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H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships (Advanced Multimodal Heteroestructured Nanoparticles for Imaging, Therapy and Diagnosis Project)

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ICN2 is a renowned research centre. Its research lines focus on the newly discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behaviour of matter at the nanoscale.

The Institute promotes collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds (physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering) to develop basic and applied research, while seeking out new ways to interact with local and global industry.

It also offers researchers training in nanotechnology, develops numerous activities to promote and enable the uptake of nanotechnology by industry, and promotes networking among scientists, engineers, technicians, business people, society, and policy makers.

ICN2 was accredited in 2014 as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence and is a founding member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). The aim of the Severo Ochoa Program, sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, are to identify and support those Spanish research centres that demonstrate scientific leadership and impact at global level.

Job Title:  H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF 2017) Advanced Multimodal Heteroestructured Nanoparticles for Imaging, Therapy and Diagnosis Project.

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/msca-if-2017.html

Research area or group:

http://www.inorganicnanoparticles.net/

http://icn2.cat/en/inorganic-nanoparticles-group

The Inorganic Nanoparticles Group, led by ICREA Research Professor Víctor Puntes (with joint appointments in the Vall Hebron Institute de Recerca (VHIR) (2015)) works on the synthesis, characterization and application of engineered inorganic nanoparticles. The Group consists of one senior researcher, Dr. Neus G. Bastús (Ramon y Cajal), a laboratory engineer, 1 postdoc, 4 doctoral students and 2 undergraduate students.

The general focus of its research is very broad, placing special emphasis on the nanoparticle's engineering and design in view of their applicability in materials science, energy harvesting and conversion, catalysis, environmental remediation and nanobiomedicine. The main scientific objectives of the group include i) the design and development of synthetic strategies for the production of complex nanoparticles, in detail multicomponent and hollow nanoparticles of different materials (metal, oxides and semiconductors), ii) their functionalization with specific relevant (bio)molecules, iii) the study of their fundamental properties and reactivity, and iv) the understanding of their physicochemical transformations (aggregation, degradation, corrosion and interactions with proteins) after their exposure in relevant in operando scenarios and during their full live cycle. As a result, we design advanced catalysts to improve energy-chemical processes, optimize NP's features to enhance the production of hydrogen or boost the Biogas production and design and produce new drug-delivery platforms.

The Inorganic Nanoparticles Group possess an extensive and pioneering background in these fields that allow to establish and develop numerous scientific collaborations within other ICN2 working groups, such as Supramolecular NanoChemistry & Materials Group, Magnetic Nanostructures Group and Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group. Besides, the Inorganic Nanoparticles Group is in close contact with a wide number of international groups which focus their research either on the synthesis and characterization of NPs or their applicability. This collaboration is promoted and enforced by the 3 EU projects in which the group is involved.

Project Description:

ADVANCED MULTIMODAL HETEROESTRUCTURED NANOPARTICLES FOR IMAGING, THERAPY AND DIAGNOSIS.

Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) which can simultaneously perform multiple functions, such as diagnosis with imaging modalities and complementary therapeutic strategies are emerging as potential probes in next-generation biomedical applications. These multifunctional platforms are advanced NPs with a high level of compositional and structural complexity. Among them noble metal hollow NPs comprise a novel class of nanostructures possessing void interiors and porous walls that can be used as innovative biomedical platforms for sensing, delivery, imaging and radiotherapy. The sensing, imaging and the radiosensitization potentialities of these NPs arise from their strong plasmonic fields (in comparison with solid counterparts), large and tunable absorption/scattering cross-sections, and the large X-ray extinction coefficient of Au respectively. Moreover, hollow NPs are candidates for photothermal therapies because their plasmon band can be tuned into the near-infrared (where the attenuation of light by blood and soft tissue is greatly reduced), with absorbed photons being converted into phonons that produce a localized temperature increase.

The general purpose of this project is to design and develop complex noble metal hollow NPs which an improved applicability in biomedicine. The specific objectives involve: i) the controlled high yield synthesis of these NPs, in particular their uniformity in size, dimension of void interiors and chemical composition, ii) their functionalization with specific biomolecules, iii) the study of their physicochemical stability (aggregation, corrosion, dissolution and protein corona) after dispersion in biological environments and iv) the evaluation of their use in sensing, delivery, imaging and therapy.

As a result, the candidate will be specifically trained to gain interdisciplinar knowledge in the design and development of nanocrystals for biomedicine. In addition to acquiring a broad scientific multidisplinary knowledge, the candidate will be additionally trained on education, safety, viability and sustainability of nanostructured materials, including regulation and ethics. He/she will gain communication and technology transfer skills and will be trained from the beginning to get familiar and follow the Good Laboratory Practice and Responsible Research and Innovation principles.

How to apply:

All applications must be sent to Victor F. Puntes/Neus G. Bastús (victor.puntes@icn2.cat / neus.bastus@icn2.cat ) and include the following:

1.              A full CV including contact details.

2.              Motivation letter.

3.              2 recommendation letters.

Deadline for applications: 30th June 2017.

Equal opportunities:

ICN2 is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities.