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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

SES-76-182 PhD/EngD Studentship: Droplet based microfluidic platforms for femtolitre to nanolitre chemistry and biology

Microdroplets are typically water droplets in oil or oil droplets in water, possessing a size of less than one micrometer (µm) to over 500 µms in diameter, and can be carried through microchannels in a microfluidic device to perform experimental analyses. Recently, droplet-based microfluidics has emerged as a new and exciting technological tool for applications within the chemical, biological and pharmaceutical sciences. However, there still remain significant challenges understanding fundamental interfacial science and engineering novel microfluidic platforms that can generate, handle and analyze these droplets.

The exciting research project will be application driven, will tackle crucial issues in developing droplet platforms.  The main objectives will include: (a) designing and fabricating microfluidic devices to study liquid mixing, molecular separation and concentration, cell encapsulation and fusion, etc, (b) integrating the microfluidic devices with the other mechanical, electrical and optical control and detection systems, to achieve highly integrated chip systems. (c) collaborating with biologists to study the real time responses of cells or tissues for drug screening and toxicology applications.

The successful candidate will work with a group of highly motivated, first class research students from Univ. Southampton, ETH Zurich, Imperial College and Cambridge. The successful candidate will obtain world leading training in a range of disciplines during the PhD including, advanced micro and nano fabrication, microfluidics, microsensor development and high resolution microscopy.

This position is available to EU/UK applicants only, unless additional funding/scholarships are obtained by the student to cover the overseas fees difference (£12,388 for 2011/12).

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Xize Niu, Email:  or Prof Martyn Hill, Electromechanical Engineering research group, Email:  Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 3075.

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