At the MeBioS division of the University of Leuven a PhD position is available for a motivated researcher interested in bionanotechnology
The fundamental research activities of the MeBioS-Biosensor group (www.biosensors.be) focus on the development of novel bio-molecular detection concepts and miniaturized analysis systems. The applications span a broad range of sectors including food and medical diagnostics. The MeBioS-Biosensor group closely follows the emerging field of biosensing and is active in the following domains (i) Bio-assay development (e.g., aptamers, biofunctionalized nanomaterials), (ii) Optical sensors (e.g., fiber optic SPR sensors) (iii) Microfluidics (e.g., lab-on-a-chip technology).
Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology refers to the implementation, miniaturization and automation of laboratory bench-top manipulations on a microchip. The importance of this technology increased during the last years with new fundamental insights in research areas such as enzyme kinetics, immunoassays, proteomics and DNA-analysis, creating a large potential for the development of new methods using LOC. This is extremely important as there is a constant need for developing assays with greater detection sensitivity, such as those for measuring the serum concentrations of biomarkers in different diseases (cancer, neurological disorders, early stages of infection, etc) when being in the range from femto to attomolar.
The objective of this project is to integrate digital LOC platform already established in the group with ultra-sensitive digital assays for the detection of proteins and nucleic acids (biomarkers) in various life-science and medical applications. Digital microfluidics refers to the transport of individual droplets on a chip, most commonly by the principle of electrowetting-on-dielectric. Here, droplets can be generated, transported,mixed and merged on a matrix of microelectrodes without the intervention of micropumps, microvalves and microchannels. Within this project, we will explore the potential and performance of a digital readout system based on an array of 64000 femto-liter size microwells fabricated in the digital microfluidic chip (Witters et al., Lab Chip, 2013, 13, 2047). The system will be adapted for the highly sensitive detection of various targets in complex samples (e.g. patient serum).
The following topics will be studied in this project: (a) Development of customized strategies for capturing different targets (proteins, nucleic acids or vesicles) using magnetic microbeads, (b) Development of a detection step based on enzyme-labelled affinity reagents (antibody-oligonucleotide) and (c) Implementation of the complete detection strategy and sensitivity improvement
We are looking for a highly motivated and communicative researcher with a Master degree in Bioscience Engineering, Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, (Bio)nanotechnology, Biosciences or equivalent. Motivation letter, C.V. and names of two referees should be submitted to: email@example.com.
This project is a collaboration between the MeBioS Biosensor group, Dept. Biosystems (Prof. Jeroen Lammertyn) and the University Hospital, KU Leuven.
PhD project for 4 years at KU Leuven
For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Jeroen Lammertyn, tel.: +32 16 3 21459, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can apply for this job no later than October 15, 2013 via the online application tool