The MeBioS Division of the Biosystems Department at KU Leuven investigates the interaction between biological systems and physical processes.
The Biosensors group within the division was founded in 2005 and is headed by prof. Jeroen Lammertyn. The group currently counts 5 postdocs and 20 PhD students.
Its fundamental research activities focus on the development of novel bio-molecular detection concepts and miniaturized analysis systems.
The applications span a broad range of sectors including food (e.g. pathogen detection and allergenicity screening), agriculture (e.
g. progesterone detection in milk) and medical diagnostics (e.g. cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases).
The MeBioS-Biosensors group closely follows the emerging field of biosensing and is active in the following domains (1) Bio-assay development (e.
g. aptamers, biofunctionalized nanomaterials), (2) Optical sensors (e.g. fiber optic SPR sensors) and (3) Microfluidics (e.g. lab-on-a-chip technology).
As a PhD candidate you should fulfil the following requirements :
g. microfabrication, microfluidics, bioassay development)
Today, 12 billion chicks from layer lines are yearly h atched worldwide with only 50% raised as laying hens for egg production.
Whereas the remaining 50% are males with inefficient growth for meat production. Billions of healthy animals are killed at birth, raising substantial ethical concern.
Therefore, an alternative method is required to pre-select males during embryonic development. This method is called in ovo sexing and allows more humane male culling.
At present, none of the in ovo sexing methods fulfil the industry requirements. The aim of this project is to develop a new in ovo sexing method for gender identifying chicken embryos.
As a PhD researcher you will study and develop microfluidic sensor technology that allows to sample and identify / measure relevant biomarkers during embryological development.
You will rely on the microfluidic-based technologies previously established within the Biosensors group and will receive multidisciplinary support within the MeBioS Division which has a long-lasting history in performing research at the interface between sensor technology and agriculture / poultry applications.