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PhD position M/F - Development of 3D nanoprobe technologies for recording and stimulation of in-vitr

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UPR8001-FILCRI-003
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Tuesday, October 08, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Guilhem Larrieu
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 January 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Health costs are expected to increase rapidly in the near future due to aging populations around the world. In this context, cost effective technologies are crucial for biomedical applications, especially for complex and chronic pathologies such as neurodegenerative diseases. While single-cell recording can be achieved by micropipette-based techniques, simultaneous recording of the activity of several cells with high resolution has so far been impossible. To tackle this problem, we are developing a bio-platform integrating vertical nanowire probes using a large-scale manufacturing process using conventional microelectronics techniques. These 3D nanostructures allow a very high affinity with the interfaced cell while being very weakly intrusive because of their low dimensionality.

The goal of this thesis is to continue the development of this 3D nanosonde technology by orienting research on sub-cellular neuronal interface to construct hybrid synapses between a defined part of the neuron and the nanoprobe. To do so, the developments will focus on the nanosonde interface material engineering, the cell culture engineering on these nanostructure substrates as well as the functional neuron-on-chip development to monitor and modulate the electrical activity of networks of healthy neurons then sick (Alzheimer). Our ultimate goal is to validate the system by evaluating the effect of drugs on Alzheimer's disease on neurons derived from human stem cells (iPSCs).

Work Context

With a large number of permanent researchers (180), engineers (90) and doctoral students (150) and a long-standing partnership with the industrial world, the LAAS-CNRS is located at the crossroads of scientific challenges, innovation and applications. LAAS-CNRS has one of the main technological facilities for basic technological research (BTR) in micro and nanotechnologies, with a state-of-the-art clean room of 1600 m². The project will benefit from its new chemistry and biology laboratory and support from associated technical staff, who are highly experienced in cultures of primary neurons from different brain areas.

The PhD student will be a member of the MPN team that is recognized in the development of functional nano-devices for nanoelectronics and neuroelectronics.

The project will mainly be carried out in the host laboratory in Toulouse, but the doctoral student will work in a very stimulating context of international research within the framework of an European project. Numerous exchanges and interactions with the project partners (Switzerland, Italy, Greece) will stimulate the multidisciplinary research.

Additional Information

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic young researcher who will be involved in this project, curious, with a certain autonomy and a strong motivation to develop skills at the interface between nanotechnologies and neuroscience. In addition, the candidate must be able to work in a team on multidisciplinary projects. Holder of an engineering degree and / or a master's degree, the position requires solid knowledge in nanotechnology and electronic devices and / or neuroscience. Expertise in neuronal cell cultures or electrophysiology would be an advantage. Comprehensive training in other aspects will be provided in the project's multidisciplinary environment. Very good oral and written communication skills in English are required for interactions with project partners but also for presenting at conferences and writing articles in scientific journals. In addition, the candidate must be able to work in a team on multidisciplinary projects.

Applications should include a detailed CV; at least two references (people likely to be contacted); a cover letter of one page; a one-page summary of the master thesis; the marks of Master 1 or 2 or engineering school).

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