Organizations & People
Report from IUPAC-Sponsored
40th Microsymposium on Polymers in Medicine
and 59th Prague Meeting on Macromolecules, 17-20 July 2000,
Prague, Czech Republic
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in Medicine website
This 40th Microsymposium was the 59th meeting
in the series of Prague Meetings on Macromolecules, organized by
the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences
of the Czech Republic since 1967. With very few exceptions, these
meetings have been held under the auspices of IUPAC. The mission
of the Prague meetings is to bring together professionals working
in a particular topical area of polymer science from all over the
The subject of this years meeting was especially pertinent
to the organizing Institute, because its founder, Prof. Otto Wichterle,
the inventor of soft contact lenses, was a pioneer in the field
of medical applications of polymers. The present microsymposium
was held in honor of the 60th birthday of Prof. Jindrich Kopecek,
a leader in the area of the application of polymers in controlled
drug release, once a graduate student and research fellow at the
Institute, and now professor at the University of Utah, Salt Lake
City, Utah, USA. Prof. Karel Ulbrich, present Director of the Institute
and head of the Czech part of the Prague-Salt Lake City cooperation
in polymers for controlled release, chaired the meeting.
The microsymposium was attended by 116 active participants and
22 accompanying persons from 20 countries. Eight main lectures (40
minutes), 21 special lectures (30 minutes), and 58 poster communications
were presented. The speakers were recognized experts in the field.
The scope of the meeting comprised tailor-made synthetics of biorecognizable
polymers, structural factors influencing the interaction of macromolecules
with receptors/antigens, soluble and vesicular drug delivery systems,
smart hydrogels in medicine, and genetically engineered biomedical
polymers and biomaterials.
A list of the main lectures gives a fair overview of the hot topics
of the conference:
K. Ulbrich et al. (Czech Republic), Antibody-targeted
polymer carriers of drugs
S. W. Kim (USA), Novel functional polymers for
K. Kataoka (Japan), Tailor-made block copolymer
micelles and nanoparticles for drug delivery
J. Feijen et al. (The Netherlands), Collagen-based
T. Okano et al. (Japan), Temperature-responsive
intelligent polymers for targeted drug delivery
D. A. Tirrell (USA), Engineering molecular and
cellular recognition in artificial proteins
R. Duncan et al. (UK), Synthetic vectors for intracytoplasmic
J. A. Hubbell (Switzerland), Degradable and resorbable
hydrogels for local delivery and modulation of biological responses
On the last day of the microsymposium, a most stimulating panel
discussion on "The future of biomedical polymers" was
held, in which J. D. Andrade (USA) served as a skillful moderator.
A few problems of a general nature emerged during the discussion,
such as interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary education, teamwork,
and cooperation between teams.
The social program for active participants included a welcoming
reception on the eve of the meeting; a piano recital in the historic
Benedictine Archabbey; an afternoon and evening excursion with dinner
to a château in the western part of the country and to the
brewery museum in the city of Plzen (Pilsen), famous for its superb
brands of beer; and a farewell toast. The accompanying persons
program offered sightseeing in the historic parts of Prague and
an excursion to the Prague suburbs.
Prof. Pavel Kratochvil
Associate Member, IUPAC Macromolecular
Division (IV) Committee
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic
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