PhD Position: Nanoparticles and smart polymer composites for active control of cell microenvironments in biomedical applications

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The multifunctional and active materials group at BCMaterials, combines active polymers with hybrid nanomaterials for advanced applications including biomedicine, electronics, energy, or environmental remediation. Properties such as piezoelectricity, magnetostriction, magnetoelectricity, photo- and magneto-thermia, and pyroelectricity among others, are used in smart materials that present a stimulus-responsive 4D response. Of particular importance are the materials designed for biomedical purposes that can generate physically active microenvironments. The generated physical stimuli of those microenvironments have a profound effect on cell functions (growth/inhibition, migration, differentiation, signaling, etc.) and have enormous potential in applications ranging from tissue engineering, antibacterial surfaces, or cancer therapies (1, 2). Moreover, those materials can be highly enhanced by the use of multicomponent nanoparticles that increase the range of stimuli and provide novel functionalities(3, 4).
Selected references:(1) Colloids Surfaces B Biointerfaces, 2015, 136, 46–55 (2), Nat. Protoc., 2018, 13, 681–704, (3) Small, 2020, 16, 1904960, (4) Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 9467–9480