Biotechnological routes to multifunctional materials

Posted on: 30/01/2018

A BIOCATNET workshop on 28-29 March will look at how enzyme-based industrial biotechnology can provide routes to multifunctional materials.


Multifunctional materials enhance overall operational performance by incorporating a number of tailorable properties into a single material element. They outperform their conventional counterparts by combining additional functionalities, such as electrical, optical, self-healing, sensing, thermal, antimicrobial and biocidal, adhesion control properties.

Typically, multifunctional engineering materials are composites providing both structural and non-structural properties, for example incorporating electrically conducting fibres into a matrix to create structural electronic components.

Many examples can also be found of natural multifunctional materials, such as nanostructured insect wings which provide both anti-reflective and anti-wetting properties. Multifunctionality offers many potential advantages such as by reducing size, weight, energy consumption, and cost, while simplifying implementation and improving performance and durability.

BIOCATNET Workshop, 28–29 March 2018, Manchester

BIOCATNET, a BBSRC network in industrial biotechnology and bioenergy (NIBB), is hosting a workshop on 28–29 March 2018 in Manchester to look at how enzyme-based industrial biotechnology (IB) can provide routes to multifunctional materials, enhancing product functionality through incorporation of natural or engineered biological components, or by enabling advanced manufacturing processes.

The UK is a recognised international leader in both IB and materials, and the goal of this aspirational workshop is to foster a community capable of ambitious and cross-cutting research that will accelerate materials innovation. New partnerships between these fields could unlock funding for interdisciplinary research, including the Global Challenges Research Fund; the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; BBSRC industrial CASE studentships; Dstl Defence and Security Accelerator Open Call for Innovation and ONR Global research grants; and EPSRC and Innovate UK calls related to manufacturing and materials.

Please note that due to the limited availability of places, registration for this event is by application. You can find out more and apply to take part here.


If you would like to discuss opportunities and support mechanisms for innovation in industrial biotechnology please contact a member of KTN’s Biotechnology Team.


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