HDR Scholarship - Smart material platforms for controlled drug release systems

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Smart material platforms for controlled drug release systems'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

Controlled drug delivery systems are smart multifunctional platforms that are designed to improve the pharmacological activity of a therapeutic agent or active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) by increasing the drug solubility, stability, and bioavailability, reducing side effects and enhancing the selective delivery of drug with a predictable rate and mechanism to specific organ/tissue/cells.

This project will utilize a new technology for polymerizing ultra-thin and non-fouling conductive polymer coatings to create reloadable, on-demand drug delivery systems that has relevance to applications such as implantable bionic neural electrodes, transdermal ‘patch’ delivery systems, needle-probes, and microneedle arrays, among others. They will have the capacity to deliver a wide variety of therapeutic drug compounds including multiple controlled release of different compounds from a single construct.

The technology in this project is a platform technology that can grow conductive polymer films just a few nanometers thick with an optical transparency equal to a few layers of graphene (i.e. >95%). The process used lends itself to micropatterning processes including ink-jet printing allowing transparent circuits to be deposited quickly over large areas. In addition to drug release, it can likewise be used for electrochemical sensing in wearable or implantable devices. These materials will be developed in partnership with Industry partner, Lubris Biopharma.

Project aim

In this project, the student will fabricate and characterize ultra-thin and transparent conductive polymer films. The fabricated films will be developed into an integrated system capable of the controlled capture, release, and real-time monitoring of capture and release efficiencies that will be applied to applications in bionics and biopharmaceutical purification.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

Please apply using the Find a Research Supervisor tool


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Wren Greene

Dr Wren Greene
Email Dr Wren Greene
+61 3 924 68278