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H2020 / MSCA / Individual Fellowships: researcher (MD or PHD) in biomedicine / biotechnology with technical skills for the development of a mini mobile laboratory to perform toxicological testing of substances, chemicals, ingredients, etc. on site




A small German precision engineering company seeks a researcher to be funded by HORIZON 2020 – MSCA / "Society and Enterprise Panel". The objective of the innovation project is to develop a mobile mini-laboratory for toxicology testing of biological substances, chemicals as well as ingredients of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals on human samples. Applicants must hold a MD or PhD in biomedicine / biotechnology and have technical skills related to device development and tool building.


The REACH Regulation requires all chemicals and substances to be tested with regard to their hazard potential to humans, animals and the environment. Many industrial sectors are affected by this regulation e.g. cosmetics, nutritional supplements, functional food, medicine, detergents, cleaning agents, etc..
Currently test methods are predominantly based on comparative models of animal experiments with mice and rats implicating serious ethical issues these days. Nevertheless, recent research has generated a number of animal-free test methods. But costs and time effort are high because they still need to be performed in laboratories with the respective technical equipment and trained staff. This is a big disadvantage especially for smaller innovative companies with fast product development cycles.
A German company, specialised in optical instruments, precision mechanics, process engineering and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) development is planning to recruit a researcher for respective R&D project in order to address the following main problems:
1st: ethical issues as well as limited explication and transferability of animal tests to human applications
2nd: time and cost intensive laboratory test procedures
The objective of this project is to develop an effective, autarkic, mobile mini-laboratory in order to perform toxicity test on site, without relying on animal experiments and the need for special permissions.
Based on three already existing technical components/solutions a mobile device will be developed, which allows toxicity testing of any substance on chicken embryos (embryo toxicity testing for pregnant women) or human tissue samples (e.g. skin).
The three components are:
1st: optical unit for visualization and recording of the toxicity test progress and results (cell/tissue reactions to specific substances varying in terms of concentration, time of exposure, apoptosis, morphology etc.)
2nd: small climatised sterile test room (box/container with dimensions of around 500x500x500 mm)
3rd: handling technique/optimal test procedure inside the climatised test room (object holder, reaction vessel, test samples/substances to be tested as well as a special positioning system for placing the optical system above the test objects inside the climatised room)
The following working steps and the respective involvement of the researcher are envisaged in the project:
1. Establishing the theoretical basis for the implementation of the proposed variants of the toxicological investigation methods on a technological platform
2. Determination of the starting point for toxicological investigations with regard to comparative studies in animal experiments
3. Comparison of the mouse model against the chicken embryo model and the model with human samples e.g. skin.
4. Research on legal issues regarding testing and testing methods
5. Investigating current application of legislation in different markets and application areas
6. Clarification of the application in terms of toxic impact, hazard potential, differences in risk potential and susceptibility
7. Referencing a chicken embryo model test procedure and a skin model procedure and establishing the required conditions with respect to: conditioning/climatising; sterility; sample size
8. Referencing the optical properties with regard to the required evaluation (resolution, magnification, wavelengths etc.)
9. Assessment of model suitability
10. Conception of a basic technical system for further development work in this field
11. Creation of a marketing concept and definition of the target markets and their needs

SME seeks researcher with an academic degree in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or bioprocess engineering for a MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE-Action (Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2018-SE). Submission deadline is 12th September 2018. Placement is planned for a 24 months funding period with the goal of permanent employment.
Deadline for EOIs: 30th June 2018.

Partner expertise sought:

- Type of partner sought: MD or PhD in biomedicine / biotechnology with a technical affinity, as the project involves device development, functionalising and testing.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Researcher with an academic degree / university graduate / MD or PHD in the field of biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, bioprocess engineering;
Special technical expertise is not required, but interest in a new field of work coupled with a technical affinity is of great advantage. The interested researcher will apply her/his biotech expertise while working with technical equipment and devices, testing them and adjusting their properties and functions. Important is the ambition to build up a new business field with high potential for the researcher’s professional future.

Advantages & innovations:

The envisaged solution will allow safe and reliable toxicology evaluation which is a big advantage compared to the animal based model of probability and its limited explication and transferability to human conditions.
The final mini-lab solution will be mobile and thus offering a big competitive advantage to small innovative companies with fast product development cycles.
Toxicological tests with the new system can be performed by non-academic staff and without complex infrastructure facilities.

Development Stage:

Under development/lab tested

Programme - Call:


Deadline: 12/09/2018

Coordinator required: No

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Industrial Manufacture \ Life Sciences \ Food and Drink \ Biosciences and Health \ Drug Discovery and Drug Development \ Diagnostics \ TechUK Single Mapping, August 2014
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / Biology / Biotechnology / Biochemistry / Biophysics / BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / Biology / Biotechnology / Toxicology / AGROFOOD INDUSTRY / Food quality and safety / Detection and Analysis methods / AGROFOOD INDUSTRY / Food quality and safety / Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control / PROTECTING MAN AND ENVIRONMENT / Safety / Assessment of Environmental Risk and Impact
Manufacture of other special-purpose machinery n.e.c.
OTHER ELECTRONICS RELATED / Analytical and Scientific Instrumentation / Other analytical and scientific instrumentation / GENETIC ENGINEERING/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY / Toxicology / MEDICAL/HEALTH RELATED / Plant and animal health / Food & feed ingredients


Contact Enterprise Europe Network Scotland by email at, quoting reference number rdde20180220001