The group of prof. Verhaar (UMC Utrecht) is developing a wearable artificial kidney device, that can be used for hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) with continuous dialysate regeneration. The device should provide adequate dialysis outside the hospital, while patients stay mobile and active in social and economic life. The concept is based on toxin removal via dialysis with the dialysate being cleansed continuously via a detoxification unit.
In recent years a prototype combining electro-oxidation and sorbent technology was constructed. Clinically relevant removal of waste ions and organic compounds was demonstrated with a device of ~3kg. Although electro-oxidation seems an attractive way to limit the size of the artificial kidney and achieve a completely regenerable system, several challenges have to be overcome. Selectivity has to be ensured to minimize generation of harmful side products and efficiency has to be optimized to limit the size of the device to wearable proportions. Recent major developments in electrochemistry now allow us to extensively explore electrochemical dialysate regeneration, which includes optimization of the electrode material, functionalization of the electrode with catalytic groups or selective membranes and pulsed-potential techniques.
Your job is to elicit the exact mechanism of electrochemical degradation of urea, the most important solute that is electrochemically degraded, to improve selectivity for urea and to select the best electrochemical conditions for dialysate regeneration with optimal efficiency and biocompatibility. Another primary task is collaboration in grant writing (postdoc).
Research in this project will be conducted in close collaboration of two research groups, the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension (University Medical Center Utrecht) and the BIOS Lab-on-a-Chip Group (UTwente).
The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) is one of the largest and most innovative healthcare organizations in the Netherlands. One of its major goals is to translate results from laboratory research into new therapies for disease. Scientists pursuing basic research questions closely collaborate with clinicians involved in patient care, allowing the UMC Utrecht to remain at the forefront of new developments. A multidisciplinary approach guarantees patients’ benefit from the latest available expertise and innovative technological solutions. The Department of Nephrology and Hypertension is embedded in the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht (RMCU) where >250 UMC researchers are concentrated together with the renowned Hubrecht Institute, researchers from Utrecht University and several strategic private/public partners. The RMCU integrates fundamental and translational research, emerging technologies, and clinical care to perform high-quality research aiming at developing novel treatments.
The BIOS Lab-on-a-Chip chair (“Miniaturized systems for biomedical and environmental applications”) of UTwente aims at the research and development of Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) systems. The BIOS group is embedded within the MIRA institute for biomedical research and technical medicine, and the MESA+ institute for Nanotechnology. MESA+ is one of the world’s largest nanotechnology research institutes; and it’s the largest research institute in this field in the Netherlands.
We require a masters (PhD student) or doctoral (postdoc) degree in a relevant area of expertise. Knowledge of electrochemistry is considered as a key advantage. Experience with mass spectrometry, microfluidics and biomedical applications are highly preferred. You should be able to work independently, and have excellent theoretical and experimental skills. Fluent command of English is required. You will work in a challenging multidisciplinary environment. It is therefore essential to show willingness to look beyond disciplinary boundaries.
The salary for this 80-100% function is still to be determined. This job is based on a temporary position for 2 years (postdoctoral researcher), 3 years (PhD student).
In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).
Postdoctoral researcher: salary scale 10, PhD student: scale OIO.
If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.K.G.F. Gerritsen, internist-nephrologist, phone number: +31 (0)88 75 573 29, e‑mail adress: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.