PhD Opportunity – upstream platform development for the production of therapeutic exosomes

About the project:

Exosomes are a type of extracellular vesicle (EV), nano-sized membrane-bound particles that are naturally released by cells. They carry nucleic acids, proteins and other species and are involved in cell-to-cell communications. The ability of exosomes to deliver biological messages to cells has resulted in significant interest in investigating them as a novel therapeutic platform, both within academia and industry and there are a number of clinical trials already underway. However, given the novel nature of exosomes as a therapeutic platform, there is no widely accepted standard biomanufacturing process.

The aim of this project is to develop a platform upstream process for exosome production. A platform production process must be robust, scalable and cost effective while maintaining the quality attributes of the exosome such that the product is guaranteed to be safe and efficacious for the patient. Factors such as cell type, culture vessel e.g. 2D planar systems such as the Nunc Cell Factory or microcarrier cultures, mode of operation and process conditions will be evaluated and the performance of the process assessed in terms of quality, productivity and manufacturability. A fundamental understanding of the relationship between the process conditions and process performance will be developed and form the basis for a suitable platform process to be identified.

Eligible candidates:

  • Hold (or are soon to hold) a primary degree in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline eg chemical / biochemical engineering, biotechnology etc.
  • Are motivated, curious and enthusiastic with an excellent academic record.
  • Have the ability to work independently and part of a team.

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