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PhD student Engineering micromaterial based synthetic red blood cells

Job description

At the Department of Developmental BioEngineering at the University of Twente, a vacancy exists for a PhD-student. This vacancy is funded by a recent award received from Health Holland and is available from December 1st 2019. In this project you will develop nanocoated oxygen-generating micromaterials that act as synthetic red blood cell substitutes.

University of Twente’s Technical Medical Centre is widely recognized for its excellence in the development of new biomedical solutions and advanced nano/microtechnologies. The PhD will be positioned in both the department of Developmental BioEngineering (DBE) and the department of Molecular Nanofabrication (MNF), which have a strong history in the development of advanced micromaterials and nanocoatings for the treatment of various clinical scenarios. Recently, we have developed oxygen generating polymeric microparticles. You will be responsible for developing next-generation oxygen generating microparticles and testing their capacity to be nanocoated using in-house materials. Specifically, the nanocoating will be performed in collaboration with the fast-growing materials company LipoCoat. You will therefore work on the multidisciplinary interface of micromaterials, nanocoatings, and cell-materials interaction.

Your profile

  • You hold a Master’s degree in Biomaterial Science, Applied Organic Chemistry, or an equivalent field of research; affinity with hematology or blood-related products is preferred, but not essential.
  • You have excellent analytical skills and an innate ability for solution oriented problem solving;
  • You have a strong interest in applied biomaterial solutions, nanocoatings, micromaterials, cell-biomaterial interaction, and clinical translation;
  • You have experience in investigating immune responses, cell-material interactions, or biomaterials. Experience in micromaterials, implantations studies, and microfluidic droplet generation will be considered as a benefit;
  • You have hands-on experience with applied biomaterials science and mammalian cell culture.
  • You are a team player with great communication skills;
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written.


Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, a publication list, contact details of referees, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Jeroen Leijten (

Our offer

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for 4 years, within a very stimulating scientific environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues.

  • A PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week);
  • An outstanding scientific environment: our department is a recognized Centre of Excellence;
  • Gross salary PhD student: ranging from € 2.325,00 (1st year) to € 2.972,00 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%);
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits;
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labor agreement CAO-NU;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
  • Extensive opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • A green and lively campus, with excellent sports facilities and many other activities;
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff is strongly encouraged.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

PhD student Engineering micromaterial based synthetic red blood cells
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