Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork invites applications for a Research Assistant. This is required to support a nationally funded project in the biopharmaceutical arena. A key desire within the biopharmaceutical industry is the availability of process analytical technology (PAT) to facilitate more complete monitoring of mammalian cell culture and ultimately better control of process scale bioreactors.

While solutions currently exist for monitoring key process parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen (dO), temperature and certain media components using electrochemical or optical sensing devices, current state-of-the-art technology is limited. This limitation arises as commonly used sensor probes are generally fixed at one position following insertion through a port on the bioreactor. The static nature of current probe technology means that these sensors are only capable of measuring the chemical or physical properties of the media passing the sensor surface per unit time. The project will develop a capsule technology with integrated sensing chip that can continuously monitor bioreactor conditions in-situ. The proposed capsule incorporates autonomous sensing technology that probes the bioreactor environment, gathering multi-parametric data on pH, temperature and dO.

Reporting to the Principal Investigator, the candidate will:

  • Design multi-parametric micro- and nano-sensing chips for monitoring of bioreactor conditions
  • Work with the Tyndall fabrication engineers to determine the optimum fabrication process flow
  • Characterize the sensor behaviour using analytical chemistry methods
  • Carry out benchtop studies of the sensor behaviour (including stability and effect of sterilization methods) in model bioreactor systems.
  • Implement the results of these studies to optimise the sensor design
  • Investigate different anti-fouling strategies
  • Attend and present results at project meetings
  • Contribute to scientific publications
  • The successful candidate will work closely with the instrumentation engineers in the development of a miniaturised sensing platform technology.


  • Candidates will have an honours degree in analytical chemistry, microelectronic engineering or in a relevant discipline.
  • The ideal candidate should have a knowledge of semiconductor processing and electrochemical sensors.
  • Working knowledge of AutoCad tools and analytical chemistry techniques is essential.
  • A knowledge of bioreactors would be an advantage.

For informal enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Dr Karen Twomey. Karen.Twomey@Tyndall.ie

Please apply via http://www.tyndall.ie/career/search, selecting reference number KTW-3 and following the instructions to complete the associated application form, attaching your cv and motivation letter.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Qualifications Desirable: 
Reference number: KTW3
Position: Research Assistant in Miniaturized Sensors for Process Analytical Technology
Minimum experience: 1 – 2 years
Functional area: Chemistry
Contact name:
Karen Twomey, karen.twomey@tyndall.ie,
Project name: PATsule