Doctoral fellowship in ultra-sensitive bioelectronic transducers in Portugal.

Doctoral fellowship within the PhD programme INPhINIT in CCMAR.

Project: Ultra-sensitive bioelectronic transducers as a screening tool to monitor the activity of marine compounds on cells and tissues.

  • Supervisors: Deborah Power and Henrique Gomes
  • Summary:The approach used in the PhD project will overcome the limitations of currently available microelectrode arrays (MEA) technology. The specific objectives of the project and tasks to be undertaken by the PhD recruited will be to: 1- fabricate transducers with high spatio-temporal resolution and an intrinsic noise level below 1 microvolt. To achieve this, two strategies will be explored; (i) fabrication of nano-structured surface coatings using ZnO nanorods or nano-wires,  (ii) conducting polymer surfaces such as PEDOT:PSS. Both materials strategies will be implemented into soft and biocompatible substrates. Among the substrates to be explored are (i) cellulose (ii) poly-lactic-glycolic acid (PLGA) and an elastomer such as ultra-soft polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS). The final goal is to solve the fabrication issues so that devices can be built on a flexible and biocompatible scaffold. 2. To validate the developed sensors using electrophysiological extracellular measurements in vitro with several different immortalized cells lines such as glioma seeded onto the electrophysiological sensing platform. The signal patterns generated by cell populations will be recorded and correlated with cellular activity. 3. To demonstrate that the device can be scaled up and validated to establish it as a screening tool for marine compounds of potential interest. Responsibilities include: a) Plan and conduct scientific investigations and experiments according to the PhD workplan; b) Collecting, preparing and/or testing samples (molecular, biochemical and histological/histochemistry analysis/bioinformatics of sequence data); c) Recording and analysing data (including statistical analysis); d) Keeping up to date with relevant scientific and technical developments; e) Scientific writing to publish the outcome of the studies performed, reports, reviews and public oral/poster presentations at conferences; f) Supervise undergraduate students; g) Participate in public outreach activities; h) Complementary courses will be provided to promote development of “soft skills” eg. Person management, project management, business skills, graphic skills for scientific illustration etc. Requirements: Degree in Biosciences or electronics or related areas.

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