The Stratum Corneum (SC) is the outer layer of the skin. It has a mortar-brick structure, the bricks being the keratinized cells (corneocytes) and the mortar a complex assembly of lipids. Ceramides (CERs) form the major component of the SC lipid matrix. CER molecules contain a sphingosine tail (S-chain) linked to a fatty acid tail (N-chain) via an amide bond. These lipids have very different properties from those found in cell membranes.
As the skin is renewed, the outermost surface becomes a covalently bonded, single monolayer of CER, with possibly addition of fatty acids or cholesterol. It is this outermost layer that will support the hydrolipidic film, or will be exposed to cosmetic treatments.
The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the structure of this monolayer, in relation to its composition and surface density, and the evolution of this structure under exposition to various agents. The project combines soft matter techniques for sample preparation and characterization, neutron reflectometry techniques for analyzing in detail the structure, complemented by molecular modeling. While the project will concentrate on model systems using a few CER, some aspects of these models will be confronted to realistic samples at the L’Oréal research facility.
Further information may be obtained from Giovanna Fragneto (tel.: +33 (0) 4 76 20 70 62, email: email@example.com) and from Jean-Louis Barrat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More details about the application procedure on www.innovaxn.eu/for-students/documents/
The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school of University of Grenoble and based full-time at the ILL (Grenoble, France), other than a 3 month secondment at L’Oréal. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training programme will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the 3-year PhD project.
More details on the InnovaXN programme on www.innovaxn.eu
InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.