Postdoctoral position as researcher in microbiology : Alberta University and Aix Marseille University

Project Description

The laboratory M2P2 is currently involved in a collaborative project, entitled
FASTECO2, funded by the French public program “PIA”, programme
d’investissements d’avenir. One of the objectives of the project FASTECO2 is
to implement an innovative process of sterilization using supercritical CO2 (sc
CO2) particularly adapted to polymeric implantable medical devices. The
project consortium is composed of two universities (University of Lille and
AMU) and two private companies (LATTICE MEDICAL and COUSIN
Supercritical CO2 sterilization is an alternative to thermal and non-thermal
sterilization treatments that have limitations. Supercritical sterilization has a
great potential for the inactivation of dry powders in different fields of
applications: food (spices, herbs, aromatics, etc.), drugs as well as cosmetics.
A huge market is now emerging for the sterilization of medical devices since
the conventional methods (ethylene oxide treatment and ionizing radiation)
cannot be used for all types of materials. Moreover, major progress has been
achieved over the last decade in this field. Advances in tissue engineering
brought new types of scaffolds and implantable medical devices, which require
more than ever an efficient, non-toxic and low temperature sterilization
A large part of the experimental work of the laboratory M2P2 will be dedicated
to a parametric study of sterilization carried out using a panel of strains.
In parallel to the process development, the Laboratory M2P2 aims to perform
a more fundamental study, in collaboration with the University of Alberta, so
as to go further in the understanding of sc CO2 inactivation mechanisms. The
different biocidal effects of sc CO2 have already been described in the literature
but there is a real need to sharpen the knowledge about sc CO2 effects on
microorganisms, particularly bacterial endospores.
The inactivation efficiency is linked to the different operating parameters and
conditions such as the temperature, pressure, and treatment duration. In the
literature, temperature is described to be the key-parameter but increasing the
pressure and the process duration allows also to increase significantly the
bioburden lowering. Since one of the effects of sc CO2 is the acidification of
the extra and/or intracellular media, the addition of an acidic agent is also a
solution for enhancing the inactivation effect.
The objective of the postdoctoral work will be to go further in the understanding
of sc CO2 inactivation mechanisms carrying out an experimental work so as to
discriminate among the different effects.


Aix Marseille University, Laboratory M2P2, Europôle de l’Arbois, Aix-en-
Provence, France
University of Alberta (UA), Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional
Science, Edmonton, Canada

Description of the position

12-month position
Date of hiring: Sept 1, 2022
The post-doctoral work will be organized as follows:

  • A 3-month period at Aix Marseille University in France (Sept 1, 2022
    to November 30, 2022).
  • A 9-month period at the University of Alberta in Canada (December
    1, 2022 to August 31, 2023).

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