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Biomaterials and soft materials


Biocomputation: materials, algorithms, devices and fabrication

There is wide agreement that Moore’s law regarding exponential growth of the number of components in integrated circuits is finally coming to an end. Beyond 2020, the expectation is that the further development of computing devices will be driven less by miniaturization of conventional technology and more by specialized architectures, drawing on different technologies for different applications. For example, neural networks and crypto currencies are creating markets for devices that are very energy efficient at solving these problems, creating opportunities for entirely new, highly energy efficient architectures. In this symposium we will focus on biocomputation and bio-inspired circuits that are important avenues to addressing these needs, and they provide an alternative to future quantum technology, which may take a long time to realize and will address different and complementary computing needs. A key advantage of biocomputation is the potential for much-improved energy efficiency compared to both traditional, digital transistor technology and – probably – quantum computation. However, progress in bio- and bio-inspired computation is critically dependent on the development of new materials and fabrication technologies, and requires an interdisciplinary approach engaging materials science, computer science, biophysics, cognitive science, micro- and nanofabrication, sensing, electronics and photonics. By inviting key scientists active in biocomputation in these different areas, the symposium will offer an overview of the latest advances in materials research at an international level and of relevant interdisciplinary research in both fundamental and applied areas.

Topical cluster: Biomaterials and Soft Materials (with direct relevance for Decarbonized Energy and Sustainability)


Materials, algorithms, devices and fabrication technologies for bio- and bio-inspired computation. This includes DNA computation, network-based biocomputation, cell-inspired computation (e.g. based on proteins), and neuromorphic computing architectures. In biological computing, bio-molecules – proteins, cells or DNA – are used to perform logic operations, store and retrieve data as well as data readout. In neuromorphic computing, the efficient architecture of the brain is emulated to achieve high-performing computation of specific types of problems.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Alternate parallel computing approaches including:  biocomputing, molecular computing and hybrid solutions
  • Encoding and readout of large amounts of information into molecular and biological systems
  • Materials, molecular design, synthesis, and analysis
  • Single-molecule sensing and detection
  • Implementation of efficient algorithms and design of networks
  • Reducing error rates and formal verification
  • Fabrication and scale-up of computing devices including microfluidic approaches

List of invited speakers (confirmed):

  • Irene Fernandez Cuesta, Hamburg
  • Ken'ya Furuta, NICT, Japan
  • Mart Graef, TU Delft
  • Göran Johansson, Chalmers University, Sweden
  • Till Korten, TU Dresden
  • Eric Lutz, Stuttgart University
  • Cristiano Malossi, IBM, Zürich
  • Adam Micolich, UNSW
  • Dan Nicolau, McGill University, Montreal
  • Daniel Oran, MIT
  • Aydogan Ozcan, UCLA
  • Susan Stepney, University of York
  • Falco van Delft, Eindhoven

Scientific committee: 

  • Heiner Linke (Lund University, Sweden) (Chair)
  • Henry Hess (Columbia University, USA)
  • Hillel Kugler (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)
  • Friedrich Simmel (TU Munich, Germany)


Selected papers will be published in New Journal of Physics (IOPscience).


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Symposium organizers
Friedrich SIMMELTU Munich

Heiner LINKE (Main)Lund University

NanoLund and Solid State Physics - Box 118 - 22100 Lund, Sweden
Henry HESSColumbia University

Hillel KUGLERBar-Ilan University