Recent developments in nanoscience and the inspiration derived from molecular biology give rise to visions of nanoengineering aimed at manufacturing complex, heterogeneous nano-sized structures of well-controlled architecture and function. The attainment of this technological goal requires a better understanding of Assembly and Self Assembly (ASA) as encountered in biology, supramolecular chemistry and soft matter physics.
Certain areas of ASA are by now well established as domains for interdisciplinary research. The well-recognized ASA topics include soluble amphiphiles and block copolymers, membranes and proteins. However, the scope of the field is much broader, ranging from virology to petroleum engineering. The development of interdisciplinary research concerning the full range of ASA problems was hampered by the weak overlap between the communities involved.
The proposed conference aims to help overcome this obstacle by gathering leading representatives of the diverse communities involved in order to discuss the broader aspects of ASA. In particular, the conference will emphasize biological and biologically inspired systems. It will bring together molecular biologists, soft matter physicists and supramolecular chemists to discuss ASA topics varying from viral assembly to the use of ASA to control water flow in oil reservoirs. Sessions will be devoted to silk and fibres, the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton of living cells, pattern formation by cells, physics of DNA and gene therapy, biomineralization, assembly of neurons and nanomanipulation techniques.
Both the program and the participants are carefully chosen to promote future developments in ASA. The invited speakers are world leaders in their respective domains, capable of presenting talks to a mixed audience and committed to the idea of interdisciplinary collaborations. The conference will provide both young and senior scientists with a unique overview of novel ASA problems as well as with the opportunity to interact with leading scientists from Europe and the USA and to develop future collaborations.