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Posted: Jun 28, 2012
Fibrous Protein Nanocomposites Conference
(Nanowerk News) This multidisciplinary conference on "Fibrous Protein Nanocomposites for Tailored Hybrid Biostructures and Devices" will address the state of the art in the design, synthesis and characterization of hybrid bio-nano- materials and devices for electronic and nanomedicine applications.
The conference will be held in the island of Crete, a renowned destination since the antiquity situated at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea, exposed to the diverse cultures of three continents. In a metaphorical manner, the conference aims at exposing the audience to several different disciplines (materials science, biology and engineering) focusing on various aspects of fibrous nanocomposites.
Fibrous nanostructured objects such as polymer /composite electrospun mats, carbon nanotubes, and protein-based nanofibers and nanotubes recently attracted much interest for their integration in future generations of micro and nano devices with promising industrial applications. Carbon nanotubes have been the subject of the most intense investigation; however, they present limitations due to their extreme conditions of manufacturing and their production cost. Protein and peptide-based-nanofibers present an attractive alternative since they can assemble under mild conditions, they can be considerably less expensive to manufacture, and are more easily configurable, i.e. they allow the attachment or engineering of additional functionalities. Protein nanofibers that are resistant to extreme conditions are the most suitable candidates, since they can be easily interfaced with the world of "hard materials".
Electrospun nanofibers of hybrid materials are a class of bio-nano-composites that also allow for versatile design, ease of manufacturing, and diversity of applications in a complementary fashion. Both the nanoelectronics and nanomedicine fields will eventually require the integration of protein nanofibers-based design and manufacturing (e.g., nanocircuitry templating, protein structures such as those binding bone to collagen in tissue scaffolding, etc.) and electrospun nanofiber-based synthesis and processing (active components in sensing, actuation, nanocues in templating, drug delivery systems, etc.). Engineered proteins, discriminating biosensing, and nanowire electrodes are some of the key themes of the conference; their integration is expected to lead to advanced disease monitoring tools and active scaffolds in tissue engineering. The hybrid and/or multilayered fibrous biological materials may find applications as 3D structuring templates in nanoelectronics and tissue/organ scaffolding, and as active components of theragnostics and power systems.