Complex nanostructures abound in biological tissue and related synthetic soft materials. These convoluted forms remain largely unexplored, both in terms of how and why they emerge, and undoubtedly involve interplay of biology in vivo with physicochemical factors at work in vitro. ‘Animal Vegetal Mineral’ will be an interdisciplinary forum to discuss and attempt to demarcate the similarities and differences between structure formation mechanisms in biological materials and synthetic soft self-assembled materials. We invite and welcome interested scientific researchers from biology, chemistry, materials science, physics and mathematics to join us for an open-minded exploration of the relations between shape, structure formation and function in biological tissue and nano- and mesostructured materials.

A special issue of the journal Interface Focus LINK will be dedicated to the themes of the conference. Participants are encouraged to propose contributions to this issue.