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Interfacing with the Future

Breakthroughs in Disease Detection, Tissue Engineering, and Biosensors Take Center Stage at First Workshop of the NYU School of Engineering's Institute for Engineered Interfaces

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many of today's most significant technological advances—electronic devices, the iPhone, medical implants, disease detection methods, and advanced materials—hinge on the development of revolutionary interfaces. The study of creating and optimizing the meeting of materials—also known as interface engineering—is one of the most exciting research frontiers. This week, the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering will welcome leading engineers, physicists, chemists, and clinicians from around the world to the first gathering of the newly established Institute for Engineered Interfaces (IEI).

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The workshop will set the initial research agenda for the institute, which aims to make Brooklyn and New York City a powerhouse in advancing interfacial science and developing new materials and procedures with a variety of applications.  The institute is multidisciplinary, uniting faculty from several NYU areas including the School of Engineering, College of Arts and Science, College of Dentistry, and School of Medicine.

The workshop will convene Friday, January 31, 2014, at the NYU School of Engineering's Pfizer Auditorium at 5 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. It is open to the public but registration is required.

Harvard Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology George Whitesides will offer the plenary lecture, followed by presentations from IEI faculty and visiting researchers.

Avi Ulman, professor of chemistry at the School of Engineering and IEI founder, explained that many critical medical and technological challenges may be addressed through advances in engineered interfaces. "Interfacial science is what underlies the convergence of medicine and technology—it's what allows us to bring nanoscience to bear on disease detection or to engineer artificial bones. The first IEI workshop will set the stage for highly innovative research collaborations with real-world applications."

The all-day workshop will include presentations on the development of microfluidic devices for point-of-care disease detection; using nanostructured surfaces to prevent bacterial contamination in surgical settings; engineering endochondral bone; and more. Among the morning speakers will be Professor Emanuel P. Giannelis, Cornell University Materials Science and Engineering, speaking on nanostructured hybrids. Among the afternoon speakers will be Professor Michael Grunze, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, and professor emeritus of the University of Heidelberg, speaking on nanostructured surfaces that prevent bacteria from attaching; and Professor Sherman Fan, University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering, speaking on bio-inspired optofluidic lasers.

The IEI was founded with three main areas of focus: organic/inorganic interfaces, colloids and membranes, and sensors and diagnostics.  The department's newly renovated space at the School of Engineering's Downtown Brooklyn location is complete with state-of-the-art synthetic chemistry and cell culture laboratories.

For more information on the IEI or to register for the conference, visit

The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit

SOURCE NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

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