This project will support the 2011 Summer Bioengineering Conference in Naples, Florida on Jun 22-26, 2011. The NSF funds will aid in reducing student registration fees; and to help fund awards for the annual Student Paper Competition (the existence of awards is believed to increase participation and hence student attendance to this meeting). A hallmark of this meeting is the interaction and true integration of rigorous engineering principles and biologic concepts. The conference format will be 6 parallel sessions of oral presentations. Approximately a third to half of the accepted papers will be presented in poster format. A booklet will provide program details to the participants of the conference. All technical presentations will be two-page extended abstracts and compiled in a CD format, distributed to all registrants.

Intellectual Merit: The SBC is an extremely high quality scientific and intellectually stimulating interdisciplinary meeting. It is the premiere meeting for bioengineering with a focus on biomechanical engineering. The conference brings together the different bioengineering communities including cell and molecular engineering, tissue engineering, cardiovascular engineering, etc. It is co-sponsored by several prestigious bioengineering related societies. The requested funding for this meeting is to increase and enhance the participation of student attendees, to help ensure the future of our field. Plenary lectures at the 2011 SBC will highlight an outstanding speaker with lectures relevant for all attendees, and especially inspiring for student attendees. Dr. Elazer Edelman (MIT and Harvard) will deliver a lecture on vascular biotechnology from a clinician-scientist?s perspective.

Dr. Roger Quinn (Case Western Reserve University) will lecture on nature-inspired design of robots and mechanisms to perform tasks to better assist people with disabilities. Six workshops, one ?Grand Challenge? event and our usual three award lectures will be held at the 2011 SBC. The Grand Challenge Competition to Predict Knee Loads in Vivo will build on successful similar events held in both 2009 and 2010. The aim of this competition is to advance the entire field of musculoskeletal modeling by critically evaluating muscle force estimates at the knee during gait using data collected from an actual patient with a force-measuring knee implant. Competitors will be given access to key biomechanical data and asked to use their unique computational models to predict knee contact forces which will be compared to those that are measured. Workshops to be held will include ?Frontiers in Research to Aid People with Disabilities?, ?Funding Landscape in Research to Aid People with Disabilities?, ?Mentoring of and for Bioengineers?, ?Gradients in Tissue Engineering?, ?360 Degree View in Orthopedics Research? and ?Mechanical Circulatory Support?. Finally, stimulating lectures will be given by the winners of the three Divisional awards ? YC Fung Award, Van Mow Medal, HR Lissner Award - to highlight three different career levels ? early, mid and late, respectively. Student and young professional attendees particularly benefit from hearing from these award winners.

Broader Impact: In addition to the direct impact this conference will have on the mainstream bioengineering community, it will serve an important cross-fertilization role. We expect to have bioengineers, engineers from other disciplines, cell and molecular biologists, biochemists, biophysicists, and other scientists participating in the meeting. In that manner, this conference will have a much broader impact than if it were to be attended by just the bioengineering community. Most importantly, we expect that more than 50% of the attendees will be students and other trainees (post-docs). This will provide a broad impact for the current times as well as for the future as these students will benefit by participation in the meeting and through the material presented by the plenary speakers and workshops. Furthermore, through the CD containing technical proceedings and conference web site, information presented at the meeting will be available to multiple societies and to the public at large.

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University of Pittsburgh
United States
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