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Biomaterials and soft materials


Flexible bioelectronics: a rising star for in situ bioanalysis

The merging of flexible electronics with biological systems has shaped the way the health states of a patient is detected and how drugs are administered. The growing field of flexible bioelectronics enables the in-situ quantification of a variety of relevant biomarkers present in the human body and holds great promise for personalized health monitoring owing to its unique advantages such as inherent wearability, high sensitivity, high selectivity, and low cost. It represents a promising alternative to probe biomarkers in the human body in a simpler method compared to conventional instrumental analytical techniques. The challenges and opportunities in this field moving toward future preventive and personalized medicine devices will be the main focus of this session.


The collaboration of materials- and biomedical scientists with electronic engineers resulted in the emerging of a new and multidisciplinary direction: bioelectronics. Generally, it is based on the application of electronic  and electrochemical sensors developed to solve problems in the biomedical field, including both in vitro and in vivo. The conventional rigid electronic devices typically based on metal and silicon electrodes cannot effectively meet the requirements of soft tissues. Indeed, if a rigid device is attached to the skin or when implanted into the body, the surrounding tissues may get hurt and the resulting scars will damage or even disable the devices. To respond to the different needs in the biomedical field and to be conform with biomedical applications, increasing interest has been attracted to develop the next-generation of bioelectronics:  flexible bioelectronics. They can be paper-based platforms formultiplexed electrochemical sensing of biomarkers (e.g. pH, dopamine, glucose) in biological fluids, smart wound dressings with implemented sensor for the detection of oxygen, pH and inflammation in the wound or smart fabrics using textile threads where bioelectronic devices are implemented. These biocompatible and sometimes degradable sensing devices are a large step forward towards detecting diseases, understanding mechanisms of biological activities and providing feed-back to therapeutic tools.

It is the aim of this proposed symposium to bring together expertise in soft materials science, organic electronics and biology. We aim at elucidating the fundamentals of the electronic materials/biology interface and to present and discuss new bioelectronic materials, technologies, and applications.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

Flexible, stretchable electronics

  • Bioelectronic textiles
  • Wearable sensors
  • Electronic skin
  • Printed paper electronics

Flexible plastic substrates

  • Stretchable electronics
  • Flex circuits
  • Wearable electronics
  • Fabric-based sensors

In vivo and in vitro diagnostics

  • Novel concepts in biorecognition, transduction, signal amplification, recording
  • Electrochemical, electrical, electronic
  • Label-free
  • Application to clinical, food, feed, environmental and process monitoring 

Cell and tissue actuating and manipulating

  • Neuroengineering
  • Personalized sensing
  • Electronic plants
  • Surfaces & interfaces, sample preparation, lab-on-a-chip, microTAS
  • Biocompatible materials and systems
  • Bioelectronic materials

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Symposium organizers
Annalisa BONFIGLIOUniversity of Cagliari

Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Piazza d'Armi, 09123 Cagliari, Italy

+39 070 675 5764
Sabine SZUNERITSUniversité de Lille

Institut d’Electronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologies, 59652 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

+33 3 62 53 17 25
Tanja WEILMax Planck Institute for Polymer Research

Synthesis of Macromolecules Department, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany

+49 6131 379130
Wolfgang KNOLL (Main organizer)AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria

+43 664 235 1720