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Symposium SB06-Peptide and Protein-Based Materials

Proteins and peptides are attractive green building blocks for the next generation of functional materials, offering great chemical diversity to encode biochemical signals. They can be biologically produced and engineered, processed in aqueous media, and are inherently biodegradable resulting in low environmental impact. These materials and building blocks can be functional in their own right, but they can also interact with each other, and with other biomolecules, or catalyze biochemical cascades, so as to exploit their hierarchical self-organization into dynamic systems. Revolutionary approaches are sprouting at the interface between supramolecular chemistry and biotechnology, to address key needs of our society, spanning from green catalysis, sustainable materials production to tissue engineering and organoids, to new paradigms to treat cancer, neurodegeneration and infections. This symposium will foster scientific discussions on the latest progress on the design and mechanisms that enable the hierarchical assembly of peptides, proteins, and their derivatives, to address diverse societal needs. Emphasis will be given to smart systems that respond to external stimuli (e.g. electric, magnetic, light, and shear) and/or physicochemical variations within the local environment (e.g. temperature, pH, oxidative stress, metabolites). Dynamic systems can be envisaged with spatial-, temporal- and dosage-controlled functionalities for diverse applications in chemical engineering (e.g. catalysis and separation), biomedicine (e.g. tissue engineering, drug delivery, biosensing), bioelectronics, energy harvesting, and high-performance structural materials. Advances in synthetic chemistry and biology, biotechnology and biochemical engineering, open the door to large-scale use and commodity smart materials, to replace polymers/catalysts of limited sustainability.

Topics will include:

  • Building supramolecular complex nanostructure through bio-inspired and green self-assembly (incl. peptide and protein origami, computation and simulation)
  • Novel hybrid molecules for functional materials designs (incl. peptoids, peptide-derivatives, biomolecule conjugates with other molecules such as synthetic polymers, DNA, metal particles)
  • Use of non-natural amino acids in synthetic peptides and recombinantly expressed proteins for material design, formation, and function
  • Designing of 3-D functional structures (incl. hydrogel and organogel networks, colloidal particle assemblies, membranes, auxetic materials)
  • Designing 1-D nanostructured functional materials (incl. nanowires, nanotubes, nanofibers)
  • 2-D templating (incl. membranes, sheets, and surfaces) of inorganic materials
  • Controlling biological interactions by design (incl. cell behavior, protein adhesion, immune responses, cross-talk with cytokines)
  • Design of bio-inspired materials for biological application (incl. tissue engineering, cellular therapies, controlled and targeted drug delivery, in vitro and in vivo implants)
  • Design of bio-inspired materials for energy applications (incl. biosensing, energy harvesting and electronic applications, supercapacitors)
  • Design of bio-inspired materials with exotic physical behaviors (incl. extreme extensibility and stiffness, ability to deform under extreme pressures or catalyze in exotic places)
  • 3D and 4D advanced additive manufacturing and bioengineering of peptide and protein-based systems
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers (tentative):

  • Mibel Aguilar (Monash University, Australia)
  • David Baker (University of Washington, USA)
  • Honggang Cui (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
  • Debapratim Das (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India)
  • Dibyendu Das (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India)
  • Sarah Heilshorn (Stanford University, USA)
  • Daniela Kalafatovic (University of Rijeka, Croatia)
  • Lorraine Leon (University of Central Florida, USA)
  • Julie Liu (Purdue University, USA)
  • Aline Miller (Manchester Biogel, United Kingdom)
  • Sebastien Perrier (University of Warwick, United Kingdom)
  • Meital Reches (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Jose Carlos Rodriguez Cabello (University of Valladolid, Spain)
  • Joel Schneider (National Institutes of Health, USA)
  • Molly Stevens (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
  • Samuel Stupp (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Akif Tezcan (University of California, San Diego, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Jacek Wychowaniec
AO Foundation

Katrina Jolliffe
The University of Sydney
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Silvia Marchesan
Università degli Studi di Trieste
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Rein Ulijn
The City University of New York

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature



Symposium Support