Applications are invited for the following position:
AMBER PhD Studentship
3D Bioprinting of Mechanically Functional Biological Implants Incorporating Nucleic Acids for the Repair Of Articular Joints
3D bioprinting can be used to engineer cell-laden implants with spatially defined structure and composition. We have recently used this technology to produce mechanically reinforced hydrogels incorporating mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and non-viral gene delivery vectors as a composite implant for bone tissue engineering. This technology can potentially be used in the treatment of complex musculoskeletal injuries, such as osteochondral defects in articular joints, where damage to both the articular cartilage and underlying subchondral bone exists. The goal of this project is to leverage the capability of 3D bioprinting to spatially pattern materials, cells and biomolecules to produce an implant capable of regenerating an osteochondral defect. Specifically we aim to spatially control the presentation of nucleic acids (including plasmid DNA and RNA-based therapeutics) within a bioprinted implant to ensure stable hyaline cartilage forms in the chondral region of the implant, and mechanically stable bone forms in the subchondral region of the same implant. If successful, such a bioprinted implant could provide an alternative to traditional joint replacement prosthesis for treating damaged and diseased synovial joints.
This PhD position will be carried out under the joint supervision of Prof. Fergal OBrien and Prof. John OByrne in the Tissue Engineering Research Group and Dept. of Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery in RCSI and Prof. Danny Kelly in the Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College Dublin.
The researcher will work closely with other members of a multidisciplinary project team including PIs, clinicians, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers within this research cluster.
Applicants should have a 1st Class Honours primary degree or MSc degree (with minimum 2.1 honours from primary degree) in biomedical engineering or related disciplines. Specific skills which would enhance a candidate’s application might include experience in some of the following areas: scaffolds in tissue engineering, mechanical testing of materials, advanced microscopy, nano-particle mediated gene delivery, cell culture, histological techniques, micro-CT and molecular biology experience. Excellent written and oral communication skills are desired.
CVs with the names and addresses of three referees should be submitted to both:
Prof. Daniel Kelly, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, TCD
This position is funded by the SFI Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre.
More information on Funding Opportunities for PhD candidates and Postdoctoral Fellowships:
Are you interested in pursuing your PhD degree or carrying out post-doctoral research in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering?
If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information
- The Research theme you are most interested in (Medical Devices & Drug Delivery; Neural Engineering; Biomechanics & Mechanobiology; Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine)
- A cover letter detailing your background and research interests
- Your C.V.
- Any papers and publications you were involved in
Background: ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Fragile X Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome) are lifelong conditions associated with impaired social and adaptive functioning. People with ASD have difficulties engaging in social situations that can lead to isolation, withdrawal and worsening mental health. Additionally even where cognitive abilities are relatively unimpaired people with ASD many have low levels of adaptive ability and are therefore limited in their ability to achieve independent living. Unfortunately also this can be associated with worsening employment prospects, decreased engagement in society and as a consequence, further deterioration in adaptive functioning.
Technological supports for independent living are increasingly providing novel ways to manage disability and promote health and societal engagement. There is now a rich literature on research into normal and abnormal ageing demonstrating the impact of technology supporting healthcare assessment and delivery. However, the application of technologies to support individuals with ASD and other related neurodevelopmental disorders has yet to make such an impact. Here we are aiming to apply technology to better support the acquisition of health related data in people with ASD and to develop technology based interventions to support the development of both core skills, such as basic social cognition, and adaptive skills such as the ability to function in socially demanding situations.
The focus of this project is on the development of gaming based software that may be utilized both for the acquisition of EEG data to support both clinical and research investigation in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and intellectual disability. There will be a further focus on the implementation of gaming scenarios for the development of skills addressing both core deficits and adaptive functioning. The emphasis will be on the development of scenarios with broad appeal and application such that they may be implemented in naturalistic environments with friends and family members promoting generalization of skills into real-life scenarios. The fellowship will focus on the development of clinical skills, namely the assessment and measurement of the ASD phenotype and associated endophenotypes. Additionally technical skills in the design and implementation of paradigms for EEG and the processing and analysis of EEG data will be acquired. Finally the applicant will learn how to apply technology and EEG methods in the context of a therapeutic application for ASD. The potential fellow may be from a behavioural sciences or computer sciences background.
An ideal environment exists at Trinity College Dublin to provide the holder of this fellowship with the support to undertake this research opportunity. The Autism and Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorder Research Group is part of the Neuropsychiatric Genetics group within the School of Medicine. It includes a multidisciplinary team with extensive expertise on clinical assessment, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and functional biology of autism and developmental disorders. The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering within the School of Medicine and School of Engineering has extensive experience in EEG neuroimaging methods and analysis for clinical applications. The holder of this fellowship will be able to avail of training with Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Group and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering to complement their expertise.
Further information can be obtained by contacting
Professor Richard Reilly, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, E: email@example.com