the intrinsic regenerative potential of ECM and advanced functionalisation, with distinct improvements in material and mechanical properties. In addition, understanding how these novel biomaterials interact with cells is important for in vivo applications and will also be investigated.
Applicant criteria: The ideal applicant will have an MSc in biomedical engineering, biomaterials, tissue engineering, or a related discipline. Previous experience in biomaterials, hydrogels, tissue engineering, 3D printing, cell culture, gene expression, biochemical analysis, mechanical testing, rheology and histology techniques would be highly advantageous. Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential. Applicants must have been resident in an EU member state for 3 out of the last 5 years to be eligible for funding through this programme.
How to apply: CVs with the names and addresses of three referees should be submitted via email to Prof. Conor Buckley email@example.com with the subject heading “Functionalised ECM Hydrogels PhD”. Preferred start date is April 2022 or soon thereafter. Only short-listed applications will be acknowledged.
Funding: These positions are funded by the European Research Council (ERC)- Consolidator Award (INTEGRATE) Personalised Medicine for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration- Integrating Profiling, Predictive Modelling and Gene Activated Biomaterials and supports annual EU fees and stipend (€18,500 per annum) for 4 years
The Buckley lab: This position will be based with the Buckley Lab (www.buckleylab.eu) within the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering (TCBE, https://www.tcd.ie/biomedicalengineering/) and the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research Centre (AMBER, http://ambercentre.ie). Prof. Buckley leads a multidisciplinary research group in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. The goal of the Buckley lab is to develop novel biomaterial and cell-based strategies to regenerate or repair damaged tissues to restore function. The main research interests of the Buckley lab include intervertebral disc, peripheral nerve, meniscus and cartilage regeneration, cellular microencapsulation for therapeutic regeneration, injectable biomaterials, 3D bioprinting, tissue cryopreservation, biomimetics and tissue decellularization strategies for innovative clinical intervention. For more information, please visit our website: https://www.buckleylab.eu/
Prof. Buckley has received funding in the areas of biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as PI (>€3.5million) and as co-investigator (>€10.45million). He has published 79 international peer reviewed journal articles and over 180 conference publications. Buckley is also PI on several commercial projects developing biomaterials for peripheral nerve repair (Integra Life Sciences) and bioprinting for next generation implantable devices and tissues for orthopaedic applications (Johnson & Johnson). He recently received a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator award to develop personalised medicine approaches to regenerating the intervertebral disc
About the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research Centre (AMBER): AMBER is a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre that provides a partnership between leading researchers in materials science and industry. More information can be found at http://ambercentre.ie/
The AMBER research centre, as a community of researchers, welcomes its responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all. We are actively seeking diversity in our research teams and particularly encourage applications from underrepresented groups.
About the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering (TCBE): TCBE is a key research centre in Trinity College combining fundamental research with translation to clinical practice. TCBE provides a structure to bring bioengineers, basic scientists and clinicians together to focus on important clinical needs and has four key research themes: Medical Devices & Advanced Drug Delivery, Neural Engineering, Biomechanics & Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine. The project work will be carried out in our state-of-the-art facilities located in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. The successful applicant will join a dynamic, multidisciplinary lab consisting of 20 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students based in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. More information can be found at https://www.tcd.ie/biomedicalengineering/
Funding: This position is funded by the European Research Council (ERC)- Consolidator Award (ERC-2019-CoG-864101; INTEGRATE) Personalised Medicine for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration- Integrating Profiling, Predictive Modelling and Gene Activated Biomaterials.