07/03/2019 Offres d'emploi

Offre de Thèse- ECL - 2019

Thesis on Noble metal seeded oxide nanoparticles as nanozyme biosensors at Ecole Centrale de Lyon

PhD proposal: "Noble metal seeded oxide nanoparticles as nanozyme biosensors".

Starting from October 2019.

Domain and scientific context:

The combination of several materials on the surface of a nanoparticle is of great interest in the field of catalysis [Qin 2019]. In particular, the immobilization of gold or platinum nanocatalyzers on oxide nanoparticles allows increasing their efficiency, because oxidation reactions are preferentially achieved onto oxygen vacancies [Song 2013]. It also avoids nanocatalyzers aggregation and improves their stability. Nanozymes are hybrid nanoparticles with catalytic properties that can mimic the behaviour of natural enzymes [Walther 2018]. It was recently shown that nanozymes can be used as ultrasensitive and ultrafast biosensors able to detect target molecules with a concentration as low as 0.1 ppm and in few minutes, using aptamers as bioreceptors [Sharma 2014]. The presence of aptamers onto nanoparticles surface blocks the enzymatic oxidation. When biological target is injected, aptamers leave the surface to engage with the target and the enzymatic oxidation is restored. Using the specificity of aptamers, any kind of biological target (oligonucleotides, proteins, cells, bacteria) could be detected.

Keywords : Nanozyme, catalysis, biosensor, aptamer.


The objectives of the thesis will be to design new nanoparticles composed of a lithium niobate or iron oxide core with nanometric gold or platinum seeds deposited on its surface and to use them as nanozymes for the detection of several biological targets. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, enzymatic activities of multimaterial nanoparticles have not yet been described. It may well be that the resulting vicinity of the two nanomaterials (noble metal seeds/oxide nanoparticles) in the nanohybrids give rise to new catalytic activities or synergies by mimicking the colocalization of enzymatic activities as cells do

Profile of the candidate:

The candidate will hold a MSc in (bio)chemistry or materials. He(she) will like experimental work and be able to work at the inferace of chemistry and biology. He(she) will not have studied in France for more than 2 years over the last 3 years.

Objectives for the valorization of the research work: Publications in peer-review international journals (minimum 2), conferences (at least 1 in France and 1 abroad). No constraints of confidentiality except if the results could be patented.

Skills that will be developed during the PhD :

At the end of the thesis, the PhD student will have acquired skills in chemical functionalization, biochemical assays, biosensor development, etc., and will be autonomous on several microscopic characterization (TEM) and spectroscopic (IR) techniques. He(she) will also learn to valorize his work in terms of publications and patents.

Funding type:

COFUND (ECLAUsion program) Marie Slodowska Curie Action (MSCA). Within this programme funded by the EU, Ecole centrale de Lyon and RMIT (Melbourne), the PhD fellow will sign a three-year work contract with ECL, will spend ~ two years in EC-Lyon (France) and ~ one year in RMIT (Melbourne) in Australia. There are no nationality conditions to apply but the candidates must fulfill the MSCA mobility conditions, which means that she/he must not have stayed more than 1 year in France during the last 3 years immediately before the call deadline (31/05/2019)

More information can be found at: eclausion.ec-lyon.fr/index.php/phd-proposals/13-phd-proposal-09


Bibliographic references about the PhD topic :

  • [Qin 2019] L. Qin et al, Sci. Total Environ. 2019, 652, 93.

  • [Sharma 2014] T. K. Sharma et al, Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 15856.

  • [Song 2013] W. Song et al, J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 2, 7721.

  • [Walther 2018] R. Walther et al, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1.