Biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials for targeted biomedical imaging

Biomedical imaging is a very important tool in cell biology and disease diagnosis. It not only allows investigating the basic biological processes at cellular level but also facilitating early diagnosis and understanding the pathological processes. Furthermore, it is also possible to achieve precision imaging-guided therapy. Nanomaterials and nanotechnology have played a significant role in this field as many advantages can be provided such as strong signal, excellent contrast, long circulation time, high stability, and the possibility of integration of multiple materials and probes for all-in-one applications.

The project to be carried out in the Institute for Bioengineering at the University of Edinburgh is going to be focused on designing novel types of biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials for biomedical imaging. The research will be predominantly on synthesising nanomaterials followed by various surface modification. A wide range of characterisation tools will be employed for characterisation and application test of the nanostructures.

To undertake this research, we are seeking a highly motivated candidate with established hands-on experience in nanomaterials synthesis and cell biology. Applications are particularly welcome from candidates with organic chemistry research experience.

Our track record in this work:

  1. X Chen, WJ Zhang, Diamond nanostructures for drug delivery, bioimaging, and biosensing, Chemical Society Reviews, 46, 734-760, 2017.
  2. RR Xu, LM Huang, X Chen, WJ Wei, XH Zhang, XJ Zhang, Real-time imaging and tracking of ultrastable organic dye nanoparticles in living cells, Biomaterials, 93, 38-47, 2016.
  3. MH Lan, JF Zhang, PF Wang, X Chen, CS Lee, WJ Zhang, Highly stable organic fluorescence nanorods for living cell imaging, Nano Research, 8(7), 2380-2389, 2015.
  4. J Yu, XJ Zhang, XJ Hao, XH Zhang, MJ Zhou, CS Lee, X Chen, Near-infrared fluorescence imaging using organic dye nanoparticles, Biomaterials, 35, 3356-3364, 2014.

Further Information: 

Closing Date: 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Principal Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, biomedical engineering, or cell biology.

English language requirements need to be satisfied by EU/Overseas applicants. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


EPSRC funded (see EPSRC student eligibility). Tuition fees + stipend available for Home students or EU students who have been resident in the UK for 3 years.  International students or EU students who have not been resident in the UK for 3 years are not eligible for the funding, however applications are welcome from those who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere, or who have their own funding.

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: