DH Richards Travel Bursary Report 2018

RSC Bio 2018By Dr. Maria M. Pérez-Madrigal (University of Warwick) who attended the 2018 RSC Biomaterials Chemistry Special Interest Group meeting in Bradford.

The RSC Biomaterials Chemistry Special Interest Group was set up back in 2005 to provide a focus for groups in UK universities and industry working on the synthesis and characterization of biomaterials. Among others, the group main objective is to enhance the understanding of the chemistries underlying the use of biomaterials in applications including prostheses, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. To that end, meetings are organized annually to promote biomaterials chemistry research and development, enhance existing links, foster new collaborations and spread expertise.

This year, the RSC Biomaterials Special Interest Group Annual Meeting 2018 was held in Bradford on the 10th-11th of January in the elegant and relaxing Great Victoria hotel. The event featured two days fully scheduled with three plenary lectures given by Prof. Mark Bradley, Prof. Andrew P. Dove, and Prof. Rein V. Ulijn. In addition, 27 contributed lectures and a full poster session with flash talks included gave the participants the opportunity to present their new research, discuss data during coffee breaks and share inspiring ideas over lunch. Indeed, talks and posters were of an incredibly high quality and displayed the innovative research currently carried out in this important and growing area of chemistry. More specifically, we learnt about 3D printing, superglues, polymeric core-shell nanoparticles, as well as peptide-based hydrogels for tissue engineering applications or tailored for cartilage regeneration in particular.

With the support of the D.H. Richards Memorial Bursary, awarded by the Macro Group UK, I was able to attend the meeting and give a talk about our latest contribution on “Nonswelling Thiol-Yne Cross-Linked Hydrogel Materials as Cytocompatible Soft Tissue Scaffolds” (Biomaterials 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b01204). Besides, Dr. Maria Chiara Arno, also from the Dove group, gave an interesting talk on “Precision Epitaxy for Aqueous 1D and 2D Poly(ɛ-caprolactone) Assemblies” (JACS 2017, 139, 16980).

Overall, the occasion was a great success, which was evidenced by the active discussions and excellent questions from the audience. This event is an essential opportunity to build the biomaterials community across the UK, so do not miss the next one in Liverpool January 2019!