The starting date, the duration is flexible. It depends on your internship program. It's 6 months to 1 year for master thesis in general.
The success of biomaterials transplantation is often compromised by host recognition, eliciting activation of an undesired immune cascade, which can lead to fibrosis and necrosis of encapsulated cells. Biomaterials that are able to modulate the immune response to avoid such adverse effect may pave the way for longer transplants survival and eventually improved therapeutic outcomes.
Mucins are a group of glycoproteins that are ubiquitous molecules either bound to the cell membrane or in a secreted form, assemble into the mucus hydrogel and protect our epithelium from dehydration, mechanical and chemical stresses, and pathogens. Mucin can modulate the immune reaction during infections. Sialic acids residues, also present at the tip of mucin glycosylation, are recognized as important modulators of immunity.
To utilize the immune modulation capacity of these macromolecules, the current challenge is to develop biomaterials which are rich of mucins. Herein, we synthesized mucin hydrogels based on biorthogonal chemistry, with tunable sialic acid composition, and investigated how mucin materials and their sialic acid residues modulate immune reactions in vitro and in vivo. We also investigated the fibrosis after implanting the mucin hydrogels intraperitoneally in a mouse model. We found the mucin hydrogels could dampen innate immune activation, and inhibited the fibrous capsule formation.
The master student will be involved in mucin droplets for pancreatic islets transplantation project. The main task would include testing the 3D cultured the organoids’ viability, and function with the focus on insulin secretion after a long term in vitro.
Figure: Islets-like organoids formed after culturing the cell line and embedded inside of the mucin hydrogels.
You will be hosted in the division of glycoscience, in the School of biotechnology of KTH (Stockholm, Sweden). Our laboratory provides the student a dynamic, international, and multidisciplinary research team. The student will perform and gain expertise in mucin material synthesis, 2D and 3D mammalian cell culture, molecule biology technique, immunochemistry staining and imaging. Visit our website for more information about the group: biopolymersforlife.org
Requirements MSc students
We are looking for enthusiastic, motivated students, who enjoy working as part of a team as well as independently. Ideally, candidates have some previous practical experience or interested in learning methods used in molecular biology.
Please send us a short description of your relevant work experience, your CV, and your motivation if you are interested in doing a research project in this program for your degree. Please also indicate the period during which you are available.