III-2 – Materials to Modulate Ionic Transport in Biological Systems



Organizers: Shelley Minteer (University of Utah), Plamen Atanassov (University of New Mexico), Carlo Santoro (University of New Mexico), Enrico Traversa (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"), Clara Santato (Polytechnique Montreal), Milena De Nicola (University of Rome "Tor Vergata").

This symposium will discuss advances in the ion conducting materials in bioelectrochemistry including anion and cation exchange separator membranes based on polymers and ceramics for bioelectrochemical systems. Microbial fuel cells, microbial desalination cells, microbial electrosynthesis systems, and microbial biosensors are consider as a new-fashioned, enviromental friendly renewable energy poducing systems to convert waste- bound chemical energy into electricity. We will disscuss the role of ionomers in enzymatic fuel cells and biosensors, including synthesis of novel ionomers for use in enzyme immobilization and the use of ionomers for improving the selectivity of biosensors.

Ion conducting materials are used to understand a passive and active ionic process which is essential for cell homeostasis, including energy conversion to drive vital cellular process, signal transfer in neurons, and control of oxidative status. Protons and other ions like Na+, K+, Ca2+ specifically interact with proteins, and thus these interactions occur at the solid state or at its interface with liquid. This offers in turn opportunity for interaction of biological systems with ionic conducting materials, which may thus modulate the natural biological activity. An example is given by the antioxidant activity of cerium oxide nanoparticles on different human cells, due to the redox activity of the Ce3+/Ce4+ ions simultaneously present at the solid state. Proton transfer plays an important role, for example, in photosynthesis and proton-activated bioluminescence.

Recent experimental and theoretical investigation in ion conducting materials in biological system from the perspective and with the tools of solid state science and electrochemistry will be focused on the symphosium. This multidisciplinary approach has the goal of bridging the different scientific communities in a common ground for discussion.


Abstracts are solicited in, but not necessarily limited to, the following areas:

In this Symposium are also welcome those contributions which cover the topics beyond the above-described areas. This is done to provide the audience with a comprehensive description of Solid State Ionics. If your contribution is difficult to host within the above areas, please do not hesitate to contact directly the Conference Chairmen at ssi21@dii.unipd.it for advice.


List of Invited Speakers