ESF Research Conferences

ESF-EMBO Symposium


Chaired by


Kenneth AdrianDawsonE-Mail
University College DublinSchool of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyDepartment of ChemistryDublinIreland


University College DublinSchool of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyCentre for BioNano InteractionsDublinIreland


3-8 November 2007


Hotel Eden Roc, Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
The conference will take place in Sant Feliu de Guixols, on the Spanish Costa Brava, 120 km north of Barcelona and 30 km south of Girona. Group transportation will be arranged from/to Barcelona airport, on arrival and departure days.

Final Programme & List of Accepted Participants

The interaction of condensed materials with biological cells has long been a subject of scientific and practical interest. It has typically been assumed that the detailed chemical and physical properties of the surface determine the intra- and to some degree the inter-cellular processes via rather specific interactions. Such interactions, being a detailed property of a specific material and its surface preparation require rather detailed study in order to make a rational connection between surface and the state of the cell. Given this picture, it is difficult to see how general paradigms, these most often the remit of physical science, could emerge. However, this conception of surface-cell interactions is incorrect, and we believe that, besides leading to misinterpretations in the past, it has contributed to an unnecessary barrier between biological, biomedical and physical sciences.

It is now beginning to be understood that the nature of the biomaterial surface is not the important parameter in determining biocompatibility, but rather the nature of the outermost layer of the surface-adsorbed adsorbed proteins, which is what the cells actually interact with. That is, the different organisation of the proteins in the surface adsorbed layer may lead to a variety of peptide units (here termed “epitopes”) being expressed at the surface. In cases where the proteins have lost most of their tertiary structure, it is highly likely that peptide sequences (epitopes) that are not displayed at the surface by the native protein may in fact be presented at the surface by adsorbed proteins. Such surface expressions could contain novel epitopes that trigger various signalling pathways or even diseases. Thus, future approaches to understanding cell-biomaterial and cell-nanoparticle interactions should focus on characterizing the outer layer of the adsorbed proteins, or “epitope mapping”. 

In this conference we seek to discuss the consequences of protein-adsorption on a surface in a manner that is appropriate for future study by physical and biological sciences, and useful for the biomedical sciences, and particularly as a paradigm on which to base the emerging field of NanoToxicology, as here the amount of surface available to interact with proteins and cells is enormous. 

It is therefore timely to bring together many of the European researchers active in this arena, along with some of their non-European counterparts, to discuss how to best frame and develop the emerging arena of Nanotoxicology and especially to build onto the existing expertise in biomaterials.

The meeting is not just planned as a place to how results, but as a working environment for establishing and developing the newly emerging discipline of NanoToxicology. There will be invited talks, as well as poster sessions and open discussions. Young people are especially encouraged to participate, as the meeting is very much looking forward to the future.

Final Programme PDF (212 KB) Last Updated 23-October-2007
List of Invited Speakers & Accepted Participants

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

There will be no short talks other than those listed on the programme. All other abstracts have been accepted as posters.

Posters can be fixed with blue tack or tape onto poster panels. Poster size should be no more than 130 cm high x 130 cm wide. Use letters and drawings that can be read from approximately 100 cm distance.

List of Accepted Posters PDF (172 KB) Last Updated 31-October-2007

Group Transportation & Practical Information Guide

Detailed information on all practical aspects of the conference (access to site, registration & fee payments, accommodation, travel reimbursements...) is available from the Practical Information Guide. Please read it fully and carefully...

Practical Information Guide PDF (196 KB) Last Updated 28-August-2007

Three buses will be arranged on arrival day from Barcelona airport to Sant Feliu. The journey takes approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic.

Bus departure times – Saturday 3 November: 16.30 and 17.30 and 18.30

Airport departure point: the buses will wait in the special bus parking area located just before the A terminal. Each bus has been requested to be at the meeting point 20-30 minutes before scheduled departure. The coaches will have a sign in the window indicating “ESF Research Conferences” for easy recognition.

Group transportation back to Barcelona airport will be arranged in a similar way for the departure day.

Bus departure times – Thursday 8 November: 08.00and 09.00

Please note that SINGLE accommodation can only be guaranteed to invited speakers. All other participants will have to share a TWIN room. In case single rooms would become available at the time of the conference, rooms will be attributed on a “first come, first served” basis. Only the TWIN conference fee should be paid to the ESF when registering. The supplement for single should be paid to the venue directly. Should you wish to be put on waiting list for single accommodation, please contact Ms. Anne Blondeel-Oman.

Conference Fees


What the fees cover

EUR 850

conference, meals and single room

EUR 750

conference, meals and twin OR double room

EUR 510

non-resident: conference, meals (no room)

Note: Participants working for private industries (to the exception of Invited Speakers) are requested to pay an additional EUR 190 to the above fees.

Some grants available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and possibly part of the travel costs. Grant requests should be made by ticking appropriate field(s) in the paragraph "Grant application" of the application form.

Registration Form

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration Form.
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 5 October 2007

ESF Contact

Senior Conference Officer

Phone: +32 (0)2 533 2020
Fax: +32 (0)2 538 8486
Please quote 07-227 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).