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Postgraduate research project

Microfluidic cell isolation systems for sepsis

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

In this fully funded PhD project, you’ll develop novel microfluidic technologies for early diagnosis of sepsis.  

Better treatment tools are urgently needed for blood-borne infections that can develop into sepsis, whether bacterial or fungal. In many cases, the organisms responsible for the illness are highly resistant to drugs, which makes treating them difficult.

Choosing the most appropriate treatment is a slow process that can take days.  Health services identify the best antibiotic using an Antibiotic Susceptibility Test (AST), a technique that has not changed for decades. The test extracts as few as 10 bacteria per ml of blood, which presents a challenge.

You will be developing a new generation of microfluidic tools to isolate the causative organisms. Once isolated, their susceptibility to antibiotics will be tested using a recently developed rapid AST. 

The PhD project is part funded through the Southampton Biomedical Research Centre and part of a long-term collaborative project with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).