Welcome to the website of the first conference on “Improving biomaterials through better understanding of their assembly mechanisms”
Biology makes use of molecular self-assembly in a wide variety of ways, from the formation of lipid bilayers over protein folding to the formation of functional protein polymers, such as the actin filaments of the cytoskeleton or the functional amyloid fibrils in bacterial biofilms. Inspired by the observation of these phenomena, material scientists have attempted to re-create some of the unique functionalities of biological materials. Along the way, they have discovered that biological materials can have astonishing and rather unexpected properties, such as very high mechanical stability and unusual optical and electrical properties. However, much of this insight has been obtained through empirical and exploratory studies, and mechanistic understanding of the relevant assembly processes has not been able to keep up with the rapid increase in the discovery of new phenomena in this context.
We believe that a more detailed and quantitative understanding of the assembly mechanisms of biological materials, and how the former influence the properties of the latter, holds the key for being able to taylor the materials properties according to the specific purpose they are intended to fulfill.
To this end, we are trying to bring together researchers from multiple disciplines that are interested in biomolecular self-assembly and its link with materials science. The aim of this conference is to foster stimulating exchange and advance our understanding of the fascinating topic of biomaterials.