Contract type: Fixed term contract
Duration: 14 months (+ 22 months + potentially 12 months extension)
The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) offers an outstanding opportunity for a PhD in Probiotic Food Supplement Development. The PhD candidate will be part of the Systems and Bioprocessing Engineering research group at the Department of Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) at LIST. Furthermore, the PhD candidate will be affiliated to the University of Lorraine, the PhD granting institution. The project will moreover give opportunities for collaboration with other public research institutions and private/industrial partners at national and international level.
Gut microbiome "transplantation" via the orogastrointestinal (OGI) route can be achieved by the ingestion of either fresh fermentation food products or dehydrated supplements embedding viable bacterial cells, the latter known as anhydrobiotics. Although anhydrobiotics constitute sustainable and technologically resilient delivery systems, several techno-functional prerequisites must be met in order to ensure their maximal biological activity. In the present project, we aim to the systematic investigation of plant seed mucilage gums (PSGs) as novel structurants of milk protein based xero-scaffolds embedding gut relevant probiotic cells. The PSGs scaffolding ability, i.e. structurally and physically reinforced substrates promoting endurance of the conveying living cells upon their exposure to toxic extrinsic and intrinsic conditions associated with processing and storage e.g. osmotic, heat, oxygen or free radicals stress will be assessed. In addition, the PSGs ability to hamper Lactobacilli cells sub-lethality throughout OGI due to acid, osmolytic and enzymolytic stress, as well as their capacity to promote the adhesion interactions between the Lactobacilli surface structure elements and the mucosa coat of a human intestine epithelium cell line model will be studied.