Biomaterials and devices that establish functional interactions with biological components at various length scales, with the goal of modulating and probing the biological system, are highly sought after. Modern bio-integrated systems offer the capability for either recording or modulating molecular or cellular behaviors in three-dimensions and/or with high spatiotemporal resolutions. Advances in protein engineering and synthetic macromolecular design have, and will continue to enable precise regulation of biomolecule activities and biological pathways. All together, these materials and devices under development by scientists and engineers hold promise for assisting physicians in their effort to treat a variety of ailments, from Type 2 diabetes to traumatic spinal injuries and cancer. However, in order to engineer and translate these materials into functional devices and therapeutics, an extensive collaborative effort is required between scientists, engineers and physicians.
This symposium will assemble experts in key thematic areas to highlight several classes of emerging materials and devices used to engineer biological function and dynamics. In particular, it will cover systems such as synthetic and biologically derived nanoparticles, engineered biopolymers, nanoscale imaging probes, semiconductors and flexible electronics, and a number of preclinical and clinical treatment modalities including image-guided therapy and tissue regeneration. The overall goal will be to seed collaborative efforts that will accelerate translation of these emerging materials and devices into therapeutics to reduce the burden of disease on human health.