eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials)
eCM Conferences, Science with Open Discussion
 ISSN 2522-235X

Biosurf IV
Spatial Organisation & Dynamics of Molecules and Cells at Surfaces
September 20th-21st 2001, EPF-Lausanne, Switzerland


Scientific Committee
Patrick Aebischer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL
Gaudenz Danuser, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETHZ
Markus Ehrat, Zeptosens AG, Witterswil
Takao Hanawa, National Research Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan
Heinrich Hofmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL
Margarethe Hofmann, MAT SEARCH Consulting, Pully
Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETHZ
Lars Nieba, TOP NANO 21, c/oTEMAS AG, Arbon
R. Geoff Richards, AO Research Institute, Davos
Marcus Textor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETHZ

Introduction to the abstract by
Marcus Textor, ETH-Zurich and Margarethe Hofmann, EPF-Lausanne

BIOSURF IV is the fourth of a series of conferences with international participation devoted to topics in biomaterials, biosensor and surface science research and development. The conference addresses scientists and engineers in academia and industry interested in recent advances and exchange of ideas in these fields.
BIOSURF IV will cover the topic of space and time resolution in the investigation of biomaterials and biosensor performance. We believe this to be a relevant topic both in basic research that is oriented towards a better understanding of biochemical and biological mechanisms of phenomena at biomaterials and biosensor interfaces as well as in the development of materials and devices that are designed to induce a desired biological response.
Spatial organization of biomolecules and cells is one of the main topics to be addressed in this conference. Spatial control over protein and DNA/RNA interactions with bioaffinity sensor chips is crucial in the context of developing microarray sensing platforms in DNA/RNA (genomics), protein (proteomics) and in cell-based (cellomics) sensor devices. The organization of cells on 2D and 3D substrates providing particular microenvironments is relevant for areas such as tissue engineering and cell-based sensing. Micro- and nanofabrication techniques have provided in the last few years new tools for tailoring surfaces that permit the precise control of the spatial organization of bioaffinity reactions, cell interactions and tissue formation at biosensor and biomedical device surfaces.
One of the frequent drawbacks of conventional cell culture testing protocols is the lack of direct information on the dynamics of biological processes, causing ambiguities in the interpretation of the complex biological phenomena that occur at the interface between cells and biomaterials and upon the inner and outer leaflets of cell membranes. New instruments and characterization techniques have been developed that provide a basis for quantitative microscopy and imaging of biomaterial and biosensor surfaces with both real-time and high spatial resolution, applied under biologically relevant in situ conditions.

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Fluorescence microscopy (right) image depicting a cell (actin fibers labelled with rhodamine appear in red) attached to a cell-adhesive pattern, the ToF-SIMS image of which is shown on the left. Courtesy of R. Michel and J. Lussi (ETH Zurich). See the abstract of Michel et al. for more information.