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Research and development at the convergence of microelectronics, nano-materials, biochemistry, measurement technology and information technology is leading to a new class of biomedical systems and applications e.g. molecular imaging, point of care testing, gene therapy and bionics (including on and inside the body sensors and other miniaturised smart systems) which are expected to revolutionise the healthcare provision and quality of life. In particular they are expected to identify diseases at the earliest possible stage, intervene before symptomatic disease becomes apparent and monitor both the progress of the diseases and the effect of intervention and therapeutic procedures. The group of EC-funded projects on Micro-Nano-Bio Convergence Systems, “so-called” MNBS, is made by projects developing systems that use a vast array of technologies to integrate across traditional boundaries between the micro-nano- bio, and info worlds, enabling a wide range of applications from health care to food quality monitoring. It includes mainly two sub-groups, one dealing with systems for in vitro molecular diagnosis and biological/biochemical analysis and the other is dealing with systems for in vivo interaction with the human body. Current status of development and future challenges, technological and socioeconomic, are briefly presented in this paper as background introductory information to the mini-symposium on MNBS. Relevant examples of R&D within the group will be presented in the mini-symposium.
Date of Conference: 20-25 Aug. 2008