PhD student In biomaterials development to rewire the spinal cord after injury

PhD student In biomaterials development to rewire the spinal cord after injury

Published Deadline Location
31 Oct 30 Nov Eindhoven

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Are you inspired to is to incorporate supramolecular chemistry into innovative biomaterials?

Job description

The ReWIRE* project is set up to equip next-generation scientists with unique skills to develop ground-breaking therapeutic solutions for patients with paralysis. The specific transdisciplinary and translational aspects will fill a gap in the traditional education programs and foster R&D competence in the field of medical products and therapies focused on spinal cord injury (SCI). The first objective is to establish an international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral educational network that develops and links high-tech routes into new personalized, combinatorial approaches to rewire the spinal cord. The second objective is to build a clinical data platform for SCI. The third objective is to position Europe at the forefront of therapy for SCI. ReWIRE follows an international, inter­dis­ciplinary, and intersectoral approach organized in 8 and 7 inter­wo­ven work and training packages, respectively.

The main objective at TU/e, in the Biomedical Materials & Chemistry research group, is the development of innovative hydrogel biomaterials using supramolecular chemistry to contribute to rewiring the spinal cord. Supramolecular chemistry utilizes directed, specific non-covalent interactions to render hydrogels visco-elastic and shear-thinning. The shear-thinning properties allow for injections, thus facilitating the injection process in vivo. The challenge will be to design a hydrogel material that fulfills the requirements to be applied in the spinal cord.

The training and research parts are focused on developing the next generation specialists and technologies in the European Research Area (ERA) to conform to the rapidly evolving technologies for individualized therapies to treat SCI. Specifically, ReWIRE aims to establish meaningful long-term and autonomous functional recovery by combining axonal regrowth and reconnection with new neuronal circuits, controlled by the brain and boosted by neuromodulation. The overall goal is to translate combinatorial SCI therapies from bench to bedside in a timely manner, thereby improving the quality of life and reducing societal burden. To regenerate the spinal cord, axons must be reactivated and stimulated, chemo-attracted, supported, and guided across the lesion site and into the spared tissue. Plasticity of spared connections must be generated in combination with functional new connections via the formation of terminal-like contacts, exhibiting synaptic markers and re-establishing electrophysiological conduction capacity across the lesion. The convergent approach will lead to combinatorial therapies to repair the spinal cord after injury, which, to date, has not been successful using individual therapies.

* Partners of ReWIRE: DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (Aachen); Pepscan (Netherlands); Technische Universität Hamburg (Germany); Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands); ONWARD Medical (Netherlands); Clinatec (France); Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna Pisa (Italy); Wearable Robotics (Italy); Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (Switzerland); Zürich University (Switzerland); Imperial College London (UK); King's College London (UK)


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree in (Bio)Chemistry, Materials Science or Biomedical Engineering.
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Have interest in an R&D career on biomaterials for biomedical applications.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with various partners (e.g. other institutions).
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Expertise: Chemistry, Biochemistry, (Bio)Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering.

Start of the project is on the 1st of January 2023. The researcher must not have been located in the Netherlands for longer than 6 months prior to the start of the project.

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 (starting at € 2.541,- gross per month).
  • 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.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V50.6049


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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