Location University of Newcastle, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Discipline
App. deadline 28/07/2017
Funding
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Interfacing organic electronics with living tissue

A fully funded PhD position has become available for a highly motivated student at the University of Newcastle to conduct research in the area of bioelectronics.

The fields of neurobiology and electronic devices have developed rapidly in the last century, which has presented the tantalising prospect of directly interfacing electronic devices with living tissue. In this way, devices could directly supply information to the neural network of a living entity and neurons could directly trigger electronic devices thus controlling them by mere thought. A deep understanding of how neurons interact with electronic materials, in particular semiconductors, benefits a wide range of futuristic and current medical applications. Examples of applications are controlling electrical appliances by neuronal read-out, deep-brain stimulation to treat Parkinson disease, cochlear implants and retinal prosthetic devices to cure blindness or vision loss. Our research project focusses on interfacing organic electronic devices with living tissue. Organic semiconductors have been identified as a suitable class of materials that meet both the biological requirements (e.g. elasticity, ionic conduction) and electronic requirements (e.g. solid-state charge conduction), which make them an ideal material for bioelectronic applications. Research involves growing appropriate cells on organic semiconductors, eliciting and measuring action-potentials and other interactions between organic semiconductors and neurons. These results direct the development of devices such as sensors/probes, artificial retinas and other bioelectronic applications. The project aims to improve our fundamental knowledge of neuronal stimulation using organic semiconductors and develop bio-electronic devices.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, full-time PhD student preferentially with a background in biomedical science/engineering and who is highly committed to developing their skills as a researcher.
Minimum eligibility criteria: GPA of at least 5.25 out of 7; English proficiency; A research Master's Degree or Bachelor Degree with Honours Class One or equivalent.
The successful candidate must able to commence his/her PhD programme before 30 November 2017. The supervisory team consists of sensory neurobiologists, physicists and experts in organic electronics. The successful candidate will work at the Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics, which comprises chemists, physicists and engineers, and will also work within a well-known neurobiology group. The Centre for Organic Electronics was established in 2007 at the University of Newcastle and is one of Australia's leading research groups in organic electronics. The interdisciplinary nature of the project provides an exciting environment with opportunities to learn a broad range of fabrication and characterisation techniques from a wide range of scientists and engineers. To thrive in such an environment, good collaboration/communication skills are desired. The student will work under the supervision of Dr Krishna Feron, Dr Rebecca Lim, Prof Alan Brichta and Prof Paul Dastoor.

Scholarship details

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship of $26,282 p.a. (tax free) and will be eligible to apply for top-up funds. The scholarship is for a period of three and a half years. Tuition fees are covered by the University of Newcastle during this period.

How to apply
To apply for this role, please contact Dr Krishna Feron (krishna.feron@newcastle.edu.au) and provide your curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications, and relevant competencies; complete tertiary academic record (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details), and award certificate(s).



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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Krishna Feron
+61249854378