Nanotechnology in Medicine IV: Enabling Next Generation Therapies

An ECI Conference Series

June 7-12, 2020
Grand Hotel San Michele
Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

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About This Conference

Following the success of the first three ECI conferences on nanotechnology in biology and medicine (Nanotechnology for the Study of Cellular and Molecular Interactions in 2009; Nanotechnology in Medicine: From Molecules to Humans in 2016) and Nanotechnology in Medicine II:  Bridging Translational in vitro and in vivo Interfaces in (2018), we set out to continue the series in Nanotechnology in Medicine with this fourth edition.

Nanotechnology promises to transform the way we treat and detect diseases. A few examples include systemically injectable nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of multiple therapeutic and contrast agents, advanced platforms and nanotechnologies that enable us to detect disease rapidly and understand molecular interactions needed to develop new therapeutics.

Despite the enormous promise, only a few therapies have reached the clinic. Less than 10% of systemically injected nanoparticles reach the intended target despite very robust targeting efforts. The fundamental understanding of the factors that lead to decreased bioavailability, such as serum protein adhesion, nanoparticle aggregation, permeability across tissue barriers and transfer through the intracellular and extracellular routes are limited. They depend on many factors including chemistry of the nanoparticles, aggregation and mechanical properties of the environment they are applied to.

Recent advances in stem cell biology and microfabrication, enable us to develop on-chip models of human tissues. With the emergence of induced pluripotent stem cells it is now possible to obtain millions of human cells in an ethical manner from adults.  It is possible for us to create microfabricated 3D models and on-chip systems that recapitulate key physiological functions of target organs. These organ-on-a-chip models are turning into indispensable tools to study nanoparticle toxicity, distribution in body-on-a-chip models and translocation across tissue barriers. They provide an opportunity to uncouple and systematically study various factors leading to low bioavailability of nanoparticles in vivo.

This conference will expand upon the mission of its predecessor by providing a diverse and broadened platform to:

  • deepen mechanistic understanding of biodistribution of systematically applied nanoparticles;
  • explore the effects of mechanical environment;
  • illustrate the use of tissue and organ-on-a-chip models in the studies of nanoparticle distribution and toxicity;
  • generate improved mechanistic understanding of the factors necessary to control in vivo nanoparticle targeting;
  • exploit this understanding to generate highly effective nanotechnologies for the early detection, imaging, and treatment of human diseases.

The conference aims to bring together a broad range of scientists covering the interdisciplinary fields of biology, chemical and bioengineering, material science, physics, and others. Moreover, the conference will devote a dedicated ‘industry session’ where selected companies will have an opportunity to give oral presentations in an effort to bridge academic research and industrial R&D.

Overall, the fourth chapter of this conference series will help to further discussions among the interdisciplinary nanotechnology in medicine community, while also fostering the development of new, synergistic collaborations between academic and industrial scientists.

Current sessions planned are:

  • Nanotechnology for next generation therapies
  • Mechanical environment in health and disease
  • Organ-on-a-chip models to enable nanotherapy
  • Nanotechnology in regenerative medicine

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Hossam Haick, Technion, Israel
Roger Dale Kamm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Politecnico Milano, Italy
Fabio Cicoira, Polytechnique Montreal
Frank Gu, University of Toronto, Canada
Jochen Guck, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany
Peter Loskill, Fraunhofer IGB, Germany
Naomi Matsuura, University of Toronto, Canada
Adrian Roth, Roche, Basel, Switzerland
Stefaan De Smedt, School of Pharmacy Ghent University, Belgium
Shyni Varghese, Duke Biomedical Engineering, USA

Use THIS LINK to view the previous conference on this topic.

Conference Organization


Prof. Milica Radisic                   

            University of Toronto, Canada                 

 Web page



Prof. Victor Shahin                                       

Institute of Physiology II, Medical Faculty

University of Münster, Germany  

Web page

Organizing Committee:

     Millicent Sullivan, PhD
University of Delaware, USA



     Josué Sznitman, Dr. Sc.
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel




     Joye Bramble, PhD
Eisai Pharmaceuticals, USA




Sponsorship Levels

Please click HERE to view the various levels for sponsoring this conference.

Conference Venue

Cetraro and Grand Hotel San Michele

Cetraro Marina, a pleasant seaside resort is about two km from the Cetraro Commune of which it is a part.  The ancient Citrarium (name derived from the abundant citrus cultivation in the area) was a center of the Bruzi rising between Paola and Capo Bonifati.  Its coast location offers many interesting boat excursions.

The picturesque Grand Hotel San Michele ( is situated on the Tyrrhenian Coast, 120 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, with a fantastic view of Calabria’s southern coast.  It offers visitors one of the prettiest locations Southern Italy has to offer and is considered by many to be one of Calabria’s finest hotels.  Its beach (120 meters below the cliffs) is accessible only by a private special elevator.  The hotel has a swimming pool, driving range, tennis court, minigolf, piano bar and billiard room.

The hotel is surrounded by an organic farm that provides the hotel with fresh organic food.  Vegetables, fruits, olive oil, wine, milk, cheese, daily laid eggs, lamb, veal and pork meat, homemade jams and preserves are all produced on San Michele Hotel’s premises.

The acreage upon which the hotel is situated is also a bird sanctuary, where bird lovers from around Italy come to observe migratory patterns.

The maximum number of people that can be hosted in the hotel is about 80; however, there are other hotels in the area and the hotel can arrange pickups.


Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

Air: The Lamezia Airport (SUF) is 75 km from the hotel.  The hotel can arrange for pick-ups.  The airport is served by Alitalia, Delta, Lufthansa and many others

Train: The Paola Railway station is about 21 km from the hotel by ItaliaRail.

Auto: Use the Motorway Roma – Caserta Sud – Salarno – Lagonegro Nord – Fondo Valle Noce.  (293 km)

General Information About ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

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