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Biological and Pharmaceutical Complex Fluids Conference

Conference Goals

The characterization of biological complex fluids such as proteins, DNA etc. is emerging as a rapidly evolving field. Understanding and establishing the structure-property relationships in such systems and understanding interactions in complex biopharmaceutical formulations is key to designing novel drug delivery mechanisms and new therapeutic solutions. However, most of these systems have their unique characterization challenges such as, small sample volumes, high sensitivity to any applied shear, external conditions etc. Also it is of primary importance to characterize the microstructure and interactions either in-vivo or in environments that very closely mimic the biological environment of interest. The need to characterize such complex fluids/soft matter systems also extends to other industrial sectors such as foods and personal care and some of the characterization challenges and limitations of current techniques remain quite similar across biopharmaceuticals, foods & personal care industries.

These challenges have led to a number of different developments in novel characterization techniques, ranging from particle tracking microrheology to microfluidics and MEMS-based techniques. A key challenge in proper application/refinement of these devices and the development of new ones lies in the ability to adequately understand the requirements from an industrial application perspective and ensure that the generated insights directly impact on the fundamental understanding required for generation of design rules for product & process design (therapeutic protein solutions, food systems etc).

This meeting, the first of its kind, will focus on bringing together a wide range of multi-disciplinary groups from academia and industry with a view to discussing key challenges, recent developments, and future trends in characterization of biological complex fluids. Some of the key areas of focus for the meeting will be novel characterization techniques focused on characterization of :

  • Proteins
  • Biological Polyelectrolytes
  • Complex Bio-Pharmaceutical Formulations
  • Microbial Communities and Biofilms
  • Membranes
  • Cellular Biophysics and Multicellular Dynamics

In addition, there will be an industry-focused session on: Industrial Challenges for Protein-based Formulations.

Conference Chair: Samiul Amin, Europe Ltd., UK (

Conference Co-Chair: Prof. Michael Solomon, University of Michigan, USA (Email:

Conference Scientific Steering Committee

Prof. Dave Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University, USA
Prof. Gareth McKinley, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Prof. Christoph F. Schmidt, Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, Georg August University, Germany
Prof. Jan Dhont, Head at IFF-Institute, Soft Condensed Matter, Germany
Dr. Jai A. Pathak, MedImmune, USA
Prof. Dganit Danino, Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Isreal
Dr. Patrick T. Spicer, Complex Fluid Microstructures, Procter and Gamble Co., USA

Conference Venue

Tomar, Portugal
Situated in the geographic center of Portugal, Tomar (about 135 km northeast of Lisbon) was founded by the notorious Knights Templar in 1160. The Templars were part monks, part warriors and plotted crusades from Tomar for centuries. They established the beginnings of the Convento de Cristo, Tomar's most famous landmark, on a hill overlooking town. The Convento combines architectural styles from the 12th through 17th centuries. An ornate octagonal canopy protects the high altar of the Templo dos Templares, modeled after the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the grounds of the convent contain eight cloisters embracing a variety of styles.

The Templars earned a reputation as ferocious fighters, and won the admiration and trust of both rich and poor. They served as protectors and transporters of Christian kings, power brokers and pilgrims and grew famous as bankers. The Templars acquired great wealth, but made many enemies in the process. Pope Clement V accepted accusations of heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege leveled against the Templars by Philip the Fair, king of France, and many Templars were imprisoned or executed. King Dinis of Portugal allowed them to regroup their forces under the new aegis of the Order of Christ. Prince Henry the Navigator became Administrator after the Templars became the Order of Christ and he used much their wealth to finance his explorations.

Tomar is divided by the River Nabo, the banks of which are dotted with weirs and wheels once used to water vegetable gardens and orchards. The irrigation techniques illustrate the Muslim tradition of hydraulic engineering. Most sights, accommodations and shops lie on the west bank of the river and the lush Parque Moucho straddles the two banks. The ancient yet functional Ponte Velha (Old Bridge) connects the two. Tomar's main shopping thoroughfare is rua Serpa Pinto, known locally as Corre Doura. Outlets for folklore, pottery, copperware and wrought iron highlight it. Tascas and bars are scattered throughout the city, with some offering live music.


Contact: Kevin Korpics
Engineering Conferences International

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