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Symposium SB11-Photo/Electrical Phenomena at the Interface with Living Cells and Bacteria

The utility of electrical and optical phenomena occurring at the interface of materials and living systems is becoming increasingly popular for diagnosis, therapeutics, other clinical procedures, and energy conversion. For instance, the possibility to modulate neuronal excitation and inhibition on demand via external electro/optical stimuli has opened promising perspectives for curing neurological disorders. While the use of electrical stimuli has been the conventional and well-established approach to excite cells and living organisms, the use of light as a spatially precise stimulation tool has emerged during the last decade. It has also been recently shown that bacteria can electrically communicate within their community, in analogy with the extended electrical signaling in neurons and neuronal networks. Moreover, exogenous modulation of bacterial signaling or inherent microbial processes have been seen to play an important role in cellular proliferation, development of antibiotic resistance, and even for the advancement of biofuel cells. Therefore, controlling biological signals and utilizing the photo/electrical processes in excitable eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells in a precise and non-invasive fashion would represent an immense benefit for medical- and energy-related technologies.

The scope of this highly interdisciplinary symposium is to cover the bridge between scientific approaches encompassing electrophysiology, biology, optical spectroscopy, chemistry and materials science, for applications toward biostimulation, sensors, and biofuel cells.

Topics will include:

  • Bacterial electrophysiology and signal propagation in bacterial communities
  • Extracellular electron transfer
  • Optical and electrical sensing across biotic-abiotic interfaces
  • Neuronal photostimulation
  • Electrical forces, electrochemical gradients, and electrocatalysis in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • Light-matter interaction for modulation of cells signaling
  • Biophysics of the cell membrane
  • Novel molecular systems and nanotransducers for optical stimulation and bioelectronics

Invited Speakers:

  • Guillermo Bazan (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
  • Richard Cogdell (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom)
  • Moh El-Naggar (University of Southern California, USA)
  • Sahika Inal (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia)
  • Guglielmo Lanzani (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)
  • Jia Liu (Harvard University, USA)
  • Jintao Liu (Tsinghua University, China)
  • Shelley Minteer (The Univeristy of Utah, USA)
  • Róisín Owens (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • Petra Paiè (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
  • Christine Payne (Duke University, USA)
  • Teuta Pilizota (The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
  • Ann Rajnicek (University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom)
  • Gurol Suel (University of California, San Diego, USA)
  • Bozhi Tian (The University of Chicago, USA)
  • Tanya Tschirhart (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Giuseppe Maria Paternò
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Italy

Herdeline Ann Ardoña
University of California, Irvine
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
USA

Munehiro Asally
University of Warwick
School of Life Sciences
United Kingdom

Daniela Comelli
Politecnico di Milano
Department of Physics
Italy

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