The SuperCol project is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) under grant No.860914.
Colloidal particles are microscopic or even nanoscopic-sized particles whose surfaces can be functionalised. Their very large surface areas relative to their small volumes means you can load each one with many molecules to deliver and release drugs or bind pathogens and biomarkers at the target site, opening potential for powerful diagnostic and therapeutic systems. The reason that this potential is yet to be exploited is that these functionalities depend on tight and quantitative control over the number, distribution and activity of interface chemical groups which cannot yet be visualized with chemical specificity and at the single-molecule level.
The SuperCol ITN project plans to get a closer look at colloidal surfaces both visually and with receptor chemistry in order to aid development of these particle systems. To this end the project will combine super-resolution microscopy, colloidal sciences, and advanced modelling to (a) control, (b) visualize and quantify, and (c) rationally design surface-functionality to advance particle-based biomedical applications.
SuperCol establishes a unique and well-structured training network with leading R&D labs from European universities and industry in the domain of correlative microscopy and colloidal sciences. The 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will form a research team that is embedded in leading industrial and academic R&D labs. This will bridge the gap between the various disciplines by uniting their research efforts to solve the challenges. The following positions are available:
Understanding the effect of particle shape, size and composition on super-resolution localisation accuracy (Technical University of Denmark).
Nanofluidics to quantify localisation and counting accuracy under different chemical conditions (Technical University of Denmark)
Understanding the effect of plasmon resonances on super-resolution localisation accuracy (Eindhoven University of Technology).
Correlated super-resolution and electron microscopy of functional polymer particles (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research).
Design and synthesis of multilayer mixed-action colloids (KU Leuven).
Locally controlled surface chemistry to tailor the protein corona (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research).
Tailored synthesis and functionalisation of nano-and microscopic colloidal particles (HiQ Nano).
Particle-particle and particle-surface interaction mechanisms from correlated super-resolution and FRET microscopy (University of Fribourg).
Synthesis of particles with responsive ligands for super-selective parti- cle-membrane interactions (Eindhoven University of Technology).
Designing responsive polymer particles for the controlled uptake and release of small molecules (University of Fribourg).
Cluster-based immunoassays for the detection of dengue fever biomarkers in blood plasma (BluSense Diagnostics).
Responsive plasmon sensors for single-molecule sensing with superior dynamic range (Eindhoven University of Technology).
Tracking the biological fate of functional colloids in situ and in living cells (KU Leuven).
Particle-based biosensors exhibiting super-selectivity toward cholera toxin (Eindhoven University of Technology).
Modelling super-selectivity in particle-particle and particle-surface interacti- ons (University of Rome La Sapienza).