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Vol. 26 No. 5
September-October 2004

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Bio-Interface Science

by Hans Griesser

Some delegates from the 2004 International Conference & Workshop on Physical Chemistry of Bio-Interfaces

The International Conference & Workshop on Physical Chemistry of Bio-Interfaces was held 23-26 May 2004 in the Barossa Valley in the south of Australia. The impetus for this event was the desire to complement the 7th World Biomaterials Congress (Sydney, 17-21 May) with a satellite meeting that would provide a forum for more in-depth presentation and discussion of molecular, mechanistic aspects of fundamental bio-interface science.

A dendrimer is capable of polyvalent interactions with biological targets such as receptors on a cell membrane. Graphic from www.starpharma.com

This international conference and workshop did provide an interdisciplinary forum for the presentation and discussion of experimental and theoretical studies of bio-interfaces and biomolecule-surface interactions. Increased understanding of interactions between biomolecules and surfaces, the behavior of complex macromolecular systems at materials interfaces, and biomolecule-biomolecule interactions, will contribute to the rapid growth in biomedical research, biotechnology, diagnostics, proteomics, genomics, dentistry, and medicine. In particular, the meeting focused on advances in materials science, molecular biology, surface and interface analysis methods, and theoretical and modeling approaches to biological systems. In addition, the conference explored experimental tools and theoretical models to describe bio-interface phenomena with physical concepts, and rules that allow predictive, model-driven research. The scientific sessions focused on analysis of interfacial interactions between synthetic materials and biological molecules, design of biocompatible surfaces, non-fouling “stealth” surfaces, interfacial issues in bio-diagnostics, and interfaces in drug delivery.

The organizing committee comprised Prof. Hans Griesser (chair), Ian Wark Research Institute; Prof. Peter Majewski, IWRI; Prof. John Ralston, IWRI; Assoc. Prof. Clive Prestidge, IWRI; Dr. Joe Shapter, Flinders University; Dr. Sally McArthur, University of Sheffield; Prof. David Castner, University of Washington; Prof. Dr. Michael Grunze, Universität Heidelberg; Dr. Young Ha Kim, Korea Institute of Science and Technology; Prof. Dave Grainger, Colorado State University; Prof. Marcus Textor, ETH Zurich; and Prof. Thomas Rades; University of Otago.

The conference assembled 85 delegates, which included 13 students and represented 15 countries, namely Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Fifty oral contributions and eight posters were presented during the conference. The poster prize was awarded to Ms. Ping Peng for her poster on “Development of a Hydrogel Surface Delivery System for Implants.”

Invited speakers introduced the topic areas and set the scene for lively and often extended discussions. Together the oral and poster presentations provided excellent overviews of current challenges and research strategies in bio-interface science. Participants agreed that this was a highly stimulating meeting, partly because of the willingness of many contributors to share their results and answer questions.

Hans Griesser <hans.griesser@unisa.edu.au> was the chairman of the organizing committee; he is professor at the Ian Wark Research Institute of the University of South Australia in Mawson Lakes, South Australia.


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