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Symposium Sessions


  • General Interest (GI)
  • Broader Impact (BI)
  • Electronics and Optics (EL)
  • Energy (EN)
  • Flexible, Wearable Electronics, Textiles and Sensors (FL)
  • Materials Theory, Characterization and Data Science (MT)
  • Nanomaterials and Quantum Materials (NM)
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials (SM)
  • Structural and Functional Materials (SF)

Please note: On demand presentations do not have times assigned. Presentations with times assigned are Live presentations.

Symposium F.GI01—Special Symposium on Materials Approaches for Tackling COVID-19

COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected everyone’s daily lives from the perspective of the immediate public health threat, the underlying interruptions in work/productivity, and the economic fallout. Many members of the MRS community have rapidly redirected their research or their laboratories in response to immediate public health needs over the last year. Some still wonder how the materials community can be best poised to respond to this moment. This symposium aims to bring together researchers across the materials community as well as experts in immunology and environmental engineering to showcase how recent research efforts serve to meet the demands of this pandemic. As the spread of the disease and trajectory of the response is ever changing, the state of pandemic will surely be in flux during the 2020 MRS Spring and Fall Meeting. This special symposium will feature both contributed and invited talks, and will focus on interactive panel discussions to highlight success stories, barriers, and how to apply what has been learned to future public health crises.

This special symposium will include a primer tutorial from an expert immunologist on SARS-CoV-2, the resulting disease, and current understanding therein. The symposium will also include three sessions featuring research talks and panel discussions on (i) PPE/antiviral surface engineering, (ii) diagnostics/sensing, and (iii) therapeutics. Finally, the event will conclude with a panel discussion with regulatory experts and industry representatives to discuss the challenges of translation and scale up to meet the needs of rapid deployment of newly developed technologies.

Topics will include:

  • Personal Protective Equipment: Design of mask materials/membranes for filtration, rapid manufacturing, 3D printing, antiviral coatings, materials compatibility for cleaning and sterilization, biodegradable single use PPE.
  • Surface Sanitation: Surface pathogens, detection and lifetimes on surfaces, antiviral surface design/coatings, chemical reactions.
  • Detection and Diagnostics: Sensing, testing methods/kits for the virus and antibodies (at home and in healthcare settings); bioassays, ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), wearable or implantable bioelectronic devices, microfluidics, polymerase chain reactions
  • Therapeutics/Treatment: Nanoparticles or synthetic biology to detect, interfere with, or target the virus; virus capsids as tools for immunology and drug delivery; materials for vaccines; designs for new ventilators and systems to deliver oxygen (zeolites to concentrate oxygen, metal-organic frameworks); rapid manufacturing and re-purposing.
  • Testing/Modeling: Lab-on-a-chip, simulations, model systems, combinatorial or artificial intelligence methods to speed research.
  • Characterization and Imaging: Analysis of viral structure and its modification; protein assembly.

Invited Speakers:

  • James Collins (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Yi Cui (Stanford University, USA)
  • Susan Daniel (Cornell University, USA)
  • Joseph DeSimone (Carbon, USA)
  • Jennifer Dionne (Stanford University, USA)
  • John Rogers (Northwestern University, USA)
  • John Tamerius (Quidel, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Jonathan Rivnay
Northwestern University
Biomedical Engineering

Kaitlyn Sadtler
The National Institutes of Health

Yun Shen
University of California, Riverside
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Elizabeth Wayne
Carnegie Mellon University
Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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