Controlled Release Society Local Chapters Meeting : a look back at the 2022 edition

Between 9-11 March 2022, the CRS Local Chapters (Germany and Benelux-France) Meeting took place in Aachen, Germany. Two NanoBubbles team members participated in the conference – Raphaël Lévy, cPi of the project gave an invited lecture and participated to a round table discussion in a session about ethics and publishing, and, Nathanne Rost, postdoctoral researcher in nanobiosciences, presented a poster pitch on her PhD work on magnetic particles and their applications for imaging. Both Raphaël and Nathanne are based at the Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France. The report below is based on their notes and impressions.

 

The goal of the CRS committee local chapters (present in many countries) is to grow scientific relationships. It has been successful at nurturing new interactions between scientists. One of their aims is the promotion of women in science and the support of early career researchers by giving opportunities to improve CVs, networking, and leadership skills.

Most of the work presented at the conference focused on lipid nanoparticles and liposomes as delivery vehicles. The topics included human milk as a delivery system for drug solubilization in malaria cure; biomimicry of cells using nanoparticles; use of mechanical forces from light-induced vapor nanobubbles (physical, not metaphorical ones, contrarily to our NanoBubbles project) for forming cornea film for transplantation (“nanosurgery”); stability of drug-loaded polymeric micelles; mRNA carrier systems, hydrogel embedded in nanoparticles for treating inflammation; pharmacokinetics; nanoantibiotics and several others. This list illustrates the broad interdisciplinary field covered by the meeting at the interface of materials science, pharmacology, biology and medicine.

Raphaël’s presentation: Using the Wooclap tool, Raphaël started his presentation by asking attendees: “Why are we doing science? What do you do when an article is wrong?” Next, he discussed the Spherical Nucleic Acids case (see more details of his work on this topic on his blog) in which several groups published papers affirming that the SmartFlares did not work and 5 years later SmartFlares discontinued the product. He emphasized the role of social media, in particular PubPeer.com, in the correction of science. Then, he closed his session by presenting the premises and goals of NanoBubbles.

Nathanne: I learned a lot about drug delivery systems, had lots of ideas for my work as a post-doc, saw many papers to read, listened to many people whose works I started to follow, and updates for possible future networks. Besides, all sessions were held in the same room, which is better for everybody to have the opportunity of listening to all presentations. One thing that I’ve never experienced before was to present a poster pitch. I liked to present in this format and also to watch others presenting; it’s good because you are sure that people will hear you, which sometimes doesn’t happen in traditional poster formats. However, it’s harder to interact with the authors. This conference opened my mind about the issues with the publication system, which I had no idea about before. Another thing that I always like about scientific events is the cultural perspective; visiting Germany was great, as well as meeting people from different countries, with different cultural habits.

 

Raphaël: It was an honour to be invited and I very much enjoyed the meeting. I thought the ethics and publishing session went really well. Nothing was solved but the contradictions and struggles of scientists were apparent and discussed. Various voices expressed their frustrations and difficulties with irreproducible research, the quality of the scientific literature, the publishing system, our shared (or not?) values, the impact of power relationships on science and correction of science. Those discussions did not stop at the session itself but carried over to the breaks and (informal and limited by COVID) social activities. It was the beginning of a conversation and, I hope, of future actions, within the framework of NanoBubbles or completely independently.


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