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Control and Measurement of Dissolved Oxygen in Microfluidic Devices - PhD

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is an important parameter with significant effect on cellular development and function. Micro-scale laminar flow and hydrodynamic focusing provide ideal tools for the generation of controlled chemical micro-environments and their application as stimuli to cells.

In this project we will explore the control and measurement of the cellular oxygen micro-environment. The focus will be on the use of integrated oxygen sensors developed by Dr Volker Nock to investigate the effect of oxygen on endometrial cancer cells, their proliferation and resistance to therapy. In particular we will focus on 3D micro-tumours together with Prof John Evans’ group at the Christchurch School of Medicine and on the use of immiscible-phase droplet microfluidics for high-throughput oxygen-dependent screening of such tumours. To enable this, the project will investigate the extension of oxygen control and measurement to individual droplets via both simulation and microfluidic experiment.

The successful candidate will have enthusiasm, a good honours or masters degree in electrical engineering (with micro-/nanofabrication experience) or biomedical engineering, and a desire to work in a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment. 


The successful candidate will be a member of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national Center of Research Excellence the provides may collaborative opportunities and a thriving environment to work in. The scholarship is worth approx $27,000 per annum and includes all student fees.

The research will take place at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, which has recently been rated as one the world’s top 10 cities to visit by Lonely Planet.

Please note that all applications must include:

- A full Curriculum Vitae, INCLUDING your University transcript (i.e. list of grades awarded).

- The names of at least two people who are prepared to act as referees.

- Evidence of your English language ability.

- A clear statement about when you would expect to be able to come to NZ.

Only applications received before the deadline of 11 March 2013 will be considered. All applications should be emailed to