PhD on Capillary Self-assembly of Biopolymer

PhD on Capillary Self-assembly of Biopolymer

Published Deadline Location
12 Jun 20 Sep Eindhoven

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Are you eager to work on a pioneering PhD project at the interface between fluid physics, soft matter physics and bioengineering? Do you enjoy collaborating with researchers from different fields, and combining theory and experiment? Then this position might be for you!

Job description

Interfacial flows in evaporating liquid droplets can form remarkably rich and complex deposition patterns of suspended microparticles or polymers. In this PhD project we will unravel how the flows inside an evaporating multi-component droplet cause the spontaneous aggregation of the biopolymer collagen into beautifully hierarchically ordered patterns. To this end, we will employ a combination of theoretical and numerical modelling, both on the molecular and the continuum scale. We will complement the modelling approach by laboratory experiments, using state-of-the-art imaging techniques. The output of the project will be a detailed understanding of collagen pattern formation in evaporating drops, and a practical method to generate a library of well-controlled collagen patterns. In collaboration with researchers at the department of Biomedical Engineering, we will use these collagen platforms to study the behavior of cells in healthy and pathological settings and exploit their use for tissue engineering applications.

The project will be carried out in the team of Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom, assistant professor in the Fluids and Flows group at the department of Applied Physics. The team focusses on the physics of interfacial flow phenomena. The PhD project will be embedded within the Immuno-engineering program of the Institute of Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Within the project you will closely collaborate with the Soft Matter and Biological Physics group within the department of Applied Physics and with researchers from Orthopaedic Biomechanics group in the department of Biomedical Engineering. You will also contribute to education in the Applied Physics department. Apart from supervising BSc and MSc students in their research projects, other assistance in education, e.g. in bachelor courses, is usually limited to about 5% of your contract time.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in physics or fluid dynamics
  • Experience in theoretical or numerical modelling in fluid dynamics, biophysics or soft-matter physics
  • Affinity with experimental fluid dynamics, biophysics or soft-matter physics
  • Pro-active and collaborative mentality
  • Eager to learn
  • Good organization and communication skills
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V34.6697


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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