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Organic bioelectronics

Organic bioelectronics is a fast-rising interdisciplinary field encompassing organic electronic devices that exhibit mixed electronic and ionic conductivity, thus making them especially suited for operations in electrolyte solutions. These devices are capable of ultra-high sensitivity and stable low-voltage operations, their properties (including the interactions with living matter) can be tailored by chemical design, and they can be manufactured into flexible biocompatible plastic foils. All these features make them extremely attractive tools for the investigation of biologically-relevant scenarios and for providing solutions to a variety of medical problems, from label-free diagnostics at point of care, to minimally invasive implants for neuronal recordings and stimulation, to device-assisted loco-regional treatments. Hence, organic bioelectronics represents a truly unique communication bridge across the technology gap existing between living systems and digital electronics.


During the last two decades, Organic bioelectronics have emerged in a vast collection of electronic devices, promising low‐cost, flexible, and easily manufactured systems. The same concepts also offer features that make them unique in applications, where electronic signals are translated into biosignals and vice versa.

Key to these new technologies is a fundamental understanding of the interface between electronic materials and biology. Organic electronics seems to be ideally suited for the interface with biology. The “soft” nature of organic materials offers better mechanical compatibility with tissue than traditional electronic materials, while their natural compatibility with mechanically flexible substrates suits the non-planar form factors often required for biomedical implants. More importantly, their ability to conduct ions in addition to electrons and holes opens up a new communication channel with biology.

Among the major challenges that are still limiting the development, implementation, and industrialization of highly reliable organic bioelectronic devices are: i) organic electronic concepts require a thorough multidisciplinary background; ii) studies describing organic electronic devices are predominantly phenomenological, and a thorough understanding of the molecular events underlying signal transduction is still lacking, hampering the fine tuning of device performances and the development of tailor-made materials solutions; iii) the exceptional performances of many biosensors (in terms of selectivity, sensitivity, stability) in test solutions for research demonstrations need to be transferred and assessed to end-use scenarios with real biological samples, and finally, iv) the potential of organic electronics, e.g., for personalized diagnostics (customized, wearable sensors and monitoring systems) is yet to be shown.

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

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Flexible, stretchable electronics

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

  • 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

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

Tentative list of invited speakers:

  • Annalisa Bonfiglio, Cagliari, Italy
  • Zhenan Bao, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Alex K.-Y. Jen, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • Fabio Biscarini, Life Science Dept, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
  • Howard Katz, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
  • Sahika Inal, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Korea
  • Anitha Devadoss, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
  • Jose A. Garrido, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Vincent Bouchiat, Institut Néel, Université Grenoble, France

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • Daniel Simon, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Angel Kaifer, Department of Chemistry, University of Miami, USA
  • Andreas Offenhäusser, Peter Grünberg Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • Maria Minunni, Dipartimento di Chimica “Ugo Schiff”, University of Florence, Italy
  • Tai Hyun Park, School of Chem. and Biol. Eng., Seoul National University Seoul, Korea
  • Ioannis Kymissis, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • Omar Azzaroni, Universidad Nacional de La Plata – CONICET, Argentina
  • Bo Liedberg, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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Symposium organizers
Luisa TORSIUniversita degli Studi “A. Moro”

Dipartimento di Chimica, Bari, Italy

+39 080 5442092
Sabine SZUNERITSUniversity Lille - IEMN

Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré - 59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France

+33 3 62 53 17 25
Wolfgang KNOLLAIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria

and CEST Competence Center for Electrochemical Surface Technology, 2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria

+43 664 235 1720