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Progress in fundamental, functional material and health aspects of melanins and related materials

Introduction
The focus of the symposium will be on melanins, polyindolequinones, polydopamine and related materials, as this biomaterial class has seen significant research progress including: understanding basic material properties; their use as functional materials and devices; and biological/health advances.

Scope
The melanins and their cognates are ubiquitous pigments in nature, which are still not understood fully. These materials have intrigued scientists for several decades due to their unique properties, which include pigmentation, free radical scavenging, hard radiation protection, broadband optical absorption, conductivity, a stable free radical and metal ion chelation, just to name a few. Various aspects of these properties have been explored and exploited in functional materials and devices. Furthermore, these materials play roles in the health sector, for example they are implicated in diseased states such as melanoma skin cancer or Parkinson’s disease.
Though much research and progress in understanding these materials have been made, questions remain in regards to the origin of basic properties, their potential as functional materials, and how these materials can be understood in a biological/health setting. Given the recent resurgence in interest in these materials, it would be of great advantage to have a symposium that brings researchers together in a multidisciplinary venue. This symposium will bring together experts in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, material science, engineering, and health sciences to create an effective synergy.
Key topics that will be covered will include fundamental spectroscopic work, structural organic synthesis and understanding, charge transport properties, electrochemical behavior, magnetic properties and associated chemical structures, device and functional material applications, in vivo biochemistry, and structure/property/function implications in health.
Scientists from multiple continents will be present and an array of multidisciplinary speakers are invited to present their work. This will allow broadness of experience and foster discussion to formulate the next generation of pressing questions that require scientific attention.

Hot topics to be covered

  • New advances and understanding in electrochemistry.
  • Fundamental studies on molecular structures including synthesis and new aggregation models.
  • Spectroscopic investigations of the fundamental chromophore units.
  • Extraction and characterization of bio-based materials.
  • Human/animal cell research and other health aspects.
  • Organic electronic devices, flexible materials and functional coatings.
  • Usage and analysis of nano-scaled materials.
  • Theoretical and computational studies.

 

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