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Biotechnological Routes to Multifunctional Materials

BIOCATNET - Network in Biocatalyst Discovery, Development and Scale-Up

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at 10:00 - Thursday, 29 March 2018 at 14:00 (BST)

Biotechnological Routes to Multifunctional Materials

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Two day ticket: 28th-29th March 2018 Ended Free  

Event Details

This workshop looks at how enzyme-based industrial biotechnology can provide routes to multifunctional materials, enhancing product functionality through incorporation of natural or engineered biological components, or by enabling advanced manufacturing processes.

Multifunctional materials enhance overall operational performance by incorporating a number of tailorable properties into a single material element. Multifunctional materials outperform their conventional counterparts by combining additional functionalities, such as electrical, optical, self-healing, sensing, thermal, antimicrobial and biocidal, adhesion control properties. Typically, multifunctional engineering materials are composites providing both structural and non-structural properties, for example incorporating electrically conducting fibres into a matrix to create structural electronic components. Many examples can also be found of natural multifunctional materials, such as nanostructured insect wings which provide both anti-reflective and anti-wetting properties. Multifunctionality offers many potential advantages such as by reducing size, weight, energy consumption, and cost, while simplifying implementation and improving performance and durability.   

Multifunctionality may be achieved either through biocatalytic production or modification, or by including enzymes as a functional element of the end product producing materials capable of functions including:

  • Sensing
  • Repair
  • Control and response
  • Responsive surfaces

The workshop aims to drive the development of IB solutions to those challenge areas, anticipating and responding to the requirements of industry. This will be achieved by stimulating new collaborative research and development of biotechnological routes to multifunctional materials, focussing on target applications in:

  • Coatings
  • Fibres
  • Bulk materials
  • Membranes

The UK is a recognised international leader in both IB and materials, and the goal of this aspirational workshop is to foster a community capable of ambitious and cross-cutting research that will accelerate materials innovation.

Organising Committee (University of Manchester)

Dr. Christopher Blanford – School of Materials

Dr. Jonny Blaker – School of Materials

Dr. Matthieu Gresil – School of Materials

Dr. Gyorgy Szekely – School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences

Dr. Mark Corbett – CoEBio3

Dr. Kirk Malone – Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Registration for this event is free and includes food and refreshments, a networking reception & dinner, and overnight accommodation in The Principal Manchester hotel.

If you would like to register interest in giving a 5-minute flash presentation, then please provide a short title and summary by email to the organisers after submission of this application:



This workshop is sponsored by BIOCATNET, a BBSRC network in industrial biotechnology and bioenergy (NIBB).Please note that due to BBSRC rules you will only eligible for free registration if you are a member of BIOCATNET at the time of the event. Membership of the network is free of charge and does not require further commitment to attend events. Please see for registration and T&Cs.

Please note that charges may be incurred in the event of non-attendance: if for any reason you are unable to attend, please contact the organisers as soon as possible.

Do you have questions about Biotechnological Routes to Multifunctional Materials? Contact BIOCATNET - Network in Biocatalyst Discovery, Development and Scale-Up

When & Where

The Principal Manchester
Oxford Street
M60 7HA Manchester
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at 10:00 - Thursday, 29 March 2018 at 14:00 (BST)

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BIOCATNET - Network in Biocatalyst Discovery, Development and Scale-Up

BIOCATNET is the BBSRC NIBB dedicated to discovery, development and scalable production of biocatalysts for the whole IB community. BIOCATNET provides a cross-sector forum with the goals to foster and enhance collaboration; develop skills and expertise; share best practice; define common research priorities; and target funding opportunities in industrial biocatalysis.

Access to biocatalysts developed by academic laboratories, together with the ability of industry to identify, screen and scale-up production of a broad range of biocatalysts, have been identified as major barriers to entry for those wishing to use biocatalysis for Industrial Biotechnology. By bringing together key research expertise from the academic and industrial sectors, along with manufacturers and end-users, BIOCATNET will address key challenges to help shape the future of Industrial Biotechnology in the UK and beyond.


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