About Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology (N4M)

N4M is a symposium hosting a selected number of high caliber researchers and younger scientists eager to be caught in jail for a few days in a gorgeous location where Science is put at the center of an interdisciplinary discussion about tools and applications in mechanobiology. The conference is organized by the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment of the University of Glasgow, UK (CeMi) and Empa Switzerland, the interdisciplinary research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain. The founding directors of the symposium are Aldo Ferrari and Massimo Vassalli.

Every year, the event is organized in collaboration with a guest organizer, to help extending the audience of the conference and contaminating it with new topics and scientists belonging to different areas of mechanobiology. Past co-organizers include Politecnico di Milano (2017), IFOM (2018), the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (2019), the COST Action BioBrillouin (2020) and the graduate school Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs (ME3T) of the RWTH Aachen University (2022).

We believe that advanced nanoengineering tools are the key to enable cutting edge research in mechanobiology. For this reason leading companies in the field are invited to join the conference and present their products. N4M partner companies not only support the activity of N4M, but also bring the breath of what the market offers in terms of innovative solutions for mechanobiology research.

How the tradition began
Science by the sea: how nanoengineering met mechanobiology in Camogli

A late summer evening of four years ago I was sitting on a small, stony beach in Camogli, a few kilometers east of Genova, on the coast of the Ligurian Sea. A line of stairs had led me to that corner of paradise through the narrow space between two tall and lightly colored buildings. Facing the sea. Lingering under the last rays of sun, I looked up above. Large windows on a wall were framing what appeared to be a small conference room. I could see a man at the far side of it. From his gestures I realized he was giving a seminar, the audience hidden to me. After few minutes, I distinguished a handclapping and more people came in sight. A man and a woman, attracted like I was by the sunset in front of us, appeared on the front terrace, directly hanging on the sea. Light faded, and the streets behind claimed me back to the village.

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