PhD Studentship: Single-cell arrays for stem cell heterogeneity

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Amar Annamalai
Amar Annamalai's picture
PhD Studentship: Single-cell arrays for stem cell heterogeneity

University of Southampton - Bioengineering and Human factors, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment.

Qualification type:


Funding for:
UK Students, EU Students

Funding amount:
The funding covers EU/UK fees and stipend in line with EPSRC rates

Full Time

Placed on:
11th February 2015

11th May 2015


 Applications will be accepted at any time until the position is filled.
Microfluidic Single-Cell Arrays for Stem Cell Heterogeneity Studies
In recent years an unexpected degree of variation in the response of genetically identical cells to biochemical signals has been discovered, which is highly relevant for stem cell research in general and regenerative medicine in particular. Traditional bulk assays do not give useful information because they present a read-out that is the average of many different cells. Heterogeneous cell populations should hence be studied at the single-cell level, preferably in a high-througput format that can address many individual cells simultaneously.
This PhD project concerns the development of microfluidic cell arrays, where hundreds of cells are individually positioned by hydrodynamic forces, for the characterization of signalling heterogeneity in populations of mesenchymal stem cells. The project will seek to determine heterogeneity in the response to agents, delivered to the stem cells by nanoparticles, that can guide stem cell differentiation for regenerative medicine strategies.
The PhD student will fabricate the cell traps with established soft lithography methods, will manipulate the cell samples and optimize their on-chip arraying, and will analyze the optical microscopy data with semi-automated image processing methods. We are thus looking for an engineer with a strong interest in biomedical applications or for a
biochemist/biomedical scientist with an affinity for bioengineering approaches.
You will work on the microfluidic cell arrays in a large interdisciplinary research group - Hybrid Biodevices ( - that operates at the interface between the Life Sciences and Electronic Engineering, and you will work on the stem cell cultures in the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (, under the supervision of Dr Maurits de Planque (Electronics and Computer Science - and Dr Nick Evans (Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Engineering -
Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science is one of the foremost Electronics and Electrical Engineering departments in the UK (see  with a strong commitment to research at the Life Sciences Interface through the Institute for Life Sciences ( , which also encapsulates the Bioengineering research of the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Maurits de Planque, ECS, +44 (0)23 8059 9307 or Nick Evans, Bioengineering Sciences research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 23 8120 3293