A successful Bioinspired Materials conference

bio-inspired-2017Last year’s Bioinspired Materials conference was a local symposium with three speakers and was kindly sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University’s staff incentivisation award.

Organisers at the University wanted to build on the success of Bioinspired Materials 2016 and expand it to a two-day conference with an international audience for 2017.

Dr Michael Whitcombe admiring a bioinspired garment by Manchester Fashion Institute’s Jane Wood

This year’s Bioinspired Materials 2017 conference (31 August and 1 September) had 70 delegates and world-renowned scientists for invited lectures, which was a mix of local speakers including Prof. Alicia El Haj (Keele University) and Dr. Michael Whitcombe (President of the Society of Molecular Imprinting), and international experts Prof. Sandra Hofmann (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Prof. Bart van Grinsven (Maastricht University). The event featured a strong delegation from the Manchester area, with talks from leading researchers Prof. Aline Miller from University of Manchester and Prof. Craig Banks and Dr. Tom Allen from Manchester Metropolitan.

There were also many contributions from Europe, with participants travelling from as far as Turkey and Finland to visit the University. This year’s event hosted various exhibitors, dedicated poster sessions and a range of networking opportunities including a conference dinner at Albert Square Chop House. With (surprisingly) pleasant weather during both days, this gave the participants the opportunity to discover the city, and the labs and 3D-printing facilities available at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The unique strength of the Bioinspired Materials conference is that it brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, with involvement from the University’s School of Engineering, Healthcare and Divisions of Chemistry & Biology. This was reflected in the range of topics that were covered in the sessions, including tissue engineering, self-assembly, 3D-printing, hydrogels, and polymer biosensors. The sessions all had one common theme: how we can draw inspiration from nature to develop new functional materials.

This year’s conference was a very successful event with high quality presentations, over 30 poster contributions, and many fruitful scientific discussions over chocolate cake.

The committee would like to congratulate the overall poster prize winner, Miss Kornelia Gawlitza from Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (Berlin) for her work on polymeric fluorescent probes. Miss Elisa Serra (Healthcare Science) won the prize for the best contribution from Manchester Metropolitan University.


The overall winning poster prize from Kornelia Gawlitza (left) and University prize winner Elisa Serra (right)

More information can be found on the conference website, http://www.mmu.ac.uk/bionspired.

This event would not have been possible without our many sponsors, and therefore we would like to thank Essen Bioscience and Biolin Scientific (sponsoring keynote sessions), Kinesis, Manchester Organics, Mettler Toledo, IKA chemicals, Alvatek Ltd, the Royal Society of Chemistry Materials Division and the Engineering & Materials Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Organized by: Dr. Araida Hidalgo-Bastida, Dr. Patricia Linton, Dr. Mikhajlo Zubko, Dr. David Sawtell and Dr. Marloes Peeters.