Meetings & Events


2015 MRS Fall Meeting Logo2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

November 29-December 4, 2015 | Boston
Meeting Chairs: T. John Balk, Ram Devanathan, George G. Malliaras, Larry A. Nagahara, Luisa Torsi

Symposium K—Materials Science, Technology and Devices for Cancer Modeling, Diagnosis and Treatment

Due to the extraordinary complexity of human cancer, it will remain challenging for at least the next decade to fully understand mechanisms of disease onset, to detect and monitor progression, to target cancer initiating cells, and to deliver the most efficient therapeutics. Innovations in materials science and technology are urgently needed to address these challenges and advance clinical practice in cancer diagnosis and treatment. New hydrogel materials are able to incorporate tumor and stromal cells in a 3D system to potentially recapitulate a tumor microenvironment and model tumor progression. Nanoparticles functionalized with tumor targeting ligands enable more effective delivery of imaging contrast agents and therapeutics for either early stage diagnosis or more efficacious treatment with reduced side effects. Nanostructured materials provide a significantly increased surface area-to-volume ratio and unique bio-nano interfaces for high efficiency capture of various biomarkers, including low-abundance proteins or nucleic acids as well as cancer-associated whole cells. Materials surface science is increasingly recognized as a key component in the development of innovative molecular analytic technology for high fidelity and low biofouling assays. Integrated devices that incorporate new materials, surface chemistries, 3D architectures, fluid mechanics, and/or automation systems are developed to accurately interrogate tumor cell dynamics, functional state, and response to therapy at the single cell resolution. Combining quantitative molecular interrogation and physical science principles such as thermodynamics, phase transition, and transport theories provides new insights into understanding the mechanisms of cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. Therefore, the advances in materials science and technology are expanding the territory of cancer research, triggering new thinking about fundamental mechanisms of this disease and finding new routes toward a cure. The topical focus underscores the rapidly growing interests in materials science research to help battle human cancer. It broadly encompasses all the aspects ranging from basic principles, new materials, systems integration, and translational and clinical utilities for cancer research and treatment.

Topics will include:

  • Emerging biomaterials for 3D tissue culture, tumor modeling, tumor angiogenesis, extravasation, and cell-cell interaction.
  • Systems and devices for tumor-on-a-chip and personalized drug screening.
  • Systems and devices for single-cell analysis and interrogation of tumor heterogeneity.
  • Materials and technologies for cancer biology, including macromolecular interactions, epigenomic modifications, and cell surface dynamics.
  • Rethinking cancer etiology based on materials physics and principles (e.g., thermodynamics, transport, phase transition).
  • Novel materials for tumor targeting, imaging, immunotherapy, vaccination and drug delivery.
  • Materials and technologies for cancer biomarker detection including proteins, circulating microvesicles and circulating DNAs.
  • Materials and technologies for isolation and analysis of circulating tumor cells, tumor stem/progenitor cells, or invasive subpopulations.
  • Biomolecular assays with transformative clinical impact in advanced clinical centers as well as for low-resource settings.
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Rober H. Austin (Princeton University, USA)
  • Rashid Bashir (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • Ravi Bellamkonda (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Sangeeta Bhatia (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Han Cao (BioNanoGenomics, USA)
  • Piotr Grodzinski (National Cancer Institute, USA)
  • James R. Heath (California Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Roger D. Kamm (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Shana O. Kelley (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Sang-Kwon Lee (Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea)
  • Jan T. Liphardt (Stanford University, USA)
  • Chad A. Mirkin (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Laurie Parker (University of Minnesota, USA)
  • W. Mark Saltzman (Yale University, USA)
  • Michael L. Shuler (Cornell University, USA)
  • Steve Soper (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
  • Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic (Columbia University, USA)
  • Shan X. Wang (Stanford University, USA)
  • Ralph Weissleder (Harvard Medical School, USA)
  • Jennifer L. West (Duke University, USA)
  • Denis Wirtz (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
  • Ian Y. Wong (Brown University, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Rong Fan
Yale University
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Tony Dickherber
National Cancer Institute
Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives

Sharon Gerecht
Johns Hopkins University
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Sebastian Maerkl
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Institute of Bioengineering

Miqin Zhang
University of Washington
Department of Materials Science and Engineering