Postdoc - Patterning, engineering and characterizing model biofilms

Department/faculty: Faculty Applied Sciences
Level: Doctorate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: 1 year with possibility of extension
Salary: 2588 - 4084 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

Bionanoscience ( is a multidisciplinary department that is dedicated to the study of fundamental and applied biological questions with cutting-edge tools from biology, physics and nanotechnology. Research topics range from single molecule biophysics and evolution to synthetic biology and artificial cells. The department offers excellent technical facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite and next-generation sequencing.

The Aubin-Tam group is a multidisciplinary research group interested in the interplay between structure and mechanics in biological molecules and materials. This project is co-supervised by Prof. Anne Meyer (University of Rochester) who specializes in using techniques of synthetic biology to create improved, high-value biomaterials.

The Aubin-Tam and Meyer groups recently developed new biomineralized composite materials inspired by nature (e.g., shells).

Job description

Bacteria living in biofilms can have wide-ranging impacts on society, ranging from threatening human health to purifying drinking water. In order to develop new anti-biofilm treatments and to efficiently deploy beneficial biofilms, a reproducible, engineerable biofilm model system is urgently needed. The postdoc will use our home-built 3D bacteria printer in combination with engineered bacteria to create model biofilms. The printed biofilm bacteria will be assessed to study the spatial specialization of metabolism, the three-dimensional pattern of extracellular matrix components, and the ability to resist anti-bacterial treatments. Mechanical characterization of our biofilms through microrheology optical tweezers measurements will determine their physical stability and viscoelastic behavior. We seek to replicate the robustness of natural biofilms, but with control over biological/mechanical properties. These model biofilms will be crucial for future development of anti-biofilm strategies and therapeutics, as well as for the production of beneficial biofilms for use in variable, challenging environments. With the support of technicians and experts in the research team, the postdoc will implement and characterize these model biofilms.   


Qualified candidates have a Ph.D. in either biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, or a related field. They have a strong interest in multidisciplinary research that combines biology with material science. Finally, successful candidates are motivated by a deep scientific curiosity, have good experimental and quantitative skills and possess a drive to learn new methods and concepts.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this vacancy you can contact Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam, e-mail: To apply for this position, please send a CV, a letter of interest and names of references to Please refer to vacancy number TNWBN18-065 in your application.  

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Applied Sciences
Working hours
38.0 hours weekly
1 year with possibility of extension
2588 - 4084 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Sept. 15, 2018
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: