The Fifth U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology:

Jeju, Korea., April 17-18, 2008


General Information









M.S. Jhon (U.S.A.)
Carnegie Mellon University

J.W. Lee (Korea)
The National Program for Tera-level Nanodevices

Recommendations of the Fifth U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology: Nano-biotechnology

Adopted on April 18, 2008

During the past decade, Korea and the United Stateshave been supporting nanotechnology as a priority research area. The delegates at the 5th meeting of the Korea-U.S. Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (held on October 30th & 31st, 2002 in Seoul, Korea) agreed that establishment of a Korea-U.S. Forum on Nanotechnology would be beneficial to promote and enhance  research collaborations in the field of nanotechnology among scientists and engineers from both countries. Specifically, a joint Forum between Korea and the U.S.will facilitate networking between the research communities and agencies of both countries, enabling each side to exchange information and explore opportunities for cooperative efforts. With this mission, we organized the first Korea-U.S. Forum on Nanotechnology, via National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, at Seoul, Korea during October 14-18th, 2003. As the Korean counterpart to NSF, participation was overseen and funded by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST, termed as MEST from last month). The first Forum was attended by 250 participants from both countries and covered a broad range of nano-research areas. The second Forum, held in Los Angeles from February 17-19th, 2005, was a topical meeting that focused on nano-manufacturing and educational program development on nanotechnology. The Forum was attended by 32 experts. The third Forum, held in Seoulon April 3rd & 4th, 2006, focused on two areas: (i) active devices and systems research in nanotechnology, and (ii) environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology. This Forum was attended by 150 participants from both countries. The fourth Forum, held last year on April 26th and 27th in Honolulu, HI, investigated with the sustainable nano-energy area dealing with the design, synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of nano-materials as well as devices and system for energy applications such as fuel cells, batteries, hydrogen storage & production, and solar cells. The Forum was attended by 36 experts.

This fifth Forum dealt with the emerging area of nano-biotechnology focusing on nano-biomaterials, instrumentation technologies, and integrated systems for overcoming critical challenges in biomedicine and delivery of healthcare as well as their EHS and toxicity issues. The Forum was held in Jeju-do, Koreaon April 17th and 18th, 2008, and attended by approximately 50 experts.

The following are the general recommendations of this Forum to ensure the partnership between these two countries for the continued success of nano-biotechnology research:

(1) The Forum and the follow-up activities will continuously provide a common platform for researchers at all levels in both countries to share experiences and expertise to enhance partnership in the field of nanotechnology.  Facilitating interactions between program managers of the areas of interest to the Forum are recommended.

(2) The annual Forums aim participation from leading researchers to early career researchers including graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Enhancing the visibility and expanding the reach of the exchange programs is also recommended.

(3) Both NSF and MEST should provide funding to continue this Forum annually. It is recommended that program managers will disseminate funding opportunities for collaborative research and education.

(4) More industrial and governmental laboratory participations are encouraged at the Forum. The industrial participation could include technology-based start-ups, established firms, and industrial consortia such as the nano-business alliance. An open call for poster presentations is recommended.

(5) The panel continues to encourage participation of underrepresented research groups at the Forum.

(6) The Forums will emphasize both the fundamental aspects and the areas of relevance of nanotechnology.

(7) The panel encourages that the Forum focus on future transformative, dynamic, and innovative research that will lead to sustainable, new technological breakthroughs, and will be essential to the economic growth of both countries. This workshop highlighted the importance of nano-biotechnology

(8) The panel recommends creation of a standing website dedicated to U.S.-Korea exchange programs and to designate contact personnel from each country to identify potential sources of financial support and to exchange technical information.

(9) Panel recommends a group of early career researchers to visit universities and national laboratories in both countries.

The following are the specific recommendations of this Forum presented group wise:

Group 1 (Device /Sensors):

1. Fundamentals

1.1   Better understanding of fundamental interactions between different surfaces (soft and hard materials)

1.2   Developing new characterization platforms for biological samples.

1.3   Quantifying structural and functional properties of biomaterials and interfaces.

1.4   Physical understanding of sensors at the nano-scale and micro-scale (CNT or NW sensors versus other micro-scale sensors)

1.5   In-vivo versus in-vitro performance of nano-materials. Integration of in-vivo devices and sensors.

1.6   Artificial amplification

1.7   Synthesis of precise nanoparticles and other building blocks

1.8   Live cell characterization specifically for the study of their interactions with interfaces

1.9   Assembly, orientation, and placement of biological building blocks

1.10  High resolution spatial and temporal external control of live cells

1.11  Multi-scale predictive biological models

1.12  Single molecule detection and characterizations

2. Applications

2.1   The life-time and stability of devices and sensors

2.2   Autonomous analysis of real biological samples

2.3   In-situ observations of nano-scale processes

2.4   Cell based drug screening platforms

2.5   Biological motor based systems

2.6   Targeted drug delivery to include molecular intervention

2.7   Externally controlled drug release

2.8   In-vivo controlled drug release with multi-functional nanoparticles

2.9   Understanding and control of non-specific and specific binding

2.10  Developing synthetic enzymes

2.11  Multi-contrast probes

Group 2 (Materials and EHS):

Introductory remark:

The fifth Forum facilitated a dialog among participants and an exchange of scientific ideas regarding novel nanoscience activities in materials, instrumentation, and human health and environmental safety.  In the context of nanotechnology, significant advances have been reported in the areas of cancer medicine, infectious disease, occupational health and hazards, imaging, diagnosis, pharmacology, and drug delivery. 

1. EHS

The panel felt that the area of human health and environmental safety is particularly well suited for ongoing U.S.-Korea collaboration, because of international shared interest in safe nanotechnology development, and global nature of the challenges, and importance of this research for the sustainable development of nanotechnology as a whole.

The panel felt there were two particular research opportunities in this area:  (i) more multidisciplinary and international approaches to the characterization of nanomaterials and their transformations in relevant biological and environmental media, and (ii) systems and life-cycle approaches to nano-safety.

The panel strongly recommended both US and Korean governments to encourage their standards bodies to make nanotechnology related terminology open source to encourage uniform application development of a common language to benefit research and technology.

Important to share not only research results, but approaches, materials preparation, and other procedures used to understand human health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

2. Materials

The panel recommends a focus on the areas of interactions between nanomaterials and biosystems, molecular recognition, and implications resulting from implementation of nanotechnology in biological systems. Furthermore, it is recommended to integrate experimental developments with computational/theoretical modeling in order to understand unexplored features of nano-biomaterials.

2.1 Nanomaterials: Interfaces and Integration

The panel would like to emphasize that new and emerging issues at the intersection of nanotechnology with biology are:

  • the biological-nanoscale interface, both understanding it and engineering it
  • integration of building blocks using both top-down and bottom-up approaches
  • developing versatile nanoscale building blocks
  • addressing biocompatibility issues of nanomaterials
  • using nanomaterials as fundamental biological probes for understanding issues in health, such as cellular signaling and metabolic networks

The panel notes that there was an absence of representative researchers in modeling and simulations (e.g., computational biologists)

2.2 Tools and Instrumentation

The panel realizes that currently there are no tools that provide all levels of information that are needed to understand the physical, chemical, and functional properties of nano-structured materials. It is needed to

  • Develop advanced tools for characterization
  • Develop and apply tools that identify functional behaviors of nanostructured and bio-nano systems
  • Much characterization needs to be done in real time (dynamic) and in the native environment
  • There is a significant challenge in improving high spatial information and relating information about large quantities of nanostructured “objects” for manufacturing or assembly.
  • Need to extend ability to model complex nanostructured materials and bio-nano-materials systems and relate to appropriate experimental data.

Tool development is an appropriate ongoing topic for the Korea-U.S. Forum


On behalf of the U.S participants

On behalf of the Korean participants

Myung S. Jhon, Professor
Mellon University

Jo-Won Lee, Director
Tera-level Nanodevices
, Korea