Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Funded PhD: Prof. Fergal O'Brien - Dept of Anatomy

The aim of this research programme is to develop novel functionalised collagen-based scaffolds for the delivery of nucleic acid-based therapeutics using novel nanoparticle formulations in combination with 3D printed biomaterials. These scaffolds will be used as platforms for the repair of large volume osteochondral defects.

Project title

ReCaP: Regeneration of Articular Cartilage using Advanced Biomaterials and Printing Technology Q3.

Project description

The two students will be based in the Tissue Engineering Research Group and AMBER Centre at RCSI and will work closely with other members of a multidisciplinary project team including PIs, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers. The student will work with a number of clinical and academic collaborators who are developing various delivery vectors and therapeutic genes which will be combined with the materials undergoing development.

  • Project 1: Development and characterisation of a 3D Printed Multi-Layered collagen-based scaffold reinforced by a printed macroporous polymer - This project will use advanced 3D printing of biomaterials to develop a next-generation scaffold for osteochondral repair.
  • Project 2: Development of a gene activated scaffold for osteochondral defect repair - This project will screen a series of non-viral nanoparticles for use in gene delivery to stem cells before incorporating the optimised nanoparticles into the osteochondral scaffolds.
  • Department: Anatomy
  • Theme: Bioengineering
  • Keywords: 3D-printing/Additive Manufacturing, Nanoparticles, Nucleic-acid/Drug Delivery, Tissue Engineering, Osteochondral Repair
  • Google scholar

The candidate

  • The ideal applicants will have a 1st Class Honours Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering/materials science (P1), pharmacy or biomedical sciences (P2) or related disciplines and preferably, an MSc degree (with minimum 2.1 honours from a primary degree) in bioengineering, regenerative medicine or in drug delivery systems. 
Specific skills which would enhance a candidate’s application might include experience in some of the following areas: 
  • material development, scaffold characterisation in tissue engineering, 3D printing (P1); drug/biomolecule delivery, nanoparticle synthesis, cell culture, and molecular biology experience (P2).
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential. 
  • English language certificate IETLS =6.5 or above; or must be able to confirm completion of a primary degree through English

Application process

Please apply by email to Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Dept. of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - fjobrien@rcsi.ie with:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • A 500-word cover letter outlining your interest in and suitability for the position
  • Scanned transcripts (preferred), or detailed degree grade breakdown
  • Contact details of three referees
Positions will remain open until filled but preferred start date is 1 August 2018. 
Only short-listed applications will be acknowledged.

Mentors Prof. Fergal O'Brien