Development of in-situ, real-time, affinity-based biosensor for monitoring release of stress markers within bioreactors   

This PhD will involve investigation of new approaches to biosensing in the context of bioprocessing and is fully funded through Institute of Bio-sensing Technology at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies at University College London (UCL). The PhD Researcher will be based at Institute of Bio sensing Technology in Bristol, but will engage with colleagues at the Department of Biochemical Engineering in UCL. For example the PhD Researchers will undertake 12 weeks of taught training of core modules as part of a cohort and participate in Centre events.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Closing date: 31 August 2018

This studentship is open to UK residents only.


Currently, online monitoring used to optimise protein synthesis, involving either measurement of cell mass or environmental parameters, fail to provide information relating to the physiological integrity of the cells. In-situ monitoring of cell-quality markers has the advantage that changes will allow critical phenomena, such as physiological deterioration of the cell, to be predicted.

This project aims to investigate a new bio-sensing modality for real-time monitoring of intracellular biomarkers, as indicators of cell health within a bioreactor. It will involve concurrent, integrated development of a nanocrystalline, porous 3D biosensor, with robust, biocompatible encapsulation, and quantify the impact of bioreactor inputs on these measured cell-quality parameters.

The longer term goal is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the biological processes that exist within a bioreactor, and thereby enhance quality control and reliability in bio-manufacturing.

Eligibility criteria and person specification

This award is available to highly motivated and innovative students. Candidates should have (or expect to have) a first-class or 2.1 honours degree or a Masters qualification in the chemical or biological sciences (e.g. chemistry, biochemistry microbiology, biology and related disciplines).

This studentship is open to UK residents only. 

Funding details

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home tuition fee rate plus a maintenance allowance of £14,777 in 2018/19.

How to apply

Download and complete the Graduate School studentship application form and send it directly to the UWE Bristol Graduate School. Please ensure you include the title of the research project you propose to undertake, and detail why you are interested in undertaking this PhD project and what relevant knowledge, experience and qualifications you would bring to the research. Please see the Graduate School studentship application guidance notes for further information about how to complete the application form.

Please also complete the Equal Opportunities monitoring form and complete the first section of the Graduate School application reference sheet before sending to your nominated referees.

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to

Application deadline: Friday 31 August 2018

If you have not heard from us by 14 September 2018 please assume that on this occasion you have not been successful.

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