Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker I



Prof. Pankaj Vadgama

Queen Mary University of London, UK

Director of IRC in Biomedical Materials


Brief Biography: Professor P Vadgama is currently Director of the IRC in Biomedical Materials, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, and was recently Head of Service in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Barts Health NHS Trust. Prior to this he was Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Manchester and Professor of Medical Biomaterials, Manchester Materials Science Centre.


Research Overview: Professor Vadgama's research interests include the development of biocompatible biosensors for reliable metabolite monitoring in critically ill patients. Specific systems include sensors for glucose and lactate. He is also investigating the interaction of cells and proteins at materials surface and is presently studying the use of spider silk as a tissue engineering scaffold. Underpinning techniques and technologies include: polymeric membranes, electrochemistry, impedance spectroscopy, in vivo metabolite sensors, bioprocess monitioring contact angle measurement and piezoelectric sensing.


Expertise: Biosensors, interfaces, polymers, membranes


Keynote Speech Title: Materials adaptation and interfacing for operationally stable electrochemical biosensors


Abstract- Biosensor research in recent years has led to diversification of bio-transducer combinations, which together with miniaturisation, has paved the way for new engineering design strategies and applications. However, for practical biomedical measurement, especially in diagnostic medicine, there is a citical need to secure controlling interfaces that facilitate a chemistry transduction sequence that is neither affected by cellular and colloid/protein deposition at the surface or by diffusible molecules able to create an extraneous response or to passivate the internal transduction surface. The materials basis for such control comes mainly from the use of polymeric membranes. These are typically microporoous or homogeneous and are designed variously to improve tissue and blood compatibility or to serve as low molecular weight cutoff and ionomeric barriers able to help reject undesired small and/or charged molecules. Device instability and interference are a special challange in the case of continuously operating biosensors. Here, surface fouling is a cumulative problem, recalibration not easy and in the case of tissue in vivo sensors, operating where the true concentration local concentration is unknown. We have adapted electrochemical enzyme based biosensors for such in vivo use, as these have a ready facility for miniaturisation. We have focussed on biocompatible barrier membranes inclusive of polyurethane and modified polycarbonate and PVC to undertake short term monitoring of oxygen glucose and lactate. The laminate combinations can be considered an ‘intelligent’ sensing interface, and one that has helped stabilise outputs. Alternative, planar ion selective electrodes (ISEs) have been fabricated using PEDOT:PSS for sweat pH and Na+ during exercise. More recently a smart textile with an ISE functionality has been developed capable of conformal device construction. More generally, the mix of smart materials and biosensors constitutes a convergent field with the potential to improve the leverage existing biosensor chemistries.

Keywords- Biosensor, polymer membrane, in vivo monitoring, ion selective textile.



Keynote Speaker II



Prof. Maria Tomoaia-Cotisel
Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Brief Biography: University professor Maria Tomoaia-Cotisel completed PhD at Babes-Bolyai University (BBU, 1979) of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and postdoctoral studies from London University, King’s College (1981, 1986, 1989), UK. She was the visiting scientist at Philipps University of Marburg, (1989/1990), Germany, State University of New York at Buffalo (1990/1991), US, National Institutes of Health, (1991-1993) and Molecular/Structural Biotech., Inc., (1994-1997), Bethesda, MD, USA. She is the founder and director of Research Center in Physical Chemistry (2007- ) at BBU. She published over 250 original research papers, 5 patents, and 10 books in physical chemistry, including thermodynamics, chemical structure, biophysics, bionanomaterials, colloids and interfaces. She got awards, e.g., Gheorghe Spacu Award (1983, from the Academy of Sciences in Romania), Alexander von Humboldt Award (1986, Germany), Japan Society for Promotion of Science and Technology Award (1986, Japan) and Fogarty Award (1991, USA) for science and technology. Research Interests: Nanomaterials, advanced nanotechnology for biomedical applications, nanostructured advanced biomaterials, multi-substituted hydroxyapatite based bioceramics for osteoporotic bone remodeling and regeneration, nanomaterials for tissue engineering, nanomicrobials, biocomposites, biomimetic self-assembled scaffolds, porous bioresorbable scaffolds, regenerative medicine, cancer cellular therapy, nanoparticles of gold and silver for cancer therapy, nanoscale materials for drug delivery, Biomolecular immobilization and surface modification strategies.



Keynote Speaker III



Prof. Jordi Arbiol

ICREA & Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST


Brief Biography: Prof. Jordi Arbiol graduated in Physics at Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in 1997, where he also obtained his PhD (European Doctorate and PhD Extraordinary Award) in 2001 in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) applied to nanostructured materials. He was Assistant Professor at UB. From 2009 to 2015 he was Group Leader at Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona, ICMAB-CSIC. He is President of the Spanish Microscopy Society (SME), was the Vice-President from 2013 to 2017. Since 2015 he is the leader of the Group of Advanced Electron Nanoscopy at Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). He has been awarded with the EU40 Materials Prize 2014 (E-MRS), the 2014 EMS Outstanding Paper Award, listed in the Top 40 under 40 Power List (2014) by The Analytical Scientist and the PhD Extraordinary Award in 2001 (UB).


Keynote Speech Title: Free-standing nanostructures at atomic scale: from growth mechanisms to local properties at the nanoscale


Technology at the nanoscale has become one of the mainchallenges in science as new physical effects appear and can be modulated atwill. Materials for spintronics, electronics, optoelectronics, sensing, energyapplications and new generations of functionalized materials are takingadvantage of the low dimensionality, improving their properties and opening anew range of applications. As developments in materials science are pushing tothe size limits of physics and chemistry, there is a critical need for understandingthe origin of these unique physical properties (optical and electronic) andrelate them to the changes originated at the atomic scale, e.g.: linked tochanges in (electronic) structure of the material.In the present work, I willshow how combining advanced electron microscopy imaging with relatedspectroscopies in an aberration corrected STEM will allow us to probe theelemental composition and electronic structure simultaneously with the opticalproperties in unprecedented spatial detail.Thetalk will focus on several examples in advanced nanomaterials for optical,plasmonic and energy applications. In this way the latest results obtained bymy group on direct Visualizing and modeling materials at atomic scale will helpto understand their growth mechanisms (sometimes complex [1,2]) and alsocorrelate their physical properties (electronic and photonic) at sub-nanometerwith their atomic scale structure. The examples will cover a wide range of nanomaterials:quantum structures self-assembled in a nanowire: quantum wires (1D) [3] andquantum dots (0D) [4,5] and other complex nanowire-like morphologies forphotonic and energy applications (LEDs, lasers, quantum computing, singlephoton emitters, water splitting cells, batteries) [7,8,9,10], nanomembranesand 2D sheets [8,11].


1. de la Mata M, Arbiol J, et al (2014) Nano Letters 14, 6614.                      2. de la Mata M, Arbiol J, et al (2016) Nano Letters 16, 825.
3. Arbiol J et al (2012) Nanoscale 4, 7517.                                                   4. Uccelli E, Arbiol J et al (2010) ACS Nano 4, 5985.
5. Heiss M, Arbiol J et al (2013) Nature Mater. 12, 439.                               6. Arbiol J et al (2013) Materials Today 16, 213.
7. de la Mata M, Arbiol J et al (2013) J. Mat. Chem. C 1, 4300.                   8. Tang P-Y, Arbiol J et al (2016) Nano Energy 22, 189.
9. Tang P-Y, Arbiol J et al (2017) Energy Environ. Sci., 10, 2124.              10. Urbain F, Arbiol J et al (2017) Energy Environ. Sci., 10, 2256.
11. Tutuncuoglu G, Arbiol J, et al (2015) Nanoscale 7, 19453.