Colloidal particles are microscopic or even nanoscopic particles whose surfaces can be functionalised. Their very large surface areas relative to their small volumes means you can load each one with many molecules to deliver and release drugs or bind pathogens and biomarkers at the target site, opening potential for powerful diagnostic and therapeutic systems. The reason that this potential is yet to be exploited is that these functionalities depend on tight and quantitative control over the number, distribution and activity of chemical groups at the particle surface. The SuperCol Innovative Training Network (ITN, 15 PhD positions in total) will combine super-resolution microscopy, colloidal sciences, and advanced modelling to (a) control, (b) visualize and quantify, and (c) rationally design surface-functionality to advance particle-based biomedical applications.
About the project
The PhD student will use chemically functionalized nanoparticles to investigate how the presence of a nanoparticle affects the localization of single fluorophores using super-resolution optical microscopy correlated with atomic force and/or electron microscopy. The research will involve experiments (particle functionalization, super-resolution microscopy, and spectroscopy) and numerical modelling (using already available toolboxes). The final aim is to be able to predict the effect of the nanoparticle on the localization of the fluorophore, and extract the “true” location of the fluorophore by correcting for mislocalization. This will enable other groups in the consortium to faithfully visualize the location of specific chemical groups on their own colloidal particles.
You will closely collaborate and pay visits to other partners in the project, particularly DTU and the industrial partner Delmic.
About the group
You will be part of the Molecular Plasmonics group, which is embedded in the Molecular Biosensing (MBx) group. We investigate nanotechnologies for single-molecule biophysical studies and biomedical applications. We focus on nanoplasmonic technologies based on particles with a biochemically active surface coating. The particles allow us to capture, detect and actively transport single biomolecules, and to quantify the properties of molecules in complex biochemical fluids. Main research activities in the lab focus on the functionalization and characterization at the single-particle level (using e.g. super-resolution microscopy), and at the development of novel single-molecule sensing concepts.
About Marie Curie ITN
SuperCol establishes a unique and well-structured training network with leading research labs from European universities and industry in the domain of correlative microscopy and colloidal sciences. The 15 PhD students will form a research team that is embedded in leading industrial and academic R&D labs. This will bridge the gap between the various disciplines by uniting their research efforts to solve the challenges.
The SuperCol project is supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) under grant No. 860914.
For the PhD position, we seek an enthusiastic candidate with an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Physics that has hands-on experience with optical microscopy. Experience in super-resolution microscopy is advantageous, but not essential. Good communication skills in English (both written and spoken) are required.
We offer you:
Informal information may be obtained by sending an email to dr. P. (Peter) Zijlstra (p.zijlstra[at]tue.nl).
More information on employment conditions can be found here: https://www.tue.nl/en/working-at-tue/why-tue/compensation-and-benefits/
To apply for this job, please upload (a) your CV, (b) a personal motivation describing why you want to join our research group (max 1 page), and (c) a full list of credits and grades, including (if finished) a copy of your MSc thesis by using the 'Apply now'-button on this page.
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