Fractals in Biology and Medicine  2008

Reasons for holding the  Fifth  International Symposium

1988- 2008
    Twentieth  anniversary  of   the  first  Meeting on Fractal Geometry held at the high school of Locarno (Liceo Cantonale), Southern Switzerland. This event was strongly supported by Professor Jean Paul Rigaut, University of Paris VII. Since the beginning of eighties, Professor Rigaut actively contributed to the introduction and development of Fractal Geometry principles to Biology and Medicine, in particular by developing the concept of “asymptotic fractal (semi-fractal) as well as numerous contributions in the area of “biological image analysis”.

Professor Rigaut, sadly, passed away after a long standing illness in  April 2005. The Fifth International Symposium  <  Fractals in Biology and Medicine  >,  to be held on March 2008, will be dedicated to his memory, in acknowledgement to his remarkable scientific career, to his exquisite friendship and humanity.

Reference: Rigaut J.P. Fractals in biological image analysis and vision. In:  Gli oggetti frattali in astrofisica, biologia, fisica e matematica [G.A. Losa, D. Merlini  Eds.] vol. 3,1989. Edizioni  Cerfim, Locarno  Switzerland.

1978-2008    Thirtieth anniversary of the first international study on Fractal Geometry applied to cell biology (based on a pioneering idea of Ewald R. Weibel), conducted by Dagmar Paumgartner (†), Gabriele A. Losa and Ewald R. Weibel at the Center for Cellular Biology of the Institute of Anatomy, University of Berne, directed by Professor Ewald R. Weibel.

Reference:  Paumgartner D., Losa G.A., Weibel E.R. Resolution effect on the stereological estimation of surface and volume and its interpretation in terms of fractal dimensions. J Microscopy 121, 51, 1981.

1988-2008     Twentieth anniversary of the scientific collaboration with Professor Theo F. Nonnenmacher and his colleagues at the Department of Mathematical Physics, University of Ulm, Germany. These activities started with a research project “Fractal analysis of human lymphocytes and leukemic cells” and was supported by the Swiss National  Science Foundation, Berne.

Reference:  Losa G.A., Baumann G., Nonnenmacher T.F. The fractal dimension of pericellular membranes in human lymphocytes and lymphoblastic leukemic cells.  Pathology Research and Practice 188, 680,1992.

1983-2008     Twenty-fifth anniversary of the third edition of the book

                    < The Fractal Geometry of Nature > by Benoît Mandelbrot, San Francisco,  Freeman

1993-2008      Fifteenth  anniversary of the First Symposium


held at the Centro Seminariale Monte Verità, Ascona,  in presence of Professor Benoît Mandelbrot.  Professor Mandelbrot also took part in these Symposia in 2000 and in 2004 in occasion of his eightieth birthday.

Reference: Fractals in Biology and Medicine, Vol. I, II, III, IV.
G.A. Losa, D. Merlini, TF.
Nonnenmacher, ER. Weibel: Editors.
Birkhäuser  Press   Basel  Boston  Berlin 

March 12-15,  2008

Fifth International Symposium


in presence of  Professor Benoît Mandelbrot    

Alta Scuola Pedagogica    Locarno   Switzerland

Alta Scuola Pedagogica  [ASP ]

The Fifth Symposium will be hosted by ASP, an academic institution recently created with the aims of fostering cultural, pedagogic and scientific roles within the context of the Università della Svizzera Italiana.

The ASP is settled in an architecturally attractive building located within the historical core of Locarno which includes: the San Francesco Square, the San Francesco Church (XIII-XVI Century), the ancient Monastery of Capuchin Monks (XVI-XVII Century), the Visconti Castle with the Rivellino likely designed by Leonardo da Vinci (1507 a.D.)


Scientific goals

To highlight the potential  of the Fractal Geometry  for elucidating and explaining the complex made-up, morphogenesis  and organization of cells, tissues and biological organisms either in normal, abnormal or tumoural conditions. To further develop the concepts,  theoretical principles,  methodological and computing tools; to evidence the pitfalls of an uncritical application of  the fractal geometry in investigating biological and natural phenomena.
The Fifth International Symposium aims to favour the inter and plural disciplinary vision by bringing together cellular, molecular and natural biologists, morphologists, mathematicians, physicists, physicians and other scientists. It might be relevant for industrial researchers involved in developing and applying softwares and methods in the fields of morphometry, quantitative image analysis, stereology, non linear dynamics and related topics.


Attendance to the Symposium :  limited to 80-100  participants