This studentship aims to address the important clinical issue that burn wounds can be the most traumatic and physically debilitating injuries, leading to chronic irreversible scarring and increased mortality.
- Qualification Type: PhD
- Hours: Full Time
- Title of project: Intelligent Wound Dressing for Accelerated and Controlled Healing of Burn Injuries (i-Heal)
- Placed On: 1st February 2022
- Closes: 15th May 2022, or until places have been filled.
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Engineering where the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in the Biomedical Engineering Centre in the Institute of Sensors and Instrumentation. The focus of this PhD project is an entirely novel therapeutic approach based on targeted electrical and optical stimulation (EOS) to control the healing velocity of different wound regions.
This project aims to address the important clinical issue that burn wounds can be the most traumatic and physically debilitating injuries, leading to chronic irreversible scarring, long term suffering and increased mortality.
Whilst pharmacological and dressing advances have greatly improved healing of other types of injuries, there is no therapeutic method for healing severe burns. The targeted electrical and optical stimulation (EOS) approach that is the focus of this work builds on both modalities of stimulation have been shown to affect different biological mechanisms involved in healing.
The innovative solution proposed in this project to address the above challenge is through the use of electrode arrays which will provide wound profiling through bioimpedance sensing, which will then combine with optrodes to apply localised stimuli resulting to a controlled healing process. This will dramatically minimize scarring, reducing long term morbidity and significantly improving the recovery chances and eventually the quality of life of burn victims.
Building upon the expertise of the Biomedical Engineering Centre at City and prior work by the supervisory team in both electro-optical stimulation and sensing, the project requires the development of the wearable multi-modal intelligent wound dressing that will modulate healing over an extensive burn wound area.
The system will provide adjustable closed-loop EOS based on a wound map generated by an array of sensors and will be adapting its remedial action as the healing progresses. Thus the prime aim of the studentship is to develop a multi-modal closed-loop wound healing EOS-based intelligent wound dressing.
It is evident combining EOS has the potential to revolutionise burn wound healing and to change the way medicine treats wounds in general, thus vastly improving survival rates and quality of life for all.
Eligibility and requirements
The candidate should have an upper second-class BSc/BEng/MEng (or equivalent, or higher) degree in Biomedical Engineering or Science or in Electrical and/or Electronic Engineering (or an equivalent subject).
They should also demonstrate an aptitude for original research and for working in collaboration with key industrial/health sector partners to maximize clinical impact, and to engage with the public and patients’ groups and charities to ensure that informed decisions on project strategy are taken and the mission is effectively communicated to the beneficiaries, both clinicians and patients.
The project will build on ongoing collaborations with industrial partners as well as fostering new collaborations to be formed along the project’s lifecycle, will allow us to move towards commercialisation strategies, including the necessary steps towards ethical approvals and appropriate TRL status for the prototype devices. The researcher will be encouraged to actively participate in generating IP along with City’s enterprise thus planning the next steps for raising further funding both academically and commercially.
Given that this project will generate a novel, adjustable sense-and-stimulate platform that will create a well-defined and reproducible healing outcome in specific types of skin wounds, namely burn wounds, the successful candidate should be able to engage fully with experiments carried out on biologically relevant samples and with our clinical and industrial collaborations, as well as with the School of Health and Psychological Sciences at City, as part of the translation to clinical and commercial relevance.
The doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
- Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research.
The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.
Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2.2K pa on an average (max. is around £4.3K pa) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to email initial informal enquiries to Iasonas Triantis.
Visit our Electrical and Electronic Engineering research degrees web page for further information on making a formal application.
When submitting your application, enter the title “Intelligent Wound Dressing for Accelerated and Controlled Healing of Burn Injuries (i-Heal)” and you will automatically be considered for this studentship.
You do not need to submit a proposal as part of your application as the project has already been outlined.
The online application can be found in the ‘How to apply section’ in the web link above and should include the following supporting documents:
- Copies of Degree Certificates and Transcripts in official English translation - original will be requested before an offer is made.
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic).
- Proof of English Language proficiency (minimum average score of 6.5 IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components) if English is not your first language.
The outcome of the selection process should be announced by the end of June. The successful candidate will formally start their doctorate either in July or in October 2022.
For queries regarding the application process, please email the School.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.
We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages.