Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
National Materials and Manufacturing Board
About NMMB
Committee Roster
Current Projects
Contact Staff

Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (BEMA)

The Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (BEMA) is focused on identifying issues of significance related to biomaterials and the medical devices constructed from them. Using the BEMA approach, members are empowered through a unique dialogue with the people and the processes driving biomaterials product research, development, and commercialization. Read our Mission Statement below.


BEMA Membership

With a select and balanced membership of experts from government, industry, and academia, BEMA functions as a forum focused on the successful navigation of the technical, regulatory, and manufacturing elements that impact product development.


BEMA History

The history of BEMA dates back to the late 1990’s. It was developed as a joint activity of the NRC, the IOM, and the NAE. With commitments to participate from several federal agencies, a preliminary planning workshop was held in February 2000 to determine BEMA’s focus and function. Since that time, meetings and workshops have addressed a wide variety of topics and included many participants. In addition, BEMA activities have resulted in two publications - Proceedings from the Workshop on Biomedical Materials at the Edge: Challenges in the Convergence of Technologies and  Proceedings from the Workshop on Science-Based Assessment: Accelerating Product Development of Combination Medical Devices. BEMA operates under the National Materials and Manufacturing Board (NMMB).


BEMA Leadership

The BEMA staff and leadership committee are responsible for making executive decisions, developing meeting agendas, maintaining the web site, and ensuring BEMA continues to achieve its mission and meet the needs of its members.


BEMA Programs



February 27 - "Considerations in Payor Policies for Medical Product Development and Usage"


April 25 - "Neuro Devices and Neuro Regeneration"

June 14-15 - "Orthopedic Biomaterials and Products"

November 7 - "Biofabrication"


April 13 - Materials for Cell Delivery and Control of Bioactivity

June 18-19 - Biosensors: Status and Promise

October 19 - Implications of Biofilms in Medical Device Applications


November 20 – “Unintended Biodegradation of Implanted Biomaterials”

April 11 - "Naturally Derived/Inspired Biomaterials," Washington, DC

June 5-6 - "Biomaterials for Globally Available Healthcare," Woods Hole, Massachusetts


December 11 – “Applications of 3D Printing to Biomaterials and Medical Devices”
Washington, DC

June 10-11 - “Nanotechnology for Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications”

January 9 - "Promoting Innovation in Medical Products Development," Washington, DC


June 27-28 - "Endovasuclar Therapy: Techniques, Successes, Challenges"
Woods Hole, Massachusetts

January 9 - "Addressing Obesity: Medical Device Therapies, Gender Issues"
Washington, DC


July 25-26 - "Preclinical Models for Development of Medical Devices and Combination Products"
Woods Hole, Massachusetts

May 4-5 - "Medical Device and Biomaterials Advances for Wounded Warriors, with Applications to Civilians"
Washington, DC


November 29-30 - "Regulatory Issues in the Design and Execution of Clincal Trials"
Washington, DC

July 8-9 - "Tissue Engineering Materials"
Woods Hole, Massachusetts

April 9 - "Management of Conflict of Interest within the Regulatry Framework"
Washington, DC


December 17 - "Navigating Speed Bumps in Medical Product Develoopment from Bench to Bedside"
Washington, DC

July 16 - "Novel Drug Delivery Applications"
Woods Hole, Massachusetts


March 18-19 – “Navigating the Valley of Death-Overcoming Barriers to Innovation”
Washington, DC

July 17-18 – “Novel Tissue Attachment Methods”
Woods Hole, MA


May 16-17 – “Workshop on Device-Centered Infection”
Washington, DC

July 12-13– “Polymer Therapeutics”
Woods Hole, MA

October 3 – “Novel Imaging Technologies”
Washington, DC


The BEMA Approach

The function of BEMA is to develop a network that empowers members through a unique dialogue with the people and processes driving biomaterial product research, development, and commercialization. This is achieved through:

  • Roundtable meetings: promote candid discussion on issues and solutions relevant to biomedical applications of materials
  • Specialized problem-solving workshops: provide a more in-depth evaluation of a particular issue that involves the broader biomaterials community
  • By-products: BEMA leadership has a strong interest in the development of spin-off studies and publications of workshop proceedings for its members

Mission Statement

The roundtable brings together government officials, industry representatives, academics, and other appropriate leaders for continuing discussions of issues related to research, development, applications, and regulation of biomedical materials and devices. The roundtable provides a forum for identifying major opportunities for applying engineering principles to create and improve clinical performance of medically useful materials and devices including implants, as well as for discussion of strategies for overcoming obstacles -- technical, legal, or cultural -- that impede transition of new materials and devices to clinical application. The roundtable is administered by the National Materials and Manufacturing Board 

Current BEMA Members

Rebecca Bergman
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Peter, Minnesota

Arthur J. Coury (Co-chair)
Coury Consulting


U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Terry O. Woods
Laboratory Leader, Solid Mechanics Library
Center for Devices & Radiological Health
Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories & Technology

National Institutes of Health
Pushpa Tandon
Program Director
National Cancer Institute

Private Industry

Actamax Surgical Materials, LLC
Robert DiLuccio
Project and Process Development Leader

Boston Scientific Corporation
Mark W. Boden
Senior Fellow


Medtronic, Inc.
Mark Breyen

Senior Director

Crystal Cunanan
Tissue Engineering

Independent Consultant
Michael N. Helmus

Academic/Non-profit Institutions

University of Arizona
Marvin Slepian
Director, Interventional Cardiology

Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering
A. Stephen Dahms
President & CEO

Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert E. Guldberg
Director of the Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience


Rutgers University
Joachim Kohn
Director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, and
Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry


Virginia Commonwealth University
Barbara D. Boyan
Dean, School of Engineering


Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert M. Nerem
Parker H. Petit Professor and Director
Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience

University of Minnesota
Richard W. Bianco
Adjunct Associate Professor of Veterinary Population Medicine


University of Colorado at Boulder
Kristi S. Anseth (NAS/NAE/IOM)
Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering


Carnegie Mellon University
Philip R. Leduc
Mechanical Engineering


Affiliated Organizations

National Academy of Engineering
Boston Scientific
Case Western University
Edwards Lifesciences
Smith Nephew
Georgia Institute of Tech
John Hopkins
University of Pittsburgh
University of Florida
University of Alabama
University of Chicago
University of Minnesota
Rutgers University
University of Washington (UWEB)




BEMA Contact Information

National Materials and Manufacturing Board
Attn: BEMA
The National Academies
500 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Phone: 202.334.3505
Fax: 202. 334.3718