Testing nanoengineered drug delivery systems to treat hearing loss

Research Opportunity
PhD
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department
Medical Bionics Department
Location
Bionics Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Niki Gunewardene NGunewardene@bionicsinstitute.org

Summary It has long been established that hair cells in the inner ear are susceptible to damage. Recent evidence has revealed that the synapses between hair cells and neurons are the first to degenerate in the ageing or noise-exposed inner ear. This project will focus on developing a treatment strategy to repair the synaptic connections in the damaged inner ear.

Project Details

It has long been established that hair cells in the inner ear are susceptible to damage. Recent evidence has revealed that the synapses between hair cells and neurons are the first to degenerate in the ageing or noise-exposed inner ear. Loss of the synaptic connections between hair cells and auditory neurons can impair our ability to understand speech in noisy environments and may be associated with the generation of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis.

This project will focus on developing a treatment strategy to repair the synaptic connections in the damaged inner ear. We have recently made significant progress in the development of a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system. Here, we are interested in further interrogating the elution profile and bioactivity of the nanoparticle released drugs. The project will involve developing an in vitro model that mimics the loss of cochlear synapses to test the efficacy of nanoparticle-delivered drugs in promoting synaptic regeneration. In addition, this model will be used to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptopathy

General methods to be used in the project:
The study will involve micro-dissection, cell culture, standard molecular biology and immunostaining techniques.

Suitable background of students:
This PhD project will suit a student with a background in cell or molecular biology, biomedical, genetics or neuroscience.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience



Research Opportunities

PhD
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medical Bionics Department

Research Node

Bionics Institute

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