Week 34: January 23, A Perfect Friday

What happens when biology meets silicon? You probably can’t afford to miss this one.


Designer and IP track submissions are up 27% compared to 2014. This is an amazing success and we have to thank all the designer track and IP track subcommittee members for getting the word out and motivating their industry peers to submit in such numbers. Tallying it up, it appears we received the most submissions since we started the designer track back in 2010 (we called it the user track back then). Our strongest growth was in IP and embedded categories. These numbers are only part of the reason I was so happy at the end of last week. Friday I also confirmed DAC’s opening keynote and found the missing part for the Wednesday general session. But all in due time.

I’m going to spend some serious blogging time on the keynotes, now that paper submissions are closed and most of the keynote details confirmed. They are not posted to the DAC website yet, so the only way you can find out more is to read on. Today I’m introducing our Thursday keynote.

We are very excited to announce that Professor John Rogers, from the University of Illinois, has accepted our invitation to speak at DAC. His research includes fundamental and applied aspects of materials for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He has done some amazing work and won a MacArthur Fellowship (the “genius grant”) in 2009, the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2011 and the Smithsonian Award for Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences in 2013. His website shows some very cool examples of his works, and some fascinating videos.

The title of his talk at DAC is “Electronics for the Human Body,” and the abstract indicates that we are all in for a very special treat:

“Biology is soft, curvilinear and adaptable; silicon technology is rigid, planar and immutable. Electronic systems that eliminate this profound mismatch in properties create opportunities for devices that can intimately integrate with the body, for diagnostic, therapeutic or surgical function with important, unique capabilities in biomedical research and clinical healthcare. Over the last decade a convergence of new concepts in materials science, mechanical engineering, manufacturing techniques and device designs has led to the emergence of diverse classes of ‘biocompatible’ electronics. This talk describes the key ideas, with examples ranging from ‘cellular-scale’ light emitting diodes that can be injected into the brain for optogenetic behavioral control to bioresorbable electronics that can serve as non-antibiotic bacteriocides for treating surgical site infections.”

For those attending the designer and IP tracks, make sure to plan an additional day with your travel so that you don’t miss John’s talk on Thursday morning. He may well be describing the context in which you will be doing your design work in the future, which likely will be here sooner than we think.

We have a lineup of really great talk as DAC but that’s enough for this week. I will introduce the rest one at a time.