Bioinspired Materials: From Understanding, Through Processing, to Replication
20-25 October 2019, Monte Verità, Switzerland
Nature produces a wide range of materials with fascinating properties that are often taken as a source of inspiration to produce new manmade materials with superior properties. This international conference focused on the fabrication and characterization of materials made by nature and featured examples that demonstrate how we can learn from nature to build bio-inspired materials. It aimed at providing a venue for bringing research on the characterization of natural materials and investigation of the mechanisms by which they are produced together with research performed on the fabrication of biomimetic materials.
The conference was opened on Sunday 20th October with an opening lecture given by one of PlaMatSu's Principal Investigators, Ullrich Steiner (Adolphe Merkle Institute, Fribourg, Switzerland). The conference was co-organised by PlaMatSu PI Silvia Vignolini (University of Cambridge, UK) alongside Esther Amstad (EPFL, CH), Eric Dufresne (ETH Zurich, CH) and Stephen Schrettl (Adolphe Merkle Institute, CH)
There were also a number of invited speakers, including PlaMatSu Principal Investigator Thomas Speck (University of Freiburg, Germany), alongisde Ingo Burgert (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Helmut Cölfen (University of Konstanz, Germany), Costantino Creton (ESPCI Paris, France), Laura De Laporte (DWI – Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien, Germany), Matthew J. Harrington (McGill University, Canada), Niels Holten-Andersen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Nicholas Kotov (University of Michigan, USA), Sarah Köster (Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany), Cecilia Leal (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Fiona Meldrum (University of Leeds, UK), Phillip B. Messersmith (UC Berkley, USA), Fiorenzo Omenetto (Tufts University, USA), Benjamin Palmer (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Alyssa Y. Stark (Villanova University, USA), Francesco Stellacci (EPFL, Switzerland), Alison Sweeney (Yale University, USA) and Bodo Wilts (Adolphe Merkle Institute, Switzerland).
The programme featured invited lectures, presentations by junior researchers, poster sessions and, most importantly, plenty of time between sessions and in the afternoons for interactions and inter-disciplinary discussions.