In my group, we employ 3D printing methods to produce perfectly ordered structures and novel materials with applications in a range of industries, e.g. bioprocessing, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and food. We have already demonstrated that ordered 3D structures and smart materials can substantially increase the performance of key steps in such industries, for example in the purification of biomolecules such as proteins, DNA, and viruses.
In this project, you will capitalize on the expertise held in the group to fabricate microbial bioreactors and fermenters. In particular, you will develop new materials and 3D printing methods to enable fabrication of biocompatible fermenters. The geometry of the fermenters will be designed to allow uniform delivery of nutrients and oxygen, as well as uniform removal of unwanted metabolites. Cell cultures will then be inoculated and immobilised in the 3D printed bioreactors to prove the concept idea. The cultures will be tested for colonization of the carrier and formation of a stable biofilm. The obtained bioreactor will be finally employed for the biotransformation/bioremediation of polluting suphur-containing components.
Through this project, you will learn practical aspects in bioprocessing, how to operate latest 3D printers, and get familiar with a range of experimental techniques. You will collaborate with research students and postdoctoral fellows currently working on other aspects of perfectly ordered 3D printed porous media.
Good troubleshooting, communication and team-working skills are necessary for this project.
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, biomedical engineering, biochemistry or biotechnology. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.
EPSRC funding to cover tuition fees and stipend might be available for Home/EU students, but applications are also welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.