PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
There are many applications that require real-time continuous chemical measurements in complex media that are not possible with existing methods. Bioreactors are devices used in biomanufacturing and various research domains for cultivation of various biological organisms. To optimally culture these, the right conditions must be provided which requires real-time measurement of relevant targets inside the complex media of the bioreactor. Another use case is measurement inside the human body, for example in the gastro-intestinal tract to assess dietary intake, general gut health or certain chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac’s disease and Crohn’s disease. Novel ingestible electronic devices could result in a paradigm shift in this field, but existing sensors are not suitable yet. In this PhD research, the aim is to develop novel miniaturized electrochemical sensors that can operate in challenging conditions while providing real-time continuous measurement of relevant targets in complex media.
The proposed PhD research will focus on the development of a miniaturized electrochemical sensor platform capable of monitoring relevant ions/molecules in complex matrices, such as culture media, bioreactors and even real bodily fluids. Such platform will comprise solid contact ion selective electrodes (SC-ISE) capable of sensing Na+, K+ and NH4+ and an impedimetric sensors for the determination of short chain fatty acids (SCFA).
The proposed research scope includes:
The ideal background for this research is chemistry or physics. Any prior experience or training in electro-chemistry, lab experience and/or cleanroom manufacturing will certainly be useful.
Required background: Chemistry or Physics
Type of work: 70% experimental and lab work, 10% prototype development using cleanroom tools, 10% literature study, 10% modeling and simulation
Supervisor: Chris Van Hoof
Co-supervisor: Irene Taurino
Daily advisor: Francesca Leonardi, Nick Van Helleputte
The reference code for this position is 2024-121. Mention this reference code on your application form.