Within the fifteen years since the birth of MAGI Group, we wanted to interview some of the guests and speakers of the event. As in the case of professor Donald Martin, Professor of Nanobiotechnologies at the University Grenoble Alpes.
“It was a real honour to have been invited to attend the Biotech Congress in Venice to celebrate the 15 years of the MAGI Group. The Congress provided an opportunity to meet old friends and new friends in the growing network of European biotechnology. It was particularly pleasing to see the strong and growing interaction of the MAGI Group with the EBTNA (European Biotechnology Thematic Network Association). These types of strong interactions are important to forge the collaborative links to exploit the mutlidisciplinary skills required to develop cutting-edge biotechnology tools and know-how to provide solutions for medical problems. The structure of the Biotech Congress was very well adapted to foster such strong interactions and collaborative links. On a practical and personal level, Dr Bertelli introduced me to several scientists with whom I am continuing to discuss the prospects for collaborative projects in biotechnology.”
“The field of biotechnology is large and could be considered simply as the development of technology that is uses a knowledge of biology. For example, the long history of utilizing the biological processes of microorganisms to produce bread or cheese. Nonetheless, modern biotechnology demands the development of breakthrough products and biotechnologies to fight debilitating and rare diseases; to reduce people’s environmental footprint; to provide solutions for enhancing the world’s food supply; to use less and cleaner sources of energy; and to have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.”
“It is clear that concepts of biotechnology are conceived from the know-how and skills from many different disciplines, and so the future developments in biotechnology will be similarly wide-ranging across many fields of applications. As but one example, biomimetic and bioinspired biotechnology has a strong future. The elegant feature of biology that encapsulates the concepts of biomimetics and bioinspiration is the self-assembly of molecules into functional systems at the dimensions of nanometers. A central feature of such biological nanostructured systems is the self-assembly of phospholipid bilayer membranes that both
provide compartments (i.e., biological cells) to rationalize the overall function of complex organisms (e.g., plants, animals) and also to provide an environment in which to stabilize proteins to assist in the sensing and actuating functions of biological cells. Such a biomimetic and bioinspired approach to biotechnology systems is by harnessing the bioinspired self-assembly of biological molecules to develop nanostructured biomimetic systems. Clearly, to make practical biotechnology systems does continue to require some aspects of materials synthesis, including polymers, metals, and ceramics. It follows that this approach to bioinspiration and biomimetic biotechnology will result in hybrid systems comprising synthetic materials that support and integrate self-assembled biological components.”
“The development of biomimetic and bioinspired biotechnology will be at the heart of emerging technologies for nanomedicine. It is very difficult arbitrarily to provide precise pointers to the types of specific emerging technologies that should be applied to future developments in nanomedicine. Nonetheless, as I have discussed above, It seems that emerging technologies that are based on bioinspired and biomimetic
approaches appear to provide important directions for future improvements in medical outcomes, particularly in the field of nanomedicine.”
“Yes, indeed. The need to respect our environment requires the development of more sophisticated materials and forms of energy that do not leave long-lasting pollutants. It is outside my own area of expertise to describe details for such materials and energy. Nontheless, as a concerned scientist I remain well awrae of the needs to reduce the damage to our environment, and so I ddo believe that green biotechnology will continue to grow in importance. A timely example is the “Cop26″ meetingin Scotland later this month, where world political leaders should be able to reach consensus on the means to control the damage to our environment. There is a place for green biotechnology in such discussions.”