PhD student (based at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light)
Development and characterization of hydrogel microparticles with well-defined and decoupled physical and chemical properties
Supervisors: Dr. Salvatore Girardo, Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light), Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Aldo R. Boccaccini
In recent decades, the advancement in the development of different biomaterials has facilitated to deep dive into the field of mechanobiology. Tailored biomaterials to generate microenvironments in 2D (substrates) and 3D (bulk) are widely used to study the impact of mechanical properties of the cells and their surrounding in developmental biology, physiology and pathogenesis . Recently, hydrogel materials in the form of micrometer-sized particles have opened the avenue to new applications in mechanobiology, where these particles have been used as mechanical references, cell-scale stress sensors, cell-mimicking entities and constitutive components of novel 3D scaffolds [2,3]. Nevertheless, to widen their use and enable future novel applications, fine control on the physical and chemical properties of the microparticles together with an easy and reliable production are essential. The goal of this project is to develop well-controlled high-throughput methods to produce, functionalize and characterize hydrogel microparticles with well-defined and decoupled physical and chemical properties mimicking cell and tissue. These particles will constitute unique and flexible tools whose properties can be adjusted to match the requirements of different applications to study the interplay between cell/tissue physical properties and their biological functions.
The project is being carried out at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Guck Division
 G. Huang, F. Li, X. Zhao, Y. Ma, Y. Li, M. Lin, G. Jin, T. J. Lu, G. M. Genin and F. Xu, Chemical Reviews, 2017, 117, 12764–12850.
 A. C. Daly, L. Riley, T. Segura and J. A. Burdick, Nature Reviews Materials, 2020, 5, 20–43.
 S. Girardo, N. Träber, K. Wagner, G. Cojoc, C. Herold, R. Goswami, R. Schlüßler, S. Abuhattum, A. Taubenberger, F. Reichel, D. Mokbel, M. Herbig, M. Schürmann, P. Müller, T. Heida, A. Jacobi, E. Ulbricht, J. Thiele, C. Werner and J. Guck, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2018, 6, 6245–6261.