PhD studentship: Drug Nanocrystals Manufacturing via Continuous-Flow Antisolvent Crystallization

Department of Chemical Engineering

UCL, Gower Street, London, UK

Overview

  • Posted on: 02nd Dec 2021
  • Funding amount: Funding Available
  • Funding for: EU Students, International Students, UK Students
  • REF: 1881117
  • Closes: 13th February 2022
  • Hours: Full Time

Vacancy Information

The UCL Department of Chemical Engineering is one of the top research and teaching departments in the UK and has world-class standing. The department has an extensive research portfolio across a wealth of areas, from the molecular scale to the scale of pilot and industrial plants (see www.ucl.ac.uk/chemeng). The goal of this PhD project is to develop robust manufacturing platforms for the synthesis of drug nanocrystals generated via continuous flow antisolvent crystallization.

The PhD student will carry out research in the areas of nanoparticle synthesis, chemical engineering and microfluidics. The research will involve studying experimentally and, if and when required, computationally various processes that affect nanoparticle synthesis, such as mixing, mass transfer and residence time distributions. Based on these studies, the student will design, develop, evaluate and demonstrate antisolvent crystallization flow systems for the synthesis of drug nanocrystals.

The systems will be equipped with online process analytical technology (e.g., laser diffraction, dynamic light scattering and Raman spectroscopy) to monitor crystal size and polymorphism. This will permit adjusting the nanocrystal properties continuously, enabling automated operation compatible with Industry 4.0 principles.

Studentship Description

This PhD project is part of the EPSRC-funded research project Fully Automated Platforms for Drug Nanocrystals Manufacturing via Continuous-Flow, Data-Driven Antisolvent Crystallization. This is a collaboration between the UCL Chemical Engineering Department and the UCL School of Pharmacy. The student will join a highly motivated group working at the interface of chemical engineering, chemistry, materials, and nanomedicine.

The goal of this PhD project is to develop robust manufacturing platforms for the synthesis of drug nanocrystals generated via continuous flow antisolvent crystallization. The PhD student will carry out research in the areas of nanoparticle synthesis, chemical engineering and microfluidics. The research will involve studying experimentally and, if and when required, computationally various processes that affect nanoparticle synthesis, such as mixing, mass transfer and residence time distributions.

Based on these studies, the student will design, develop, evaluate and demonstrate antisolvent crystallization flow systems for the synthesis of drug nanocrystals. The systems will be equipped with online process analytical technology (e.g., laser diffraction, dynamic light scattering and Raman spectroscopy) to monitor crystal size and polymorphism. This will permit adjusting the nanocrystal properties continuously, enabling automated operation compatible with Industry 4.0 principles.

The PhD student will have the opportunity to work with the other researchers involved in the project (two post-doctoral research assistants) and engage with the several industrial partners (e.g., GSK, Janssen, APC, Arcinova) and leading national research centres (e.g., CMAC and CPI).

Person Specification

The candidate must have or be expected to obtain a First-Class Honours degree from an MEng-level programme or its equivalent (e.g., a 3-year BEng degree followed by an MSc degree) in Chemical Engineering or an associated discipline (e.g., Mechanical Engineering and Physics). Willingness to perform independently, yet within a collaborative environment, is a must.

Eligibility

All students (both UK and Overseas) are eligible. However, the department will only pay home fees; therefore, Overseas students will have to cover the difference between home and overseas fees themselves or through a scholarship (already secured by the time they apply).

The scholarship will cover in full 3 years fees and 3.5 years stipend. The stipend for the first year (i.e., 22/23 academic year) will be 17,983, and will increase each year in line with UCL minimum stipend rates.

Applications should be submitted through: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/adminsys/search/

Please nominate Dr Luca Mazzei as supervisor and include a statement of interest.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Luca Mazzei at l.mazzei@ucl.ac.uk

Contact name

Dr Luca Mazzei

Contact details

l.mazzei@ucl.ac.uk

UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date

13 Feb 2022

Latest time for the submission of applications

23:59

Interview date

tbc

Studentship Start Date

03/10/2022

Employer Achievements:

company award