nanodiag BWBlack Forest Nanopore Meeting 2023 highlights major advances in nanopore research

18. November 2023

The Black Forest Nanopore Meeting (BFNM) 2023, organized by the Clusters4Future nanodiag BW from November 6-9 in Freiburg, Germany, has concluded as a success. The conference brought together almost 200 scientists and engineers from all over the world and from various disciplines who engaged in lively discussions. It became clear once again that single molecule sensing with nanopores will become a key diagnostic technology in the near future. For instance, nanopore technology offers a faster, cheaper and potentially more reliable way than current methods to detect post-translational modifications in proteins that are  particularly important for epigenetic regulation, e.g. in cancer.

Fruitful exchange between research and industry

A focus of BFNM 2023 was the quest to use nanopores as sensors in proteomics: from the analysis of post-translational modifications to protein sequencing, another the seamless integration of nanopore technology into diagnostic workflows for personalized and precision medicine. The conference enabled an early exchange between the various disciplines required for the successful transfer of these approaches into clinical practice. Remarkable advances in research and technology transfer were presented. Around 40 lectures and more than 70 scientific posters brought together the latest results from around the world under the roof of the Friedrichsbau in Freiburg's city center and were complemented by an impressive Industrial Forum reflecting the state of commercial activities in this field.

"The contributions at the meeting showed steady and sometimes staggering progress in all the disciplines and sub-specialities that come together in the field of nanopore research and make it such a variegated - and, frankly, entertaining - experience to be part of it," recapitulates Professor Jan C. Behrends, one of the spokespersons of nanodiag BW. "It was particularly impressive to see what is now possible with machine learning/AI, not only for signal processing and data mining, but also for signal prediction and the design and optimization of pores. Combining these new capabilities with new hardware and the ingenious assays we saw using both biological and solid-state pores will go a long way towards our common goal of nanopore proteomics."

Apl. Prof. Dr. Felix von Stetten, also spokesperson of nanodiag BW, emphasized the collegial and stimulating atmosphere of the conference. The discussions among the researchers showed "the significant recent progress in the field of nanopore-based protein sequencing from both a scientific and commercial perspective. These tremendous advances make me very optimistic about the development of future applications in epigenetics and personalized medicine. I am pleased with the open exchange between participants from different disciplines, hierarchies and fields, including academia and industry. This conference has provided an exceptional opportunity to expand our knowledge across disciplines. I believe this is crucial for the successful translation of nanopore-based protein sequencing into commercial applications."

As participants’ enthusiastic feed-back suggests that BFNM 2023 was a resounding success, nanodiag BW looks forward to host another edition in the not-too-distant future.

What is nanodiag BW?

Nanopore technology offers a promising way to detect post-translational modifications in proteins faster and more reliably, especially in epigenetic research. The innovation cluster nanodiag BW, funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) in the Clusters4Future program, aims to turn these breakthroughs into ground-breaking diagnostic products, innovative services and high-growth start-ups, in order to ultimately improve routine diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for various diseases.

As an innovation partner, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum coordinates the continuation of the joint cluster and R&D strategy and supports the project's communication and dissemination activities as well as the exploitation of research results. Measures include analyses of the markets, patent landscape and value network. Thus ,this serves in particular to maximize the cluster output and accelerate the transfer of developments into spin-offs, disruptive services and products.

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Dr. Alena Bubeck
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