Symposium BM07—Bioelectronics—Fundamentals, Materials and Devices
Since the early demonstration by Luigi Galvani that electrical impulses could trigger motion in a frog’s leg, the field of bioelectronics has produced significant advances towards electronic devices that interact with biological systems (cells, tissues, organs), revolutionizing research, diagnosis and therapy. Sensors that allow for electrical read-out of important disease markers, and implants/stimulators used for the detection and treatment of pathological cellular activity, are only a few examples of what such technologies can offer. A long-term challenge towards the integration of electronics with biology lies at the intersection of the two disciplines: at the physical interface between living systems and engineered electronic devices. Biosystems are inherently soft, dynamic, take on complex form factors, and rely on molecular/ionic communication. Traditional electronic systems are, on the other hand, considered rigid, static, and rely on electronic transport. The inherent mismatch at this interface poses many challenges for useful implementation ranging from the lab to the clinic.
Advances in materials research, however, can overcome the limits of the current technology and improve the bi-directional communication at the biotic/abiotic interface for recording biological signals and stimulating biological systems. This symposium will therefore highlight the efforts in designing new materials/architectures that can tackle the “interface” problem in bioelectronic devices and developing new electronic devices for applications such as biochemical-electrical sensing in vivo, lab-on-a-chip-diagnostics, electrical and chemical actuation, and tissue engineering. Focus will be placed on the design and optimization of bioelectronic devices but also on active materials and processes meant to impart high conductance, flexible, conformal, stretchable, and/or transient/degradable functionality to electronic devices. This symposium intends to further emphasize the need for cross-disciplinary efforts to bring together the fundamental research efforts with those of clinicians – highlighting rising clinical needs. Moreover, joint sessions that include topics on fundamental charge transport and on the integration of the devices to overcome systems level challenges will be supported by invited and contributed speakers.