TUM “Long range motion of DNA nanorobots facilitated by microcarriers”

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship in DNA-based soft robotics at the Technical University Munich in Garching, Germany (TUM). The project will be conducted in the research group of Professor Friedrich Simmel at the Physics Department of TUM. The position is available from August 1, 2018.

Research area and project description:

The project aims at the development of an interface between the nanoscopic world of DNA-based nanorobots and active microparticles that enable long range transport. DNA nanotechnology will be used to create asymmetric functionalization of colloidal particles or vesicles to induce motion of the structures within, e.g., chemical or physical gradients within microfluidic environments. Several methods for long range propulsion of the microcarriers such as diffusiophoresis or autoelectrophoresis will be explored. Furthermore, we will attempt to facilitate chemically driven swarming of the microcarriers. This physics-oriented project combines aspects of DNA nanotechnology and non-equilibrium soft matter physics.

The position is for 3 years and is funded by the PhD school DNA-Robotics, a recently established Innovative Training Network (ITN) under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions research fellowship programme. DNA-Robotics will foster the development of a new generation of scientists with the skills required to meet future challenges in bionanotechnology, from fundamental science to novel applications. The PhD study involves 3 months of secondments in total at one or more of the other partner universities in the network.

Qualifications and specific competences:

The successful candidate should have completed a master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics/Biophysics no later than August 1, 2018. Apart from an excellent academic record, the candidate should have an interest in interdisciplinary experimental work between biochemistry and physics paired with theoretical and computer skills. To qualify for funding under the rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie action, candidates must: i) not have lived in Germany for more than 12 months in the last 3 years ii) not already possess a PhD degree and iii) be in the first four years of their research career, since, for example, completion of a masters’ degree.

Application procedure and deadlines:

Application deadline: April 1st 2018.

Starting date is flexible between August 1st and November 1st 2018.

For further information please contact Professor Friedrich Simmel by email (simmel@tum.de) writing “DNA-Robotics” in the subject line, and/or visit the homepages of the research group and the DNA-Robotics network http://www.dna-robotics.eu/.