3rd IBEC Symposium on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine

Tissue Engineering plays a leading role in the field of Nanomedicine and Regenerative Medicine. One of most relevant areas is the development of synthetic substrates able to promote tissue regeneration. In order that stem cells may carry out their regenerative role, the main engineering challenges are associated to the need to develop synthetic scaffolds that promote the regeneration of tissues such as nervous, bone or vascular (Prof. S. Stupp) or biosynthetic systems that promote the regeneration of organs such as liver or pancreas (Prof. T. Akaike). On the other hand, the development of new sophisticated technology to improve the processes of stem cells culture and cell differentiation is another of the main support areas to specialists in Regenerative Medicine (Prof. G. Fuhr).

Cell behaviour depends strongly on the stimuli they receive. Along recent years, it has been proved that mechanical stimuli play a leading role and their control will be essential to guide cell behaviour in Regenerative Medicine procedures (Prof. V. Vogel and Prof. D. Navajas). Cell mobility and cell migration are related with the forces that cell exert on their substrates or their extracellular matrices. This is a very relevant issue in neuronal migration (Prof. V. Torre), since it may be associated to regenerative or reparative processes of nervous tissue.

Within the area of diagnostic in Nanomedicine, the evaluation of the effect of drugs on neuron behaviour or the interaction of neurons with electrodes has to be understood in terms of neuron functionality, and these are key aspects for the diagnostic and therapy of neurodegenerative diseases (Prof. G.W. Gross). On the other hand, at present, the capacity of neurons to distinguish signals originated at olfactory receptors, allowing odour recognition, is beginning to be understood. The development of artificial olfaction devices that mimic animal olfactory abilities are meant to allow the detection of information that may be crucial for human health and survival (Dr. S. Marco).

In recent years evidence is showing that detection of different biomolecules specific for certain diseases, like cancer markers, requires the development of biosensors especially tuned to allow the early diagnostic of the disease. Along this line, very special interest is being focused in devices able to detect molecular recognition actions (Prof. Y. Miyahara). Within a totally different area, understanding the relation between bacteria and host, as well as the factors that play a leading role in bacterial virulence (Prof. B. E. Uhlin) is of great interest for the development of diagnostic devices.

Finally, within a well established area in the field of Bioengineering, we find medical robotics. The development of robots for surgical applications, especially in minimal invasive systems, is an area of great activity and potential (Prof. P. Dario).

Invited speakers:
Toshihiro Akaike, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan); Paolo Dario, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Italian Institute of Technology (Italy); Günter R. Fuhr, Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (Germany); Guenter W. Gross, Center for Network Neuroscience, University of North Texas, (USA); Santiago Marco, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (Spain); Yuji Miyahara, Biomaterials Center and International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, NIMS (Japan); Daniel Navajas, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (Spain); Samuel Stupp, Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University (USA);Vincent Torre, International School for Advanced Studies (Italy), Bernt E. Uhlin, Molecular Biology, Umeå University (Sweden) andViola Vogel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-ETH (Switzerland).