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Nanoparticles in drug delivery

Nanoparticles (NPs) are materials with overall dimensions in the nano scale range (5nm-100nm). Due to their unique physicochemical properties, they have found a wide range of applications and are currently explored as drug and gene delivery vehicles. The mechanism by which NPs are taken up by cells has important implications for their fate and their impact on biological systems. The routes of uptake taken by a specific NP depend on surface charge and shape and determine if NP have inflammatory or toxic effects. Awareness of these effects is an important aspect in the use of NPs in biomedical applications and tailoring the particles for drug delivery ensuring their biosafety.

The aim of the project is to analyse the uptake and intracellular routes of NPs in clinical relevant cell types to establish their potential as drug delivery vehicles. Carbon nanotubes, magnetic particles and gold nanoparticles uptake by immune and cancer cells will be studied by measuring the NPs’ interaction with the cell membrane, their intracellular fate and their effect on signal transduction by high-resolution live cell microscopy, total internal reflection microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and quantitative ELISA. Cytokine release will be measured by microarray and qPCR. Cellular organelles containing NPs will be purified after uptake and their protein content analysed by mass spectrometry. RNAi technology will be employed to verify candidate proteins involved in NP uptake.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.


Dr Gudrun Stenbeck - Qualifications: -
  • 1993: PhD in Chemical Technology/Biochemistry, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
  • 1989: German equivalent of BS/MS degree in Chemical Technology, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany