PhD studentship in Development of a Novel Wound Management Dressing



Supervisor: Professor Eduardo Saiz

Duration: 42 months

We are seeking applications from enthusiastic graduates for a 42 months PhD studentship to study the development of novel materials for wound management that will show enhanced mechanical properties and facilitate faster healing. The project will be based in the Department of Materials at South Kensington Campus.

Wound care poses as a great commercial and clinical burden globally, stimulating academic and industrial research and development. There is a vast range of wound management products on the market, each addressing different wound types. While many wounds exhibit a strong capacity to heal, others show limited reparative capability. Increasingly products are being developed which aim to tackle hard-to-heal wounds, each with varying degrees of success. Thin, breathable thin film dressings such as Tegaderm™ (3M), OpSite Flexigrid™ (Smith and Nephew) and Mepore® film (Mölnlycke) serve as mechanical barriers to prevent infection while allowing moisture vapour transfer; these film dressings find application in treatment of pressure ulcers, first and second degree burns, minor abrasions, protection of donor sites and also as secondary fixation dressings.

This project focuses on the development of a novel wound management dressing to facilitate and promote the natural healing process. The dressing will be thin and discrete and will conform well around anatomical structures and will comprise a combination of materials, including collagen. The project may span the development of thin films as well as porous scaffolds for application in wound healing. Characterisation may include optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, mechanical testing at nano to macro-scale, wettability and testing relating to water absorption.

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You will work within a team of dynamic PhD Students and Research Associates, in newly refurbished laboratories on the South Kensington Campus. You will also have extensive interaction with several international collaborators, as well as project partners. You will have access to advanced characterization facilities within the department. The work is partly funded by Welland Medical a UK based company, focused on the design, manufacture and distribution of ostomy products. Welland is seeking an enthusiastic individual to work on this project, which has a defined end clinical application.

We are seeking candidates with a minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) first degree in Materials Science, Chemistry or Applied Physics. This 3-year studentship will begin in October 2013 and due to funding restrictions will cover rate fees at the home/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend of £15,725 per annum. Applications will be processed as received.

This project will be supervised Professor Eduardo Saiz and informal enquiries should be sent to Professor Eduardo Saiz ([email protected]) with two pages CV prior to formal application. For questions regarding the admissions process, please contact Fiona Thomson ([email protected]).

Formal applications can be completed online (only after informal enquiries): http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/materials/research/phdopportunities while information about the Department can be found at http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/materials.

Closing date: 1 October 2013

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