PhD Thesis “Establishment and Validation of in-vitro models of the blood-saliva barrier”

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
July 13 2016
Position Type
Full Time
Saliva is a very attractive source for biomarker analysis, it is easily, non-invasively accessible and contains multiple types of molecules suitable for biomarker research (proteins, bacterial components, ncRNAs (miRNA, piwiRNA, lncRNA, circRNA)). Comparison to biomarkers obtained from blood revealed similarities, but also significant differences in the presence and regulation of biomarkers found in saliva in relation to the corresponding disease progression. Currently, although strong correlations between biomarkers and their indicated disease states exist, one important issue is that profound knowledge about how and why one biomarker appears in saliva is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to develop primary cell based in-vitro models of the blood-saliva barrier in order to study the relationship and interactions between the blood and the saliva compartment. The first focus will be set on the establishment and characterization of models of salivary glands (e.g. epithelium of the glandula submandibularis) followed by using the developed models for drug and biomarker studies.


- Establishment of in-vitro models of the blood-saliva barrier based on primary cells

- Validation of the models with regard to their barrier properties (paracellular barrier, transcellular transport barrier)

- Influence of the microenvironment (e.g. endothelial cells, basal lamina,..) on barrier functionality

- Application of the developed models for disease modelling (e.g. inflammation)

- Experimental skills in cell culture, protein analysis and molecular biology techniques

Candidate profile

- Master in life science, e.g. molecular biology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences or a related field

- Publishing results in leading scientific journals

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