PhD position: Electromechanical coupling in collagen

Funding is available for up to 4 years and includes a stipend of €15k per annum, plus EU registration fees. Location: UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Dublin, Ireland Qualification: Candidates should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second BSc (or equivalent) or MSc in Physics, Materials Science, Biology, or other relevant area.

Funding is restricted to EU applicants only. Contact Details: Highly motivated individuals with an interest in probing
the physics of biological surfaces at the nanoscale should send a letter outlining why they are suitable for the
post, along with a current CV including the contact details of two academic referees by email to:

Dr. Brian Rodriguez 
Lecturer in Nanoscience Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research
University College Dublin,
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Deadline: July 30, 2010

Collagen plays a key role in the correct formation of many tissues. The piezoelectric properties of collagen have been only recently measurable on the molecular, fibrillar, and tissue levels due to advances in scanning probe
microscopy. Understanding the mechanism of piezoelectricity in collagenous matrices will address if piezoelectricity in collagen is responsible for the correct formation of tissues, thus providing key insights into exploiting the piezoelectric effect in collagen-based biomaterials for regenerative medicine and biomedical
applications. The project will allow the role of electromechanical coupling in biological materials to be established.

This interdisciplinary project will provide training in advanced ambient and liquid, structural and functional imaging using an atomic force microscope (AFM) and in biological sample preparation. The successful applicant will be involved in the further development of advanced scanning probe techniques and is expected to develop and publish their work and to present their work at national and international conferences. He/She will have access to state of the art AFMs, and will be expected to work closely with the Nanoscale Function Group of Prof. Suzi Jarvis. Travel opportunities to interact with collaborating researchers and industrial partners are also envisaged.

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