2021 MRS Spring Meeting

Symposium Sessions


  • Broader Impact (BI)
  • Characterization and Modeling (CT)
  • Electronics and Optics (EL)
  • Energy and Sustainability (EN)
  • Nanoscale and Quantum Materials (NM)
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials (SM)
  • Structural Materials (ST)

Symposium SM02—Next-Generation Antimicrobial Materials—Combating Multidrug Resistance and Biofilm Formation

The emergence and rapid spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pose a global threat to public health. This crisis takes roots in the global overuse and misuse of antibiotics and is getting worse because of the too little investment from the public and private sectors into antimicrobial research and development—as treating bacterial infections was assumed to be a problem that had been solved. Yet today, as pointed out in the “Review On Antimicrobial Resistance” commissioned by the UK government, 700,000 people worldwide die from AMR each year. Unless immediate action is taken, this could increase to 10 millions lives lost per year by 2050, at a cumulative cost to global economic output of 100 trillion USD. To address this crisis, antimicrobial materials could play a key role. They can substitute or supplement antibiotics, thereby helping contain the spread of resistant pathogens in high-risk areas, including the medical sector. Todate, antimicrobial materials with diverse active agents based on small molecules, polymers, nanomaterials (inorganic, organic, and hybrids), and nanostructures have been developed. Additionally, significant efforts have been directed toward understanding their activity mechanisms, which are key to their optimization and eventual translation from bench-top to bed-side. This symposium will bring together experts from different disciplines involved in antimicrobial materials to discuss the current research pipeline, including (1) novel antimicrobials for the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and biofilms, (2) advances in the mechanistic understanding of antimicrobial materials, and (3) progresses in translational research and development: from the laboratory to the patient/market.

Topics will include:

  • Small molecules that sensitize multidrug-resistant bacteria—molecular structures, performances, and activity mechanisms
  • Peptides for sensitizing antibiotic-resistant bacteria—structural features, performances, and activity mechanisms
  • Polymers for antimicrobial applications—synthesis, solution structures, and modes of action.
  • Nanoparticles and 2D nanomaterials with antimicrobial activities—synthesis, morphology features, and modes of action;
  • Nanomaterials with stimulus-induced antimicrobial activities
  • Nanomaterials for sensitizing multidrug-resistant bacteria—structural features and activity mechanisms
  • Nanoparticle-(bio)molecule hybrids with antimicrobial activity
  • Materials with anti-quorum sensing activity
  • Highly porous and microstructured antimicrobial materials
  • Engineering interfaces to prevent biofilm formation—structural, electric, morphological and mechanical aspects
  • Stimulus-responsive materials for anti-biofilm applications
  • Taking antimicrobial materials from the bench-top to the bed-side—where do we stand?
  • Antimicrobial materials in the in vivo and/or clinical studies
  • Applied antimicrobial materials—from paint to ship hulls
  • Antimicrobial materials in the environment—benefits and risks

Invited Speakers:

  • Mary Chan-Park (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
  • Anushree Chatterjee (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Jianzhong Du (Tongji University, China)
  • Karine Glinel (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
  • Jayanta Haldar (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India)
  • Xingyu Jiang (Southern University of Science and Technology, China)
  • Antonella Piozzi (Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy)
  • Joerg Tiller (Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany)
  • Xudong Wang (University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA)
  • Gerard Wong (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Lihua Yang
University of Science and Technology of China
Polymer Science and Engineering

Karen Lienkamp
Universität Freiburg
Department of Microsystems Engineering

Haitao Liu
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Chemistry

Edmund Palermo
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Symposium Support