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ESR8: Aalto University, Finland

Ultrasonic delivery of nucleic acids into cells, tissues and joints


The Aalto part of Carthago focuses ultrasound-stimulated cell and tissue penetration. Methods will be developed to enhance the penetration of the nucleic acids and carriers into cells, articular cartilage and intervertebral disc tissue. This project involves not only experimental work, but optimizing the methods and experimental ultrasonic devices to maximize the intended delivery. We will employ non-linear ultrasonics to achieve the goals of the project.


We are looking for a PhD candidate to investigate ultrasonic methods for delivery of nucleic acids into tissues and cells in connective tissues such as articular cartilage and intervertebral disc. These investigated state-of-the-art methods are expected to contribute to new regenerative therapies for management of degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis.

Your work will include ultrasonic experimentation with cells, tissues, building and enhancing experimental arrangements and conducting data analysis (e.g. signals, images, high-speed video). We offer you an ambitious and high-tech working environment with a well-equipped laboratory and a challenging and an interesting research topic.

Our research at the Medical Ultrasonics Laboratory (MEDUSA, http://medusa.aalto.fi) in the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering (NBE), Aalto University, focuses on innovating new ultrasound platforms for biomedical use with a goal to translate these into hospital and research environments. Ultrasound provides unconventional means to manipulate human tissue and matter on microscopic and macroscopic levels. When intended, ultrasonic exposures generating sonic force fields can be applied from a distance, e.g. through the skin. This can permit creation of non-invasive and minimally invasive methods for various medical applications. Most of the applications we investigate in our environment are intended for new diagnostics and advanced therapeutics.

The ideal candidate has:

  • Suitable M.Sc. degree with appropriate background e.g. in engineering physics, biomedical physics or biomedical engineering, or in other field relevant to the topic
  • Ability or high potential in running experiments in a diligent and highly careful and independent manner
  • Strong interest in development, testing, and using the ultrasonic methods and when necessary building experimental devices. Mastering electronics is an advantage.
  • Excellent study record.
  • Very good to excellent command of the English language and excellent team working skill.
  • Capability to work independently and learn new things quickly.

Terms of employment

The duration of the Ph.D. thesis is 4 years and the duration of the contract is 3 years. The salary for a Ph.D. candidate is approx. 2500€/month. In addition to the salary, the contract includes occupational health care and other benefits.

Please, submit your application through our recruiting system from this link. Please include the following documents in English:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Transcript of records
  • Sc. thesis, and other supporting material
  • List of references

The call is open until 20 October 2020, and we will start reviewing and interviewing candidates as applications are received. Recommendation letter(s) should be sent by email directly and not through e-recruitment system to Prof. Nieminen, no later than 20 October 2020.

The selection process will respect gender equality.

More information

If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to the supervisor of the work Asst. Prof. Heikki Nieminen (heikki.j.nieminen(at))aalto.fi). In application process related questions, please contact HR Coordinator Noora Koskivaara (noora.koskivaara(at)aalto.fi).

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with 20 000 students and nearly 400 professors. Our campus is located in Espoo, Finland. The position is located at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus right next to the Aalto University metro station, 15 min by metro from Helsinki city center.

Aalto University is an international community: more than 30% of our academic personnel are non-Finns. For more information about Aalto University and its international rankings, please visit: https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/rankings

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable and well organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed as the happiest country in the world: https://worldhappiness.report/news/finland-again-is-the-happiest-country-in-the-world/. For more information about living in Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/why-finland