Funded PhD: Advanced microneedle technology for drug delivery to prevent joint disease

The goal of this project is to develop a novel microneedle technology, that can be used in the knee joint to facilitate drug-delivery and help to prevent joint diseases like post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA).

Project description

PTOA occurs after acute joint injury, such as rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. Typically, any therapeutic agents that are delivered to the joint (i.e. by intra-articular injection) are quickly clearly by lymphatic/vasculature systems in the knee, and so are of limited use. Microneedle patches are a relatively new, but highly promising, technology that may help solve this particular problem. Microneedles have the added benefit of being excellent for drug-delivery, but also can serve this function without activating pain receptors.

This project will optimise the technology for use in the synovium of the knee joint where it will serve as a drug-depot with the potential to target various joint tissues involved in the development of PTOA (bone and cartilage). Specifically, it will involve fabrication and optimization of microneedle patches, which can deliver drugs to bone and/or cartilage tissue via a hydrogel compartment. Furthermore, secure mechanical anchorage of the device in the synovium will also be an important feature of this microneedle device, thus mechanical charaterisation will also be a key part of this work.

Tenure: Four years


Minimum requirements:

  • First class honours Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering/materials science or related disciplines and preferably, an MSc degree (with minimum 2.1 honours from primary degree) in bioengineering, regenerative medicine or in drug delivery systems
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • English language certificate (IETLS score of 6.5 or above) or able to confirm completion of primary degree through English

Desirable candidate specifications include:

  • Experience in some of the following areas:
    • microneedle development/characterisation
    • biomaterial mechanical testing
    • histology
    • drug/biomolecule delivery
    • cell culture
    • molecular biology experience

Application process

To apply, please complete the online application form in full.

Applications must include: 

  1. Completed application form 
  2. English language requirements – click here for more information

Deadline: 15 June 2021 at 17:00 

Please note:

  • Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback to applicants.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.
  • At this stage only successful candidates will be contacted to submit, CV, transcripts and other relevant documentation.
  • Only their referees will also be contacted at this stage for a reference.
  • It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the application form is completed in full on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed.