Ohio State to host first worldwide biomed/nanotech conference

August 22, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hundreds of researchers are expected next month at Ohio State University for the first-ever comprehensive international conference devoted to two growing disciplines that may revolutionize medicine: micro- and nanotechnology.

About 70 research papers have been scheduled to be presented at BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology World 2000, led by Mauro Ferrari, Director of the Biomedical Engineering Center, and Associate Director of the Heart and Lung Institute at Ohio State. The conference will run September 23 through 26 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

Highlights of research to be presented at the conference include:During the meeting, Ferrari, who is also a professor of internal medicine, mechanical engineering, and materials science at Ohio State, hopes to establish the first worldwide scientific association dedicated to advancing research in this area.

Ferrari said the time is right for scientists working on all aspects of these tiny medical devices to join together.

"There have been conferences on subtopics like DNA chips or micro-sized sensors, but this is the first time all topics, and people from all the different disciplines and research sectors will come together," said Ferrari. "It's only natural that we come together now, when these fields are experiencing a surge in innovation, funding, and public interest."

The conference will feature a blend of art and science with a showing of the murals of Italian artist Bruno d'Arcevia, who takes the inspiration for his grand Renaissance-style paintings from the life's work of biomedical researchers such as Ferrari.

Ohio State is the appropriate focal point for this historic meeting, Ferrari said, because the university, the city of Columbus, and the state of Ohio have invested heavily in the development of micro- and nanotechnology. He pointed to the founding of the Science and Technology Campus Corporation (SCITECH) at Ohio State. SCITECH is a business incubator that will house start-up companies including iMEDD, Inc., which was co-founded by Ferrari to commercialize his developments in biomedical nanotechnology.

Ferrari has asked the National Science Foundation to support holding the conference in Ohio for the next four years -- in Columbus for 2000 and 2001, in Cincinnati for 2002, and in Cleveland for 2003.

"When people hear 'microelectronics,' they think of Silicon Valley," Ferrari Said. "Ten years from now, when people hear 'nanotechnology,' we want them to think of Ohio."
Editor's note: Members of the news media interested in attending the conference should contact Pam Frost at the above phone number or e-mail. More information about the conference, including abstracts of accepted research papers, can be found on the Web here.

Written by Pam Frost, (614)292-9475, Frost.18@osu.edu

Ohio State University

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