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It was a packed first day of the conference, with hundreds of delegates logging on to access presentations, vote for posters and download specially selected content.

Delegates can vote for the Delegates’ Choice poster award until 6pm GMT on the 21st November – so log on now to cast your votes. So far, Nanoindentation testing of a chitosan-graft-poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymer scaffold for soft tissue engineering, Comparing of ring opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone by ion-paired and immobilized thermomyces lanuginosa lipase, and Biomimetic nanofibrous structures for tissue engineering are leading the nominations.

You can still watch all the presentations – everything is available on-demand – with live Question and Answer sessions still to come over the next two days, including:

Bioresorbable electronics
John A. Rogers - Live Q&A: 21st November, 5pm GMT | 12pm EST

DNA architectures for materials engineering
Jennifer N. Cha - Live Q&A: 20th November, 4pm GMT | 11am EST

Platforms for engineering functional three-dimensional tissues
Suwan Jayasinghe - Live Q&A: 21st November, 3pm GMT | 10am EST

Yesterday in the conference, Marco Rolandi answered questions about Biocomposites and devices with naturally derived polysaccharides, including:

What makes chitin suitable for self-assembled layers?

Marco Rolandi:
Apart from the fact that it seems to work; typically systems with a high degree of hydrogen bonding, but are still somewhat soluble, will likely create self-assembled structures.

How does one judge the suitability of various bio-based polymers for the application?

Marco Rolandi:
I am not sure whether there is some sort of recipe here. However, one can look at how biopolymers such as collagen or cellulose self-assemble in nature and see whether there is a suitable strategy to replicate the natural structures.

How long does the nanofiber self-assembly take - and can you speed up the process?

Marco Rolandi:
It depends. When we simply drop cast a solution on a silicon substrates self-assembly occurs in a matter of minutes at most. When we make thicker films, self-assembly can take longer, sometimes days. We have a paper coming out in JMCB soon where we compare different film preparation strategies, times, microstructure, and mechanical properties. I have not had a chance to go into details in this presentation, however.

See you at the conference! #MTconference

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