Hong Kong
May 20 - 22, 2016

Multiscale Biosensing for Innovative Medicine

ASI-MBIM2016 Hong Kong

About ASI

An Advanced Study Institute (ASI) is a high-level teaching activity where a carefully defined subject, systematically presented, is treated in depth by lecturers of international standing, and new advances in a subject, not taught elsewhere, are reported in tutorial form. ASIs, as short courses, contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and the formation of international scientific contacts. The teaching in ASIs is aimed at established scientists with substantial scientific background in the topic being proposed.

Objectives of ASI-MBIM are:

A) To provide in-depth reviews of the state-of-the-art biosensing technologies for in-vitro and in-vivo investigations at the molecular, cellular, tissue and system levels;

B) To demonstrate how biosensing at multiscale levels could be assimilated on a common integrated platform to provide scientific understanding beyond what biosensing at each individual level could offer; and

C) To explore how multiscale biosensing technologies may be further developed to enable clinical diagnostics and prognostics.

Scientific Rationale

Enabling biomolecular sensing technologies have advanced much biomedical research in the past couple of decades. Examples include the use of fluorescent probes as molecular beacons, and more recently the FRET based biosensors, the genetically encoded biosensors, etc. Given the state-of-the-art imaging systems available, such techniques have primarily been applied to in-vitro cellular studies to track the expression of specific nucleotide, protein, kinase, cytokine, etc. These studies serve important purposes in understanding the cell and molecular biology in normal and pathological conditions.

Knowing the complex network of biomolecular pathways at the system level, the multiple types of cells and tissues involved in-situ, and the dynamicity of the in-vivo extracellular microenvironments, the need to advance these technologies to enable scaled-up studies in-vivo is obvious. However, past in-vivo studies have been somewhat limited in general by a lack of tools with high enough temporal and spatial resolution for cellular and molecular observation in the deep tissues. With the fast advancing molecular biosensors and associated imaging technologies, new possibilities are now available to integrate multiscale biosensing with macroscopic range and microscopic resolution.

In this ASI programme, we will highlight the challenges in multiscale biosensing. High resolution time-lapse multiple fluorescence imaging of a relatively large volume of deep tissues in vivo across dimensional scales needs to overcome many challenges. We would discuss, in view of those challenges, the prospect of using multiple biosensors on an integrated imaging platform with multiple channels to quantitatively relate specific molecular expressions at the subcellular and cellular levels to targeted physiological and functional events at the tissue and system levels. Some of these discussions will be organized around different areas of application, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular diseases.

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