UMCG and UNAM jointly organized the 1st Symposium and Summer School in Nanomedicine, Biomaterials, and Bionanotechnology


To address recent advances in the fields of Nanomedicine, Biomaterials, Bionanotechnology and Medical Robotics, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) jointly organized the 1st Symposium and Summer School in Nanomedicine, Biomaterials, and Bionanotechnology. The event held from 19th to 22nd of June 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico, through the collective effort of faculty members from the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) of the UMCG, the Materials Research Institute (IIM) and the Institute of Chemistry from the UNAM ( 

This symposium sought to highlight the most recent advances within the areas of expertise of the invited group leaders from BME/UMCG, in addition to disseminating to university students the double degree postgraduate opportunity offered through the UNAM-University of Groningen Agreement. 

The symposium's inaugural address was delivered by Prof. Hélder Santos, the head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UMCG. He highlighted the substantial shifts underway in the medical landscape through the pivotal role of nanomedicines and biomaterials as novel groundbreaking therapeutic tools. He illustrated this notion through the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the utilization of nanotechnology in vaccine development as an evidence to showcase this new technological boom in science.

The importance of nanomedicine is related to "enabling pharmaceutical industries to formulate current active drug molecules in novel platforms that lead to more effective therapies in many ways, such as reduced side effects, enhanced drug accumulation in the side of defect, or improving the stability of the drug in the body," he added.
The event unfolded as a dynamic exchange of ideas through a series of panel discussions and scientific talks given by seven professors of different nationalities affiliated to the UMCG. They delivered their lectures on the researches carried out in their laboratories. This fostered an interdisciplinary dialogue among students and UMCG speakers, namely Dr. Hélder Santos, Dr. Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi, Dr. Prashant Sharma, Dr. Theo van Kooten, Dr. Patrick van Rijn, Dr. Sarthak Misra, Dr. Brandon Peterson. The discussed topics allowed attendees to delve into diverse topics ranging from targeted drug delivery and regenerative medicine to robotics, nano-biointerface, foreign body reaction to biomaterials, and microbiology.

Faculty members from both BME/UMCG and UNAM expressed their interest in strengthening the contact and exchange of ideas among their groups. In this context, different meetings and lab visits were organized during the symposium to establish new collaborations and strengthen existing ones through joint research projects and the training of highly specialized and globally competitive human resources. 

With more than 270 accepted registrations, the event was a success in many ways and participants departed with a sense of optimism and anticipation for the transformative potential that nanomedicine, biomaterials, and bionanotechnology hold for the future of healthcare. In the wake of this enlightening gathering, faculty members of both universities are now ready for future collaborations through the current bilateral relationship between the University of Groningen and UNAM.