Cutting-Edge Research on Nanomanufacturing, Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices & Diagnostics

Conference Schedule Day 2: October 20, 2009

Researchers will present in succession, followed by a panel discussion w/questions and answers, time permitting.
Please note that the following conference schedule and lineup is subject to change.

Morning Session, 8:30 am- noon
Sensors for Chemical and Biological Threats
James E. Whitten, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., U.S.
A variety of nanotechnology-based sensors are being developed at the University of Massachusetts Lowell to address chemical and biological threats of relevance to the United States Army. These sensors lend themselves to high-rate nanomanufacturing methods that will make possible their cost-effective mass production. An overview of the UMass Lowell research efforts will be presented, with emphasis on chemiresistive, functionalized gold nanoparticle films useful for the detection of chemical vapors, including explosives.
Advanced Polymer Micro- and Nanofabrication for Next-Generation Diagnostic Lab-on-a-Chip Platforms
Professor Jens Ducree, Dublin City University, Ireland

The translation of leading-edge research in biomedical diagnostics into patient-friendly point-of-care devices based on smart micro- and nanofluidic operating principles will require sophisticated polymer fabrication technologies. This presentation will cover important aspects of the emerging program on multi-scale polymer micro- and nanomachining and highlight recent developments on novel lab-on-a-chip platforms for application in the life sciences at the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute.
Novel Biosensor Platforms for Medical Diagnostics
Brian D. MacCraith, Director, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI), Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
In the coming decades, innovative biosensors will play an increasingly important role in the area of healthcare in both the developed and developing world. These devices will often be disposable and will rely on the integration of recent developments in a range of sciences and technologies, such as nanotechnology, microfluidics (lab-on-a-chip) and photonics. This presentation will discuss emerging strategies that will yield substantial enhancements in the analytical performance of optical biochip platforms, especially for point-of-care (POC) diagnostic applications.
In-Vivo Multi-Biomarker Nano-Biosensor
Ahmed Busnaina, W.L. Smith Professor and Director of the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN), Northeastern University, Boston, MA
There is a need for multifunctional nanosystems for the simultaneous monitoring of a variety of biomarkers in biological fluids to assess the progress of disease, toxicity, stress, etc. Further, the use of such devices for multidrug release in real time disease treatment is an important goal. The detection of biomarkers in combination with controlled drug release represents an exciting long term application of multifunctional nanosystems. Northeastern University’s NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN) developed a new process for selective assembly of nanoparticles into designated nanotrenches to yield structures for such multipurpose devices.
The Nanocanary: A Living Cell Biosensor for Environmental Monitoring
Professor Susan Braunhut, Biological Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., US
The number and variety of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) being manufactured and in commercial use is increasing rapidly and yet many of these materials have not been evaluated for their environmental safety.  We have developed a biosensor using live pulmonary cells and quartz crystal nanobalance technology that can detect and distinquish in real time cellular responses to diverse ENMs, representing different doses and different degrees of cellular toxicity.
Optical Fiber Sensors for Bioapplications
Xingwei Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., US
Optical fiber has its unique advantages when applied in biomedical sensing areas due to its small size, low signal loss, high sensitivity, biocompatibility, and immunity to electromagnetic interferences. This presentation will mainly focus on a blood pressure sensor that can be inserted into a standard guidewire for real-time blood pressure measurement inside the arteries.
Panel Discussion
Afternoon Session, 1:00pm-4:30pm
Nanomanufacturing Technology for BioMedical Applications
Directed Assembly of Polymer Blends as Platform for Bio/Medical Devices
Dr. Joey L. Mead, Deputy Director, NSF Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing and Co-Director Nanomanufacturing Center at UML, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., U.S.
Nanoscale templates have been used to direct the assembly polymer blends into uniform and nonuniform patterns. Chemically functionalized templates have assembled two polymers in 30 seconds directly from a solution of the two polymers.  The approach can be used to generate a variety of complex geometries including 90o bends, T-junctions, square and circle arrays, which have potential applications in fabrication of biosensors and platforms for other biomedical applications.  Electrophoretic assembly processes have been used to assemble conducting polymers followed by transfer to a secondary substrate to produce patterned polymer structures. These structures have application for electrically based biosensors.
Processing and Performance of Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites: Implications and Performance in Medical Devices and Packaging
Dr. Eileen Harkin-Jones, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
The processability of polymers can be significantly altered by the presence of nanoclay while the complex deformation and thermal regimes in industrial processes have an important influence on polymer-clay structuring and performance. In this presentation these aspects of polymer-clay nanocomposites processing will be examined and possibilities for tailored structuring in devices and packaging will be examined.
BioModular Multi-Scale Systems
Dr. David Kazmer, Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., U.S.
The design, modeling, fabrication, testing and manufacturing of a low-cost, mixed-scale system is described. The Molecular Processing System under development will possess the ability to analyze different inputs in near real-time for a variety of molecular signatures in applications such as homeland security, biological discovery, forensics and diagnostics. The technologies are focused on multi-scale and bio-modular design approaches that utilize paradigm-shifting molecular assays to offer near real-time readout at the single-molecule level. Some of the current challenges regarding high-performance materials and high production rate manufacturing of the bio-modules are discussed.
Molding Microstructures for Medical Applications
Dr. Carol Barry, Associate Director, NSF Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Mass., U.S.
Use of polymers offer opportunities for cost-effective, high-rate manufacturing of microfluidic devices and other products with micro and nanoscale structures.  This presentation will cover the major technologies emerging for molding microstructured polymeric devices, (hot embossing, nanoimprint lithography, and injection molding) and creating the tooling (molds) for these processes.  The capabilities and limitations of each process will be discussed, specifically with respect to replication of feature sizes, shapes, and surfaces.
On-Line Monitoring of Nanocomposite/Biomaterial Compounding for Process Optimisation
Dr. Marion McAfee, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Interest in nanocomposites has grown exponentially over the past decade, however, several years and much research effort later and there are as yet few commercial applications of nanocomposite polymers worldwide. It is known that processing conditions play a major role in successful nanocomposite production but there is little agreement amongst researchers on the relative effects of various processing conditions on factors such as clay dispersion. This presentation will cover novel methods for on-line monitoring of nanocomposite compounding which can be used for better fundamental understanding of the process and ultimately achieve greater optimisation and consistency of nanocomposite quality. Applications of such sensors in monitoring processing of degradation-prone biomaterials will also be discussed.
Panel Discussion

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Conference Location
UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center
50 Warren Street
Lowell, MA 01852


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