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Max Planck Insti­tute of Col­loids and Inter­faces - Depart­ment of Bio­ma­ter­i­als

The over­arch­ing research area of the Depart­ment is bio­lo­gical mater­i­als sci­ence, which con­nects mater­i­als sci­ence and bio­logy in a recip­rocal way.

PhD pos­i­tion at the Max Planck Insti­tute

Guided tis­sue regen­er­a­tion through pat­terned hydro­gels with con­trolled bio­phys­ical and bio­chem­ical prop­er­ties

Work­ing field:

In our group “Extra­cel­lu­lar Mat­rix in Dis­ease and Regen­er­a­tion” at the Max Planck Insti­tute of Col­loids and Inter­faces we invest­ig­ate the role of the bio­phys­ical microen­vir­on­ment, in par­tic­u­lar the physi­co­chem­ical prop­er­ties of tis­sues, extra­cel­lu­lar mat­rix and col­lect­ive of cells, in con­trolling tis­sue regen­er­a­tion and can­cer-related dis­ease.

Heal­ing pro­cesses are char­ac­ter­ized by dynamic microen­vir­on­ments, where local and tem­poral con­trol of physi­co­chem­ical cues orches­trate tis­sue self-organ­iz­a­tion. Algin­ate hydro­gels can mimic such microen­vir­on­ments and allow spa­tial con­trol of hydro­gel stiff­ness, degrad­ab­il­ity and present­a­tion of poly­mer-bound bio­molecules (1, 2). We hypo­thes­ize that mat­rix spa­tial pat­tern­ing of bio­phys­ical and bio­chem­ical cues mod­u­late cell meta­bolic activ­ity and pro­lif­er­a­tion, soft and min­er­al­ized tis­sue organ­iz­a­tion and crosstalk with immune molecules. We aim to use engin­eered 3D matrices with tun­able bio­phys­ical and bio­chem­ical, in com­bin­a­tion with a min­im­ally invas­ive in vivo model, to test this hypo­thesis and thereby improve our under­stand­ing of physiolo­gical bone regen­er­a­tion and patho­lo­gical alter­a­tions.

Ref­er­ences
1. A. Lueck­gen, D.S. Garske, A.E. Elling­haus, D.J. Mooney, G.N. Duda, A. Cipitria, “Dual algin­ate cross­link­ing for local pat­tern­ing of bio­phys­ical and bio­chem­ical prop­er­ties””, Acta Bio­ma­ter­i­alia, 2020, in press (doi.org/10.1016/j.act­bio.2020.07.047).

2. A. Lueck­gen, D.S. Garske, A.E. Elling­haus, D.J. Mooney, G.N. Duda, A. Cipitria, “Enzymat­ic­ally-degrad­able algin­ate hydro­gels pro­mote cell spread­ing and in vivo tis­sue infilt­ra­tion”, Bio­ma­ter­i­als, 2019, 217:119294.

Require­ments:

We are look­ing for a doc­toral researcher with a back­ground in bioen­gin­eer­ing, bio­tech­no­logy, bio­chem­istry or sim­ilar. He/she will work on syn­thesis and char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion of hydro­gels with tun­able bio­phys­ical and bio­chem­ical prop­er­ties, cell cul­ture, his­to­logy/immun­o­his­to­chem­istry and ima­ging.

What we of­fer:

3-4 year PhD pro­ject in col­lab­or­a­tion with the Ber­lin-Branden­burg School for Regen­er­at­ive Ther­apies at Char­ité Uni­versitätsmed­izin Ber­lin and with the Uni­versity of Har­vard

How to ap­ply: