Symposium SM08—Regenerative Engineering and Synthetic Biology
This symposium will present new and emerging directions in the field of materials design for regenerative engineering and synthetic biology. The next evolution of regenerative medicine focuses on engineering materials and living systems that interface with the body for functional integration and repair leveraging the tools of materials science, bioengineering, and synthetic biology. At the core, this approach is enabled by emerging directions in materials design and closely linked to improved understanding of the biology-materials interface, multicellular assembly and signaling, immunoengineering, and clinical medicine. The overall goal of this symposium will to generate lively discussions on convergent trends in regenerative engineering and synthetic biology across materials scientists, engineers, basic scientists, and clinicians. The symposium will focus specifically on several topics and is intended to cover a broad range of materials science and bioengineering. We welcome submissions for presentations related to any of the main focus areas as well as anything that broadly addresses regenerative engineering and synthetic biology. One specific focus of this symposium will be on advances in biomaterials design, with an emphasis on systems that enable bidirectional signaling with living systems. Biomaterials are no longer seen solely as passive scaffolds that protect cells and living systems or restore mechanical function to damage tissues. The current view is that advanced biomaterials can be designed to actively drive repair within the body. This has been enabled by bio-orthogonal chemistries, additive manufacturing, dynamic and active materials, as well as supramolecular chemistries and this section of the symposium will focus on these advances. Another focus will highlight new directions in functional tissue engineering. Early progress in the field focused on recapitulating minimal features of damaged tissue to restore function but often lacked critical biological activity. The focus of the field is now how to use many of the functional materials development and coupled with an improved understanding of bottom-up biology (multicellular assembly and organoids) to engineer fully functional living materials. A major challenge in the field of regenerative engineering is the design of immune privileged or immuno-modulatory materials as many well-designed systems fail in vivo due to host rejection. Therefore, part of the symposium will focus on recent trends in decoding material-host interactions with a specific focus on immune signaling. Specific topics will include the design of stealth materials that evade immune detection; immune signaling materials immune tolerance or activation; engineering regenerative phenotypes; and living materials that functionally integrate with the host. The symposium will also highlight materials-enabled therapies that promote clinical regeneration and therapy. As the tools and understanding of materials science have advanced, in parallel new techniques and approaches in synthetic biology are provided the research community with the tools to engineer and design biology. Another focus of this symposium will be on the emerging role that synthetic biology is playing in the development of regenerative therapies and stimulate future crosstalk between the regenerative medicine and synthetic biology communities.