The meeting's program is in development and will be greatly influenced by the abstracts submitted for peer review.  This page contains a listing of all abstract categories, as well as the intended scope of the session for that category.  The listing below contains links to the session descriptions.

Abstract submission categories:

Biocompatibility and Immune Engineering:


Multifunctional Design



Special Interest Groups

  • Biomaterials Education
  • Biomaterials & Medical Products Commercialization
  • Biomaterial-Tissue Interaction
  • Cardiovascular Biomaterials
  • Dental/Craniofacial
  • Drug Delivery
  • Engineering Cells & Their Microenvironments
  • Immune Engineering
  • Nanomaterials
  • Ophthalmic Biomaterials
  • Orthopaedic Biomaterials
  • Proteins & Cells at Interfaces
  • Surface Characterization & Modification
  • Tissue Engineering



Drug Delivery for Immunomodulation

Controlled drug delivery to activate or suppress immune cells is of strong interest in a broad range of therapeutic applications. This session focuses on new approaches in drug delivery to selectively target immune cells in peripheral tissues and at the primary sites of immunological reactions. Studies regarding the physio-chemical factors that influence drug transport into the lymphoid tissues are also appropriate for this session. Finally, biomaterials delivering anti-inflammatory molecules or other immune modulatory factors are also appropriate for this session.

Vaccine Delivery Vehicles

Synthetic vaccines based on recombinant protein antigens or DNA-encoded antigens are a promising approach for combating infectious diseases, particularly in cases where whole pathogen vaccines are impracticable or unsafe. Synthetic vaccines based on tumor-associated antigens are also being pursued for cancer immunotherapy. The efficacy of protein and DNA vaccines can be greatly enhanced by the use of delivery vehicles that promote an antigen depot and/or uptake by antigen-presenting cells and co-deliver immunostimulatory adjuvant molecules such as cytokines or Toll-like receptor agonists. This session will explore the development of micro-/nanoparticles, emulsions, liposomes, and other biomaterial-based delivery vehicles that regulate the temporal and spatial presentation of vaccine antigens and adjuvant molecules in order to elicit a desirable immune response.

Immunomodulation in Regenerative Medicine

Biomaterials have emerged as essential tools within regenerative medicine, and it is clear that the host immune system plays a pivotal role in the success or failure of regenerative medicine strategies. This session will focus on eliciting, diminishing, or controlling immune responses in the context of biomaterials used within tissue engineering, transplantation, and regenerative medicine.  Possible specific topics include controlling immune responses to autologous, allogeneic, or xenogeneic stem cells; engineering biomaterials scaffolds with reduced immunogenicity; inducing productive or therapeutic immune responses in regenerative medicine applications; basic mechanistic studies into biomaterials-mediated graft rejection and tolerance; and translational challenges in reliably controlling immune responses to engineered tissues in the clinic.   The session aims to bring together researchers working on both applied aspects of immunological control in regenerative medicine, as well as those studying its basic mechanisms.

Harnessing Biomaterials to Engineer the Adaptive Response for Immunity or Tolerance

Invited Speaker: Tarek Fahmy, PhD, Yale University

Biomaterials are emerging as a powerful tool for harnessing adaptive immunity in the treatment of infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmunity, as well as to improve tissue engineering design and transplantation. This two-part symposium welcomes biomaterial-based strategies focused on directing adaptive immune response toward either immunity or toward tolerance. Representative examples include activation of reactive T cells and B cells for vaccination or immunotherapy, generation of regulatory T cells to promote immune tolerance, or other strategies involving antigen or self antigen-specific responses. Studies employing microparticles, nanoparticles, self-assembled materials, engineered structures, and/or biomedical devices to control these events are all appropriate for this symposium. Reports with a disease focus or translational aspect are particularly encouraged, but mechanistic studies investigating the interactions between biomaterials and immune cells or tissues are also welcome.

Advanced Antimicrobial Materials

Recent reports by the World Health Organization warn of an impending “post antibiotic era” in which common infections are lethal due to rising levels of antimicrobial resistance.  Concurrently, there is a severe lack in development of new classes of antimicrobials.  There is an immediate need to engineer advanced antimicrobial therapeutics, delivery systems, and materials that are capable of effectively combating the heterogeneous microbial populations known to cause infections.  This session will focus on the development and application of these advanced antimicrobial materials targeting bacterial, fungal, and biofilm associated infections.  Examples include antimicrobial implant coatings, novel antimicrobial molecules and macromolecules, antimicrobial materials for traumatic injuries, etc.  Research in the design, synthesis, testing, and translation of these antimicrobial materials will be discussed.  

Technology Development/ New Biomaterials for Immune Engineering

Biomaterial-based strategies to precisely modulate and control an immune response have emerged as a critical component in a variety of diseases and therapeutic applications. The field of immunology is relatively new as distinct discipline. As immunological principles gain clarity, biomaterial scientists are finding there are many opportunities to contribute to immunology-based therapeutics and basic discovery. This can be through control over architecture, mechanical properties, molecular recognition, cell adhesion, particulates, targeted delivery of key factors, adaptive/responsive materials, as well as many other tools in available in the field of biomaterials. This Symposium will highlight on new material design strategies and technologies to understand and influence material-immune system interactions to modulate the host immune response. Examples include materials for activating or suppressing the immune response, disease mitigation and investigations on how the biochemical and physical properties of materials influence immune cell function will be considered.

Innate Immunity and Inflammation in Biomaterials Contexts

This session focuses on topics including: understanding the first line of defense to implanted materials, the design of materials to direct innate immune function, strategies to overcome inflammation for improved outcomes in the clinical translation of biomaterials, and approaches for monitoring biomaterial/implant-associated inflammation.

Immunomodulatory Biomaterials

Material interactions with the host immune system is a critical factor for the design of therapeutic biomaterials.  For some applications, such as vaccines, stimulation of the immune system is desirable, whereas for devices such as surgical implants or biosensors, evasion or mitigation of an immune response is needed.  In many cases, the immune system can be leveraged to improve the overall outcome of the therapy.  This Symposium will highlight recent advances in the development of biomaterials designed specifically to modulate the host immune response.  Examples include but are not limited to delivery of immune agonists or incorporation of biomimetic immunomodulatory proteins.  In addition, studies that investigate how the biochemical and physical properties of materials influence immune cell function will be considered. 

Characterization of Microenvironment of Immune Cells in Wound Healing for Engineering Biomaterials to minimize chronic inflammation and promote scarless healing

Cell-biomaterial interactions play a critical role during wound healing and new tissue formation.  Wound healing involves the initial influx of immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, foreign body giant cells, and fibroblast.  The initial upregulation of immune response to transition into complete healing involves switching of cell secretory cell types to tissue forming cells such as the fibroblast. Stem cells invade into the wound healing site as the initial influx of cells with the immune cells and guide the process of tissue formation.

Bio-Inspired Cellular Microenvironments

Natural materials exhibit highly sophisticated properties selected by evolution to efficiently achieve specific functions. As engineers, biological scientists and physicians strive to recapitulate natural biological processes, they increasing rely on bio-inspired approaches. These strategies have been implemented in the rational design of biomedical devices and biomaterials both to influence cellular interactions with biomaterials and modulate immune response. This session covers the latest bio-inspired strategies to modulate biological responses to materials.

Progress Towards Biocompatible Neural Devices: Role of Inflammation and Immunity

To ensure long-term consistent neural recordings and stimulation, next-generation electrodes are being developed with an increased emphasis on reducing the neuro-inflammatory response. The increased emphasis stems from the improved understanding of the multifaceted role that inflammation may play in disrupting both biologic and abiologic components of the overall neural interface circuit. To combat neuro-inflammation and improve recording/stimulating quality, the field is actively progressing from traditional inorganic materials towards approaches that either minimizes the microelectrode footprint or that incorporate compliant materials, bioactive molecules, conducting polymers or nanomaterials. However, the immune-privileged neural tissue introduces an added complexity compared to other biomedical applications that remains to be fully understood. This session should reflect on the current understanding of the key failure modes that may impact neural devices, and present new materials and anti-inflammatory strategies to overcome the limitations of the field.

Vascular and Blood Cells Responses to Novel Cardiovascular Biomaterials

The responses of vascular cells such as endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells to cardiovascular stents and vascular grafts are crucial for determining the success of these devices. The inhibition of smooth muscle cells is important for preventing neointimal hyperplasia while an enhanced endothelial cell growth can prevent late thrombosis. Also, the interaction of blood platelets with these devices as well as other cardiovascular medical devices such as heart valves, pacemaker leads, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, ventricular assist devices, cardiopulmonary bypass, and artificial heart are crucial for determining the blood compatibility of these devices. This symposium will highlight the advances in cardiovascular biomaterials and the responses of vascular and blood cells to these materials. The innate and immune responses to the novel cardiovascular biomaterials will also be covered in this symposium. A special emphasis will be provided to the evaluation of cardiovascular medical devices under clinical and preclinical settings.

Molecular Mechanisms Governing Protein-Surface and Cell-Surface Interactions

At a fundamental level, protein-surface and cell-surface interactions are governed by molecular interactions, which are still not well understood.  This level of understanding is extremely important for the evolving field of molecular engineering, as well as for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, and implantable medical devices. New and improved methods are needed and being developed to probe and understand these interactions.  This proposed general session will look to present state-of-the art methods (both experimental and molecular simulation) that are being developed and applied to study, characterize, and understand the molecular basis governing protein-surface and cell-surface interactions and how these interactions may ultimately affect the success of a variety of device-based therapies.

Biomimetic Materials for Tissue Engineering

Recently, biomaterial scientists have added bioactivity to their design toolbox in the development of new materials. These advanced biomaterials add another dimension of guided interaction with the body by mimicking the native remodeling processes, e.g. biological recognition, adhesion sites, substrate-dictated differentiation, or cell-guided enzymatic degradation. This session will review current state of the art in the development of biomimetic materials and the fundamental studies that use these materials to identify key substrate characteristics that support desired cell behavior.

Local Delivery of Drugs and Growth Factors from Implant Coatings

This general session will focus on the recent advances in implant coatings for the local delivery of drugs and growth factors. The delivery of drugs locally from implant coatings reduces systemic toxicity and provides site-specific therapy. Such drug-eluting implant coatings have tremendous applications in cardiovascular devices, orthopedic and fracture fixation devices, craniofacial and dental implants, ophthalmic implants, cochlear implants, and neural devices. Growth factors are also commonly released from implant coatings for tissue engineering applications. This session will cover a wide range of implant coatings for the local delivery of drugs and growth factors. The coatings include but not limited to novel biodegradable, biostable, and biological polymer coatings, ceramic coatings, porous, textured, microrough, and reservoir surfaces, organic and molecular coatings, self-assembly coatings, sol-gel coatings, biodegradable metal coatings, thin films, biological and biomimetic coatings. A special emphasis will be provided to the implant coating technologies that have been translated into clinical and pre-clinical products.

Small Molecule Drug Delivery

Small molecule drug delivery is still a critical feature of many biomaterial innovations (e.g., tissue engineering, regenerative drug delivery, cardiovascular disease, etc.) The goal of this session is to highlight the advanced fabrication methods and designs in the regulation of small molecule release that can extend the limits of classical diffusion approaches. Importantly, this session will serve as the interface between all of the specific drug delivery application areas (e.g., tissue engineering, pharmaceutical delivery, ocular delivery, nanomedicine, etc.) highlighting advances that have general applicability.

Nanobiomaterial and Drug Delivery Strategies for Dental/Crainomaxillofacial Repair/Regeneration

Dental and craniomaxillofacial tissues are key indicators to overall health and socialization of individuals. Repair/regeneration of these tissues present significant challenges due their complex geometries and highly hierarchical and integrated structures including hard and soft tissues. Manufacturing techniques including bioprinting, electrospinning, layered scaffolds/membranes, injectable gels, composites, ceramics, 3D printing, nanoprinting, nanoassemble, rapid protyping, laser sintering and microfluidic based printing  are some of the biofabrication/biomanufacturing techniques being pursued to produce tissue constructs and engineered scaffolds with pre-designed macro- micro- and nano- features, gradient physic-chemical properties and custom shapes to restore both function and aesthetics in craniomaxillofacial therapies.

Biologically Derived Materials from Natural Sources

Biologically derived polymers and composites offer excellent opportunities in the biomaterials field. This versatile class of materials includes biopolymers (polyhydroxy alkanoates, hyaluronic acid), polysaccharides (starch, chitin/chitosan, alginate) or proteins (collagen, fibrin, silk fibroin) enabling developing engineered systems with outstanding biological performance. The recent interest in the use of decellularized tissues as matrices for regenerative medicine offers also new avenues to use this class of materials to solve various unmet clinical needs. The innovative use of its characteristics, taking advantage of the similar structure or composition with respect to biological tissues, enables designing high performance solutions for biocompatibility, biodegradability and bioactivity of biomaterials. Also the advanced areas of tissue engineering, drug delivery and smart/active/adaptative systems may benefit from the wealth of natural polymers existing in nature.

Recent Advances in Surface Modification of Biomaterials

A variety of technologies including but not limited to grafting, plasma treatment, silanization, self-assembled monolayers, layer-by-layer multilayer polyelectrolytes, physical and chemical vapor deposition methods, ion beam implantation, PEGylation, and surface modifying additives are commonly used to modify the surface of biomaterials. This general session will cover the recent advances in these technologies. Also, this session will cover the novel surface modification technologies for a variety of biomedical applications such as high-speed cell sorting, cell capturing, cell sheet engineering, patterning, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, degradation resistance, nonfouling, peptide and other biomolecule immobilization, preventing bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, osseointegration, reducing thrombogenicity, lubricity, biosensing, and tissue engineering.

Biofabrication and Biomanufacturing in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM)

Biofabrication has become an innovative tool for the field of biomedical applications, especially, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This technology has been developed to allow construction of biological substitutes mimicking structures and functions of native tissues or organs. Biofabrication enables precise placement of various cell types, biomaterials, and bioactive molecules in a single three-dimensional (3-D) architecture. This special session will report state-of-the-art research and development of using novel physical, chemical, biological, and/or engineering process for 1) integrated bio-nano fabrication and bio-micro fabrication; 2) cell/tissue printing, patterning and organ printing; 3) cell-integrated biological systems, microfluidic devices, biosensors, and biochips; 4) 3-D tissue scaffolds and tissue constructs; 5) computer-aided patient-specific biofabrication and tissue engineering; 6) protein/biomolecule printing and patterning; 7) 3-D tissue/organ imaging reconstruction.

Multiscale Biomaterial Design (Conference Theme: Multiscale Biofabrication/Biomanufacturing (e.g. nanoprinting, rapid prototyping, microfluidic based printing, etc.))

Nano and Micro printing of biomaterials to engineer cells and their microenvironment involves fabrication of devices via methods such as rapid prototyping and use of biological model systems such as synthetic bacterial surface layers.  The multiscale response of the cells from nano to micro to macro can be modulated for large scale biomanufacturing.

Injectable Biomaterials for Tissue Regeneration

The development of injectable biomaterials is attractive because these materials are performed in a minimally invasive manner which significantly accelerates wound healing, improves patient comfort and satisfaction. As a cell carrier, the injectable biomaterials can readily fit any irregular shapes of defects. When they act as a drug carrier, the injectable biomaterials can modulate temporal- and spatial-release of drugs to control cellular response in focal areas. A number of naturally- and synthetically-based biomaterials have been designed and tested for tissue regeneration in recent years. However, novel injectable biomaterials are still needed with improved properties (mechanical strength, biocompatibility, vascularization, for clinical application. This session will focus on the developments of novel injectable biomaterials for tissue regeneration and drug delivery. Specific interests will be given to novel injectable biomaterials design, synthesis, cell/drug delivery, and their applications to tissue regeneration.

Delivery of Nucleic Acids and Other Molecules that Modulate Gene Expression

Delivery of nucleic acids and drugs that modulate activity of endogenous coding and noncoding nucleic acids is a rapidly evolving area within the biomaterials field.  In addition to continued advances in more established areas such as nonviral gene therapy (i.e.,delivery of plasmid DNA), new approaches are also emerging for delivery of exogenous noncoding RNAs or inhibitors of endogenous micro-RNAs.  This session will highlight recent progress on identification of new molecular targets, therapeutic molecule design, and development of new technologies for design and delivery of siRNA, antisense, micro-RNA, micro-RNA inhibitors (i.e., PNA, LNA, etc.), and plasmid DNA.   Abstracts on research related to epigenetics, micro-RNA regulation, and delivery of RNA-guided genome editing technologies (i.e., CRISPR-Cas) are especially sought.

Materials and Matrices  for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering

Osteochondral tissue comprises of bone and cartilage layers separated by a seamless interface. Engineering osteochondral tissue is challenging, as one needs to develop biomaterials and matrix systems that support the regeneration of a complex and well-structured osteochondral tissue. Mono-layered and bi-layered scaffolds have shown some promise in the beginning, however current efforts are focused to design gradiently structured scaffolds or the scaffolds with gradient growth factor profiles. Engineering microenvironment in order to gain control over the local stem cell differentiation towards the osteogenic or chondrogenic lineage is also gaining attention. Overall, this session will focus on novel biomaterials, unique scaffold designs, engineered microenvironments, and growth factor strategies that are needed to support osteochondral tissue repair and regeneration. The session will also cover some of the recent developments in the area of interfacial tissue engineering with respect to osteochondral interface regeneration.

Advances in Programmable Biomaterials for Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine

The field of biomaterials science has evolved from the study of biocompatible and biodegradable materials to the design of stimuli-responsive biomaterials.  These materials can be programmed to respond to stimuli resulting from a variety of sources, including biomolecular recognition (e.g., peptide-, oligonucleotide-, and lipid-based interactions), chemical properties (e.g. pH and ionic strength), and physical properties (e.g. temperature).  The response of the material in the presence of these stimuli can be finely tuned and may result in a change to the chemical or physical properties of the material itself (e.g. shape-memory effect).  This session will highlight recent advances in designing such programmable biomaterials.  Examples include but are not limited to self-assembled structures such as hydrogels, scaffolds, nanoparticles, and multilayer films.  In addition to the discussion of the principles of designing such materials, the use of these programmable materials in various biomedical applications including drug delivery and tissue engineering will be presented.

Biomaterials for Cardiovascular Regeneration

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally and therefore is a major focus of regenerative engineering. Major limitations of current treatments include the lack of biomaterials with suitable chemical, physical, and biological properties, the inability to mimic tissue microarchitectures, and the availability of reliable and renewable cell sources. Promising strategies for the engineering of clinically-relevant constructs for cardiovascular regeneration include development of multifunctional biomaterials, use of nano- and micro-fabrication tools, and delivery of stem cells. These approaches have the potential to mimic native cardiac microenvironments and enable incorporation of biochemical and mechanical cues to modulate disease progression, mitigate damage, and/or promote regeneration. In this symposium, we will cover fabrication of three-dimensional cardiovascular scaffolds that are made of synthetic and natural biomaterials, vascularization of engineered cardiovascular tissues, and novel approaches for delivery of cells. This symposium will also include limitations of current engineered models of cardiovascular disease and the development alternative solutions. Finally, the symposium will also emphasize the translation of cardiovascular tissue engineering technologies from bench-to-bedside.

High-Throughput Methods to Control Cell Behavior

High-throughput approaches demonstrate great promise for investigation of cell-material interactions. These systems have become popular for studying the combinatorial effects of biomaterials, such as polymers, proteins, enzymes, drugs, growth factors, or ECM components on cellular response. High-throughput platforms enable screening of large number of samples in parallel while using minimal amount of reagents; they provide rapid analysis; and yield in reproducible results. This session will discuss the influence of combinatorial biomaterials on driving cell fate and directing growth and migration, as well as investigation of a broad range of cell responses against chemicals and toxins. Furthermore, we will cover screening of multi-functional biomaterials for drug and gene delivery, biosensing, and regeneration of complex tissues. We will provide examples for the biological applications of high-throughput platforms facilitating discussions between members of academic institutions and industry. In this session, we will also include high throughput microfluidic systems for cellular manipulations and drug testing, such as organs-on-chips.

Multifunctional Nanomaterials for Engineering Complex Tissues and Drug Delivery

Nanomaterial-based multifunctional biomaterials have offered valuable new tools in treatment areas such as cancer, regenerative medicine, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Our inabilities to mimic the complex tissue architecture, and to provide the essential cellular microenvironment are some of the challenges that need to be addressed. Designing multi-functional nanomaterials with controlled physical, chemical, electrical and biological properties will therefore be beneficial for range of biomedical application including drug delivery and tissue engineering. This session seeks contributions regarding new advances in the functional nanomaterials with specific emphasis on emerging biomedical applications such as engineering complex tissue and drug delivery.  In particular, contributions highlighting some of the emerging trends in designing complex nanomaterials with multiple functionalities are encouraged. This session will mainly focuses on the following topics: (1) Multifunctional nanomaterials for engineering complex tissues; (2) Nanomaterial-based drug delivery system; (3) Microfabricated nanomaterials for drug or gene delivery; and (4) Nanotopography and Stem Cells.

Biomaterials for Regenerative Engineering

Invited Speaker: Cato Laurencin, University of Connecticut Health Center

Due to disease, degeneration, or trauma, there is a tremendous need to repair damaged tissues and organs. Although surgical replacement can be performed to address this issue, insufficient number of donors greatly limits the applicability of this approach. Therefore, it is essential to develop engineered multifunctional biomaterials to promote tissue regeneration. This symposium will cover tunable biocompatible materials such as hydrogels, fibers, proteins, carbohydrates, nano/micro-porous scaffolds, and metals, to modulate stem cell microenvironments. The biomaterials that can direct cell fate and promote differentiation will also be highlighted by this symposium. Moreover, biomaterials with the ability to facilitate small molecule delivery (e.g. drug, gene, peptide) and immunomodulation will be covered through oral and poster presentations. Furthermore, we will include discussions for the development and commercialization of various medical devices such as biosensors, blood contacting implants, prostheses, and pacemakers in the symposium. In addition to engineering approaches, we will also provide discussions on clinical translation of biomaterial-based strategies.

Material Breakthroughs in Nanomedicine

Nanomaterial-based drug delivery has offered valuable new tools in treatment areas such as cancer, regenerative medicine, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.  Nanomedicine offers the possibility for the safe and targeted delivery of biomolecules including small molecules, peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids to various sites of the body.  Nanomaterials used to construct these multi-functional systems include polymers, lipids, inorganic materials, and other biomaterials. The goal of this session is to highlight recent breakthroughs in nanomedicine. Emphasis will be placed upon innovative multi-functional biomaterial solutions to clinical problems.  Research may be on the design, synthesis, characterization, efficacy, and toxicity of nanomedicine systems. 

Advances in Inhaled Drug Delivery

There are many challenges in designing inhalable drug delivery products, including geometry, size, stability, and most importantly is the target in the lungs, or systemic? This session will discuss all aspects of inhalable drug delivery designs, either in industry or academia.  Topics may include, local delivery for asthma/COPD, using the lungs to deliver drugs systemically, or even dry powder versus nebulized liquid drug stability.

Modulating the Neural Microenvironment

Tissue engineering / regenerative medicine approaches are uniquely positioned to address neural injury/disease pathologies. Specifically, the cellular microenvironment plays a critical role in directing the fate of the therapeutic interventions. This session will focus on biomaterial-based strategies to engineer and modulate neural microenvironment. Abstracts will span from fundamental studies that elucidate critical instructive cues found within the injury or disease neural microenvironment to developing regenerative therapeutics aimed at modulating the neural microenvironment.

Multi-Scale Materials Design for Abiotic-Biotic Interfaces

The abiotic-biotic interface is an essential component that governs the performance of many biomedical devices both in vitro and in vivo. This session will focus on the design of synthetic materials that are intended to sense and modulate the function of proteins, cells, and tissues by seamlessly bridging the abiotic-biotic interface. The technical focus of this session will include the design, synthesis, and fabrication of new types of functional biomaterials and associated micro-/nano-structures. Novel materials may include new synthetic polymers, synthetic peptides, and inorganic matter. Novel processing techniques of interest include new approaches for surface modification and microfabrication of structures that can better sense and modulate the function of living systems across a broad range of complexity. Applications may include, but are not limited to, the following: synthetic surfaces for controlling cell fate, tissue adhesives, protein-resistant surfaces, biofilm prevention, biosensors (both in vitro (diagnostics) & in vivo (implantable sensors)), and implants that promote integration with surrounding tissue.

Engineering Tissue Interfaces

Advances in the field of tissue engineering are increasingly reliant on biomaterials that instruct, rather than simply permit, a desired cellular response. One area of recent focus has been development of approaches to replicate, or induce regenerative healing of, dynamic, spatially-patterned, or inhomogeneous structures within the body. Such materials would have to direct the bioactivity of multiple cell types in spatially or temporally varying patterns. For example, while many efforts in orthopedic tissue engineering focus on the repair of single tissues, injuries often occur at the interface between tissues. Many of these defects are at the junction between soft tissue and bone and contain overlapping patterns of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, mineral content, structural alignment, and biochemical signals that are often not regenerated following injury. This session welcomes submissions from academia, clinicians, and industry on innovative biomaterial approaches for guiding multi-lineage cell fate in vitro and the repair of tissue interfaces in vivo. Topics can address fundamental challenges and current progress in the design, fabrication, and characterization of biomaterials that can simultaneously guide multiple cell behaviors (e.g., proliferation, differentiation), biomaterials with spatially-graded properties mimicking native tissue interfaces, and biomaterials to improve host tissue integration.

Ceramics and Composites in Bone Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery

This symposium will provide cutting edge talks on recent advances in ceramics and ceramic composites used in musculoskeletal regeneration.  This symposium fits well in the multi-functional biomaterial design theme area, as recent advances have taken ceramics beyond just a space filling role and into the realms of hybrid materials which can combinatorially achieve structural and biological functionality. Specific suggested topical areas include use of biomineralization strategies to achieve biological design goals, protein controlled inorganic synthesis, design of proteins and peptides to modulate ceramic bioactivity, tethering biomolecules to ceramics to achieve functional specificity, use of ceramics for spatially and temporally controlled drug delivery, and nanotechnology approaches to design unique hybrid functions into ceramics.

Bio-Nanomaterials for Cancer Theranostic Treatment

The National Cancer Institute predicts that over the next years, nanotechnology will result in important advances in early detection, molecular imaging, targeted and multifunctional therapeutics, prevention and control of cancer. Nanotechnology offers numerous tools to diagnose and treat cancer, such asnew imaging agents, multifunctional devices capable of overcome biological barriers to deliver therapeutic agents directly to cells and tissues involved in cancer growth and metastasis, and devices capable of predicting molecular changes to prevent action against precancerous cells. Nanomaterials-based delivery systems in Theranostics (Diagnostics & Therapy) provide better penetration of therapeutic and diagnostic substances within the body at a reduced risk in comparison to conventional therapies. At the present time, there is a growing need to enhance the capability of theranostics procedures where nanomaterials-based sensors may provide for the simultaneous detection of several gene-associated conditions and nanodevices with the ability to monitor real-time drug action. These innovative multifunctional bio(nanomaterials) for cancer theranostics may allow the development of diagnostics systems such as colorimetric and immunoassays, and in therapy approaches through gene therapy, drug delivery and tumor targeting systems in cancer.

Theranostic Nanomaterials for Image-Guided Treatments

Recently, efforts are increasingly made to create theranostic nanobiomaterial systems that allow one to pinpoint pathologic tissues of interest and further treat them by delivering therapeutic drugs to the sites, guided by bioimaging modalities currently used in clinical settings (e.g., ultrasound, MRI, CT, and PET). This symposium will highlight up-to-date, advanced approaches that attempt to assemble such multifunctional nanomaterials through elaborating control of structures and properties at varied length scales and also utilizing them to enhance quality of detection and treatment of various diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and brain injury). Overall, this session will provide attendees with an invaluable opportunity to learn and discuss several cross-disciplinary nanotechnologies underlying the material assembly and their applications and further contribute to taking performance level of theranostic nanomaterial systems to the next stage.

Advanced Hydrogels With Hierarchal Structures for Biological Applications

Invited Speaker: Karen Christman, University of California - San Diego

Hydrogels with higher order structures are increasingly being developed for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and other biomedical applications. This session will focus on preparing advanced hydrogel systems with hierarchical structures or anisotropic properties for biological applications, including, but not limited to, directing cell-materials interactions, promoting tissue regeneration, and regulating drug delivery. Emphasis of the session will be on design principles and synthesis and fabrication methods for building gels with macro-, micro-, or nano-structured components, including the use of multiple chemistries (e.g., covalent, ionic, macromolecular assembly), to prepare hydrogels with improved biophysical and biochemical properties.

Basic Science Progress and Clinical Applications of Multi-Functional Biomaterials: A Focus on Multi-Drug Biomaterials and Devices

Invited Speaker: Stuart Goodman, MD, PhD, Stanford University

Surgeons and scientists working together to address clinical research challenges have made significant progress in developing multi-drug biomaterials and devices. Tissue regeneration is a complex multi-step process and recent studies have shown the benefit of delivering multiple biologically active agents to achieve more complete regeneration of single and multiple tissues.  This symposium will highlight the development of advanced multi-drug biomaterials and the translation in clinical applications (e.g. orthopaedic and dental implants, pacemakers, contact lens, etc.).  Abstracts that describe biomaterials strategies used to tune the timing and delivery of multi-factor release and the demonstrated benefit or impact of having multiple functionality or activity will be considered.

Nanotherapeutics for Cardiovascular Applications

The advancement of cardiovascular treatments requires more minimally invasive techniques. The use of nanotechnology in cardiovascular disease treatments allows for more targeted therapies. Nanotherapeutics, such as drug and protein delivery, offer limitless opportunities for treatment of cardiovascular disease. Nanotherapeutics have been used in myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis treatments. Theranostic therapies that diagnose disease while delivering therapeutics are another emerging field of nanotherapeutics for cardiovascular applications. This session will highlight innovative uses of nanotechnology to treat cardiovascular disease. The development of these types of therapies could be a major breakthrough in the cardiovascular field.

Biosensing and Complex Tissue Regeneration

Biosensing of intermolecular forces by cells in their microenvironment affects their downstream cellular processes.  Design of biosensors  (e.g. surface characterization and attaching biomolecules to interfaces) that detect these interactions between molecules affects the process of complex tissue regeneration.

Stem Cell and Biomaterial Interactions

It is now widely understood that stem cells respond to a wide range of biochemical and biophysical features of their microenvironment.  These may be ligands for integrin binding, controlled presentation of growth factors, or the mechanical features of the surrounding matrix.  Biomaterials are playing a major role in studies to identify the importance of such signals through mechanistic studies, as well as towards the translation of these signals into constructs towards applications in coatings and tissue engineering.  This symposium will focus on how biomaterials instruct stem cells, including multipotent and pluripotent cells, particularly with respect to fate decisions.

Advances in Ophthalmic Biomaterials

Ophthalmic biomaterials arena is a rapidly growing area for advanced biomaterials research with wide-spread clinical applications. The demand for advanced ophthalmic care (non-elective procedures such as cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, age-related macular disease treatments) is growing at a rapid pace. For the 2014 SFB meeting, we would like to invite you to present on the progress of biomaterials research toward next-generation ophthalmic care. The scope of the session will encompass novel biomaterials technology and implant pathology in the ophthalmic arena.

Carbon Nanomaterials

The National Cancer Institute predicts that over the next years, nanotechnology will result in important advances in early detection, molecular imaging, targeted and multifunctional therapeutics, prevention and control of cancer. Nanotechnology offers numerous tools to diagnose and treat cancer, such asnew imaging agents, multifunctional devices capable of overcome biological barriers to deliver therapeutic agents directly to cells and tissues involved in cancer growth and metastasis, and devices capable of predicting molecular changes to prevent action against precancerous cells. Nanomaterials-based delivery systems in Theranostics (Diagnostics & Therapy) provide better penetration of therapeutic and diagnostic substances within the body at a reduced risk in comparison to conventional therapies. At the present time, there is a growing need to enhance the capability of theranostics procedures where nanomaterials-based sensors may provide for the simultaneous detection of several gene-associated conditions and nanodevices with the ability to monitor real-time drug action. These innovative multifunctional bio(nanomaterials) for cancer theranostics may allow the development of diagnostics systems such as colorimetric and immunoassays, and in therapy approaches through gene therapy, drug delivery and tumor targeting systems in cancer

Academic - Industry Collaborations in Biomaterials Research

Collaborations between academia and industry have led to numerous advances in basic biomaterials research as well as the development of products that have been clinically translated and/or commercialized. These collaborations have enabled industrial researchers to better tackle basic biomedical research problems, while allowing academic researchers to translate their research from the laboratory bench into viable products. Through collaboration these two groups have the potential to solve some of the greatest challenges in biomaterials. This session will highlight successful academic-industry collaborations in all areas of biomaterials research and at all stages (including early-stage collaborations). Examples that will be discussed include the translation of biomaterials research from the academic laboratory bench to industrial applications including but not limited to disease prevention, diagnostics, and treatment, along with partnerships for the development of appropriate models and biological tests for new biomaterials.

Macromolecular Drug Delivery

The goal of this session is to highlight the advances and the development of biomaterials for the delivery  and use of large molecules, including proteins/growth factors, nucleic acids, and viral particles. Delivery of therapeutic proteins and other biomacromolecules can be complicated by rapid degradation within tissue, uncontrolled release mechanisms, and barriers to delivery of large molecules to specific intracellular and extracellular biological targets. Topics for this session will include biomaterial platforms designed to overcome challenges in effective delivery of macromolecular therapeutics through biological targeting, extending or protecting biological activity, or controlling/triggering release.  This sessionalso invites abstracts that describe synthesis and utilization of engineered protein or nucleic acid structures as carriers for drug delivery.  Across these topics, special preference will be given to abstracts focused on recent advances that promote validation and scale-up toward clinical translation. 

Cells and Their Microenvironment: Translational Sciences

Cells contain many cues in their microenvironment that need to be considered when understanding their behavior and translating the information into the clinic. Cues such as growth factors, cytokines, extracellular matrix composition and structure, autocrine and paracrine effects, intermolecular forces, ions, pH, concentration gradients, membrane mechanics, receptor-ligand interactions, and others have to be considered when translating the basic science from cells and their microenvironment into the clinic.

Benchtop Models to Support Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Invention and Commercialization

Invited Speaker: David Grainger, University of Utah

Some examples of benchtop models include rapid prototype mechanical models, microfluidic systems, computational models, and flow loops, but the opportunities are limitless, as these models become solutions to roadblocks in invention and commercialization.  In order for these benchtop models to be accepted by the field, they must be predictive of the current gold standards of pre-clinical and clinical validation methods. 

Next Generation Biomaterial and Drug Delivery Technologies for Wound Healing

Wound healing is a significant clinical problem and a hot area in development of biomaterial and drug delivery technologies.  This session requests abstracts on promising new wound care technologies, preferably those that have undergone in vivo preclinical testing and/or early clinical trials.  Topics of interest include devices, matrices / dressings / scaffolds, and cell / drug / gene therapies.  Abstracts related to material biocompatibility and therapies focused on harnessing and/or modulating the immune response within wounds are especially sought.

2nd Annual SFB Business Plan Competition

Students and post docs: Medical technology requires more than just laboratory results to become a reality. Do you believe that your biomaterials-based research innovation has the potential to succeed in the medical device industry? Put your skills to the test in this unique session designed to challenge you to consider the commercialization aspects of your research. Individuals and groups (your choice) will be judged by experts from investing, industry, regulatory, and academia on the strength of their commercialization plans. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams, including audience’s choice. To participate, submit an abstract that contains your Executive Summary, including information on your technology, the market, and the commercialization strategy. Those selected will give a 10 minute pitch followed by Q&A “shark-tank” style from judges and audience. Click here for complete instructions.

Mechanical Characterization of Biomaterials

For most biomaterials, having appropriate mechanical properties is critical for their performance following implantation. For example, tissue engineering scaffolds must be design to withstand the strong forces while matching the mechanical properties of the adjacent tissues.  Depending on the type of materials (e.g., ceramics and metals, hard and soft plastics, hydrogels, tissue-based), the mechanical behaviors and, thus, the methods for mechanical characterization and criteria for assessment vary significantly. This session will feature studies of biomaterials that put a strong emphasis on mechanical characterization, constitutive modeling, and/or tuning of mechanical properties in material designs.

Accelerating Future Innovators: Undergraduate Research Poster Competition

This competition will highlight biomaterials researchers at the undergraduate level through short poster presentations judged by industry and academic representatives. Undergraduate primary authors may submit their abstracts to regular sessions with the option during abstract submission to indicate interest and eligibility for this competition by checking a box. Alternatively, undergraduates may submit directly to the undergraduate poster session, and reviewers for our session will independently score these abstracts.

Animal Models for Biomaterials Research

The use of animal models is a requisite step in the development of biomaterials, following in vitro studies but prior to clinical trials in humans, enabling researchers to assess efficacy, biocompatibility, stability, and safety. The choice of an appropriate animal model, in regards to type, species, and size, is highly dependent upon the question that is being asked, i.e. the model must be relevant. Reliability and experimental reproducibility are additional critical selection criteria. Thought must also be given to the transferability of information, which assesses how well knowledge gained from an animal model can be extended to a more complex system. This session will include presentations on how to select an appropriate animal model for a given biomaterial application and on the extrapolation of results obtained from animal models to humans.

Hands-On Biomaterials Education

The design and applications of biomaterials are guided by a variety of structure-property-function correlations. To disseminate the knowledge of these correlations and raise and sustain interest in the biomaterials area at K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels, it is vital to develop ‘hands-on’ activities (laboratories, design projects, etc.). Designing such activities using actual biomedical materials or easily accessible model materials to emphasize their relevance in real-world applications is of great educational value. To this end, we propose to organize a session that would involve brief presentations (15 min) from six speakers who have designed successful ‘hands on’ biomaterials education activities (at any level of K-12, undergraduate, or graduate), followed by a 30 min roundtable discussion regarding the advantages, limitations, sustainability and future refinement of such approaches. 

Targeted and Target-Activated Drug Delivery

Targeted and target-activated drug delivery systems have the potential to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions, while avoiding problems such as off-site toxicity and drug resistance.  This session will focus on the design and application of targeted drug delivery systems and/or drug delivery systems whose activity is triggered by the target itself (i.e. target-activated drug delivery systems).  Developing these materials while promoting an appropriate immune response and maintaining biocompatibility can be challenging.  Applications for such systems include but are not limited to treatments for cancer, microbial infections, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, etc.  Talks in this session will range from focusing on the molecular scale design of these drug delivery systems to discussing the translational of these materials to clinical applications.