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This 4th Symposium on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) has opened this morning at the Hospital of Bellvitge. This year the focus on ageing is inspired by the convergence of nano, bio- and information technology as key to sustainable healthcare for our rapidly ageing population.

At present, devices are being developed that can contribute to maintain the independence, like the lab-on-a-chip technology, which every day gets us closer to the reality of chronic illnesses supervision from house. Nanotechnology, for its part, can allow, from images systems, the precocious diagnosis of neurodegenerative illnesses. The advances in regenerative medicine offer new possibilities for the people with degenerative joint diseases or with cardiovascular problems, while robotics offers intelligent solutions to help in everyday tasks.

The opening act counted with the participation of Antoni Castellà, secretary of Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia; Dr. Josep A. Planell, director of IBEC; Dr. Montserrat Vendrell, CEO at Biocat; Dr. Ana Isabel Pérez Neira, vice-rector of Research at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and Dr. Dídac Ramírez, rector of the University of Barcelona.

The symposium brings together high-profile international experts for an open forum for interdisciplinary discussions and networking in our six fields of expertise: cellular biotechnology, nanobiotechnology, biomechanics and cellular biophysics, biomaterials, implants and tissue engineering, medical signals and instrumentation, and robotics and biomedical imaging. This year the event will include a workshop, Nanomedicine for Healthy Ageing, co-organised by biopol'H and the HUBc Campus of Excellence. It will take place tomorrow 19th October

The programme of speakers at the symposium will feature international experts including Herman Gaub of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Germany), Mike Hughes, University of Surrey (United Kingdom) and former astronaut Scott Parazynski, at present CTO at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston (United States).

Dates: 18th and 19th October 2011
Place: University Hospital of Bellvitge • Av. Gran Via • L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain)

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