SMMiL-E held an international online school on bioMEMS from March 8th to March 19th, 2021. This educational event targeted introducing the main aspects of bioMEMS technology by a multidisciplinary team with biological (3 lecturers), clinical (12 lecturers) and engineering (8 lecturers) backgrounds. The school contents were grouped as device development (e.g., design, fabrication, characterization and operation), fundamental techniques (e.g., biological, clinical and microfluidics) and examples of applied systems (e.g., organ-on-a-chip and single-cell characterization).
Being a collaborative research program among CNRS, IIS, Oscar Lambret Center and the University of Lille, SMMiL-E focused courses on providing practical research tasks besides theoretical lectures. Therefore, the school included observation sessions in addition to lectures and student engagement. Each lecture on a fundamental theoretical subject, given by a specialist in the field (biology, clinics and engineering), was followed by an observation session. Due to the time difference between France and Japan, experimental tasks were recorded and edited in advance for live-explanation. So, the experimental and technical observations, including a virtual tour to the Oscar Lambret Center, could be fitted within the given time. Besides these courses, participants from the University of Tokyo (9 participants) and the University of Lille (6 participants) formed international and interdisciplinary groups to have sessions on self-introduction, group discussions, homework, social gathering and group presentations. The social gathering session allowed participants to present life at The University of Tokyo/Japan and the University of Lille/France and answer each other’s questions.
As a result, SMMiL-E School was completed successfully despite all the difficulties due to the pandemic. Besides being an educational event of SMMiL-E (LIMMS/CNRS-IIS), this school was also an international workshop activity of the Precision Engineering Department of The University of Tokyo. Hosted at the Oscar Lambret Center and the Institute of Lille for the Research on Cancer, and supported by IIS, The University of Tokyo, the SMMiL-E School on bioMEMS is an excellent example of how educational activities at the international level can be continued in such difficult conditions.