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Engineering Characterisation of Microbioreactors for Mammalian Cell Culture

Project ID: 2228cc1454 (You will need this ID for your application)

Under Offer

Research Theme: Manufacturing The Future

UCL Lead department: Biochemical Engineering

Department Website

Lead Supervisor: Nicolas Szita

Industry partner: Lonza Biologics

Stipend enhancement: £2,000 pa

Project Summary:

At the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering, an exciting doctorate research project is available in the Microfluidics group in collaboration with Lonza Biologics. The project aligns with Lonza Biologics’ mission to bring new life saving medicines faster to clinic and cheaper to patients. The department, the microfluidics group and Lonza Biologics already have an ongoing collaboration.

In this project, we will develop microfluidic bioreactor technology for the culture of mammalian cells. The research will build on existing microfluidic technology and an electromagnetically stirred microbioreactor. We will develop and characterise a microfluidic bioreactor capable of sustaining mammalian cells over a prolonged period of time, with integrated sensors and optics for the real-time monitoring of dissolved oxygen and pH, and optical density (to estimate cell density).

The project is multi-disciplinary and unites different research strands: microfluidic technology will be employed to create the small microbioreactors with the desired functionality (precise liquid handling), engineering characterisation to assess important parameters of bioreactors such as mass transfer and optical sensors, biological characterisation to analyse growth rates, cell densities, and ability of the cells to produce the desired protein structure, and analytical methods to characterise cells and proteins, i.e. the potency of the desired novel medicine.

The ideal candidate is not expected to have experience or education in all the disciplines, but is expected to have a passion for multi-disciplinary research, at least some experience in laboratory work, and an ability to communicate and integrate into research teams.