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Two PhD students - Topics of blood-material interactions

The Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques is an application-oriented, non-university research institute of the Free State of Thuringia and an affiliated Institute of the Ilmenau Technical University with a highly developed technical infrastructure. Our stringent interdisciplinary high-level research focus “Biotechniques at Interfaces” aims for “Engineering of Molecular and Cellular Procedures for Disease Modeling”. Special topics are e.g. personalized and early diagnosis of diseases, follow-up of therapies, the impact of therapeutic drugs and influence of biofilms on human health by means of 3D cell models in combination with smart technical materials as scaffolds. Basic technologies of our research are fast broadband bio-impedance spectroscopy, drop-based microfluidics and functionalization of bio-interfaces, established in three departments with about 60 employees.

For the work of the junior research group of 3D cell structures and smart materials for disease modelling and in cooperation with the other PhD Students of the Institute we are looking for

two PhD students / Doktorand/in

for the following projects

1. Development of a Biosensor for the Detection of Pathogenic HIT Antibodies

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), the most frequent immune-mediated adverse drug reaction involving blood cells, occurs up to 5% patients receiving the antithrombotic drug heparins, which can lead to life-threatening. Patients with HIT develop some antibodies which can bind to antigens on platelet membrane and mediate platelets that lead to platelet aggregation/activation or the death of cells. Detection of pathogenic HIT antibodies in patient sera is still challenging. To date, enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) are widely used to detect these anti-bodies because of their high sensitivity and the fast turnover rate. However, the accuracy is only ~50%. Treatment for patients without pathogenic HIT antibodies can result in serious consequences such as venous limb gangrene or fatal hemorrhage. We have recently shown a distinct binding characteristic between pathogenic and non-pathogenic HIT antibodies (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14945).

With the recently archived data on HIT, you will develop, implement, and test with an electrical biosensor to better detect pathogenic HIT antibodies based on the established sensor at iba. For this aim, methodologies such as electrical impedance spectroscopy, single-molecule force spectroscopy based AFM, CD spectroscopy, Surface plasma resonance, and Enzyme immunoassays will be utilized

2. Monitoring of Platelet-Surface Activation induced by topographic Nanopatterning

To date, platelets can be stored up to five days in a plastic bag. The short lifetime of storage platelets has been attributed to the development of bacteria. However, platelets are extremely sensitive, and some can adhere to the surface of the bag and quickly activate that trigger platelet aggregation/activation in the whole bag. This factor, however, has not been carefully considered. Modulation of platelet-surface activation is important for not only platelet storage but also other biotechnological applications in medicine.

Nevertheless, reducing platelet-surface activation is challenging because they activate immediately after short contact with non-physiological surfaces. Slowing down platelet-surface activation is still difficult. Beside existing biochemical strategies to decrease surface-triggered platelet activation, it has been shown that topographical micro- and nanostructure can guide and modulate platelet adhesion and spreading. Nevertheless the modulation of surface induced platelet activation on scales of nanopatterns ?500 nm remains unclear. This project focus on a systematical development of nanopatterns of different shapes and scales by two-photon polymerization (2PP). The effect of structure sizes and shapes on platelet activation will be investigated by SEM, AFM, CD spectroscopy, and CLSM with a special focus on changes of the 3D cell structure.

In Addition, 3D cell structure changes induced by topographical nanopatterning can be referenced by defined photoinduced cutting in cells by 2-Photon-Manipulation and comparative studies on cell structure changes induced by specific anti-PF4/Heparin antibodies.

The global objective is to extend existing models of platelet adherence, spreading and activation by the influence of topographically induced effects and changes in the three-dimensional cell structure.

Prerequisites are a completed scientific university degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, physical chemistry or comparable disciplines and experienced preferably in highly sensitivity methodologies, skilled in proteins and blood cells. Self-responsible and conscientious working methods, safe manner, presentation skill, team-work, abilities in spoken and written German and English are among your strengths.

iba offers its highly developed technical equipment and infrastructure, a pleasant and professional working environment in an interdisciplinary and international constituted research team, opportunities to cooperate with other research groups and institutions and an exciting research field with ample opportunities to employ creativity. Work life balance is ensured by flexible work time.

The PhD position is initially limited to three years. The salary will be based upon German TV-L rules (E 13, with 65 of a hundred). Our institute strives to increase the number of female employees and urges qualified female scientists to apply. For more information, please contact the head of the junior research group, Dr. Thi-Huong Nguyen (thi-huong.nguyen@iba-heiligenstadt.de).

Please send your application with the usual documents and the subject "PhD-NFG-X03/2019" until 22.07.2019 to:


Institut für Bioprozess- und Analysenmesstechnik e. V.


D-37308 Heilbad Heiligenstadt





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