BioFrontiers Symposium Regenerative Biox

Regenerative BioX:  Biology, Biomaterials, Bioengineering, Biosensing, Biofabrication, Bioimaging

Regenerative biology unfolds in complex microenvironments with dynamic changes that occur over multiple time and size scales. Understanding how cells receive and exchange information in this 4D space will enable new regenerative medicine paradigms and tissue engineering products to improve wound healing, treat disease, or even combat the deleterious effects of aging.    

While mechanical, chemical and biological cues all play a critical role in directing cell fate in vivo, understanding these dynamics requires advanced in vitro models of these processes, as well as new scientific tools (e.g., biomaterials, biofabrication, biosensing, bio-imaging). This symposium and workshop aim to converge researchers with expertise across the biosciences, bioengineering, and medical fields with the goal of identifying grand challenges and road-mapping strategies that will guide us towards discovering new knowledge and engineering principles to advance regenerative biology and medicine.

Our 2018 event will depart from the traditional pure symposium format and instead will include a half-day symposium featuring 6 science and engineering leaders in specific areas of interest, followed by a series of working group sessions involving 100 participants from diverse fields and sectors, to discuss grand challenges and opportunities in three key domains:

  • Advances in the chemistry and processing of precision biomaterials 
    • Biomaterial chemistry, additive manufacturing, biofabrication, and bioconjugation methods underpin numerous regenerative biology and medical technologies, such as sustained drug delivery systems, in situ bioanalytical tests, and implants that boost endogenous tissue repair. 
    • This session will highlight the latest biomaterial chemistries and technologies, and speculate as to how these may be enablers for advanced in vitro models of tissues, as well as material-based manipulation of cells, tissues and biomolecules in vivo
  • In vitro tissue and disease models
    • From cell-based therapies to regenerated tissues, results from in vitro cell experiments often diverge from in vivo outcomes.  This session will highlight how microfluidics, imaging, biomatrices and stem cell biology are rapidly converging to enable more advanced 3D tissue and organoid cultures, improved models of cancer, and even integrated body systems (e.g. heart, lung, and immune system) on microchips.
  • Manipulating tissue regeneration and biological responses in vivo
    • Ultimately, investment in the fundamental science and technology is aimed at ushering in a new era in biomaterials and regenerative biology products that can integrate with a patient’s body, at multiple length and time scales, to meet the demands of maintaining health. 
    • This session will highlight the current possibilities and unmet needs for manipulating tissues and biological processes in vivo. Wounds are complex and multifactorial; predicting and engineering the repair process in conjunction with the immune system and targeting the right cells and processes at the right time and place necessitates systems engineering principles. 
  • Training early-career scientists in regenerative biology 
    • This session is dedicated to rethinking education for future and early-career leaders of regenerative biology. Training in regenerative biology presents unique challenges because of the need to integrate interdisciplinary knowledge and research with translational, biomedical practice. This session will synthesize the current landscape of student and early-career training and explore new and high-potential strategies to build a holistic approach to elevating the next generation of scientists through knowledge, research, real-world experience, inclusivity, and professional developmental.

It is our hope that these discussions will capture a snapshot not only of where we are in these areas but, more importantly, where we are going, in a way that can be summarized in at the end of the event and then be documented in a perspective piece or review article for publication in an appropriate venue. We hope to establish distinct collaborative clusters of participants who together, have the collective interests and expertise needed to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities that emerge from these discussions and can continue collaborating long after the workshop is over.