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PhD Research Studentship Opportunity: Developing Resorbable Inorganic Materials for Biosensing Applications


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 12 March 2024
Reference:  ENG1930

Project Background:

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3/4 years) within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. The successful candidate will work with an interdisciplinary supervisory team with expertise in bioactive glasses, processing and biosensing.

Biosensors have been widely developed for biomedical diagnosis as well as for a wide range of other areas such as point-of-care monitoring of treatment and disease progression, environmental monitoring, food control, drug discovery and biomedical research. Biosensors are devices capable of measuring biological or chemical reactions by generating signals proportional to the concentration of an analyte in the reaction. A wide range of techniques have been explored for development of biosensors.

The Advanced Materials Research Group (AMRG) at the University of Nottingham have developed bioactive phosphate-based glasses, which are fully resorbable materials and their degradation profiles can be tailored leading to controlled release of bioactive ions for a variety of biomedical end applications. They are also highly biocompatible as their degradation products are natural components of the body, hence making them ideal candidate materials.

A relatively new area of research is developing ‘theranostic’ tools which combine diagnostic (i.e. biosensing) with therapeutic (e.g. drug delivery) capabilities into a single device. The potential future applications for these devices will only be limited by the physiological measurements they can assess. Hence developing phosphate-based glasses into fibrous or microsphere forms are strong candidates for delivering these new innovations.

Project Description:

This project will seek to develop manufacturing processes to produce biosensors in varying structures (fibres, microspheres etc) from phosphate-based glasses. This will involve understanding of glass formulations, manufacture and characterisation, including glass fibre and microsphere production processes. The Advanced Materials Research Group (AMRG) has both melt-draw and pre-form draw fibre manufacturing systems along with microsphere manufacturing lab.

This project will also involve characterisation studies, to determine materials properties and confirmation of chemical formulations developed, including thermal, high-temp viscosity analysis and other relevant properties. The PhD candidate will also characterise the refractive index of the materials developed. You will work closely with an experienced team of researchers to develop innovative strategies to optimise the experiments along with in-depth characterisation protocols. You will also aim to publish your research findings in high-impact scientific journals and present your work at national and international conferences.

Qualifications and Requirements:

Applications are welcome from home (UK) students. Mature students and candidates with equivalent industry experience are welcome to apply. Applicants should have a first or second-class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. The ideal candidate would have a background in biomaterials science / bioengineering / biomanufacturing / inorganic chemistry to develop strong knowledge in these areas. Appropriate training will be provided for the right candidate.

The candidate should be self-motivated, have excellent communication skills and be able to resolve challenges independently, with an interest in applied scientific research.

The University of Nottingham facilitates access to a range of networking and training opportunities, including our Researcher Academy and the successful candidate will benefit from alignment with other programmes. The University of Nottingham is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions, exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits. The University of Nottingham encourages an inclusive culture. Visit our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.


  • Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for UK candidates.
  • Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first-class degree in the discipline areas highlighted above
  • Candidates are expected to start on 1st October 2024

Application Procedure:

To apply for this PhD opportunity, please submit:

  • A cover letter (outlining your research interests and motivation to pursue this project)
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) detailing your academic background, research experience and relevant skills
  • Your academic transcripts
  • Contact information for two professional references


Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

If you have any specific questions on the project, please contact:

Dr Ifty Ahmed – email:

Note that the funding associated with this role is awarded via an internal competition and is therefore only confirmed sometime after the admission application is approved.



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