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Biomarkers in semen to diagnose prostate cancer

Sara Larriba of the Human Molecular Genetics Group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has informed NANBIOSIS about a recent publication mentioning NANBIOSIS in the Acknowledgements for its participation in the results of their research. (The nanoparticle tracking analysis was performed by the ICTS NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit) The article has been published by the journal Scientific Reports of Nature Research.

The prediction of PCa in the early stage of the disease is one of the most important objectives in male urology. A significant decrease in deaths due to PCa has been associated with the use of serum PSA test recent years. However, the PSA test still has serious limitations and often gives false positives that lead to many unnecessary biopsies of benign disease. Therefore, researchers from the Human Molecular Genetics Group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) decided to evaluate semen as a source of prostate cancer biomarkers, and studying extracellular miRNAs, which are present within semen in extraordinary concentrations since some of the Some of these extracellular miRNAs are specific to the prostate gland and, in addition, there is already research showing that extracellular miRNAs can reflect altered patterns of miRNA expression in prostate tumor tissue. The study conducted allowed scientists to discover a distinctive miRNA expression pattern in exosomal semen samples obtained from men with prostate cancer compared with that found in exosomal semen samples taken from healthy men. The next step would be to conduct more prospective studies in larger patient cohorts before this miRNA-based biomarker can be adopted in daily clinical practice.

Article of reference:

Semen miRNAs Contained in Exosomes as Non-Invasive Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis, Maria Barceló, Manel Castells, Lluís Bassas, Francesc Vigués2 & Sara Larriba. Scientific Reports volume 9, 24 Sept 2019.

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Nanbiosis and CIBER-BBN present at BioNanoNet and Austrian Microfluidics Initiative (AMI)

Nanbiosis-ICTS and CIBER-BBN were present at BioNanoNet Annual Forum & Networking event and the Austrian Microfluidics Initiative (AMI) workshop “Biomedicine on Chip” that took place on 10-11th of September 2019 at the premises of the University of Salzburg attracting about 40 participants from both science and industry.

For furher information: https://www.bionanonet.at/;   www.microfluidicsaustria.at

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Preclinical brain tumour therapy response assessment with MRSI approaches: Oral presentation awarded to Ana Paula Candiota

NANBIOSIS U25 scientific coordinator, Ana Paula Candiota, has recently presented a scientific work about preclinical brain tumour therapy response assessment with MRSI approaches in the 36th annual meeting of ESMRMB held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, October 3-5. Work was entitled  “Oscillatory pattern of response in MRSI-based Glioblastoma therapy follow-up: an immune system biomarker?” and was awarded an oral presentation in the scientific session of Animal Models: Brain & others

Article of refrence:
L. Villamañan, P. Calero, S. Wu, N. Arias-Ramos, M. Pumarola, S. Ortega-Martorell, M. Julià-Sapé, C. Arús, A.P. Candiota. Oscillatory pattern of response in MRSI-based Glioblastoma therapy follow-up: an immune system biomarker? European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) 2019. Rotterdam, NL. Oct 2019.

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Biomedicine Project Manager job vacancy

CIBER-BBN is looking for proyect manager for a european project in biomedicine to coordinate NANBIOSIS units participation in the project.

The position requires good command of English and strong skills in coordinating researchers.

Applications must be filed at CIBER’s web portal untill October 15.

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Targeting antitumoral proteins to breast cancer by local administration of functional inclusion bodies

Three units of NANBIOSIS have collaborated in obtaining the research results published in the article “Targeting Antitumoral Proteins to Breast Cancer by Local Administration of Functional Inclusion Bodies” published by Advanced Science

Protein production and DLS have been partially performed by the Unit 1 of ICTS NANBIOSIS Protein Production Platform (PPP) and the Unit 6 NANBIOBIS Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit. Biodistribution and immunohistochemistry assays were performed at NANBIOSIS U20 In Vivo Experimental Platform/FVPR

Two structurally and functionally unrelated proteins, namely Omomyc and p31, are engineered as CD44‐targeted inclusion bodies produced in recombinant bacteria. In this unusual particulate form, both types of protein materials selectively penetrate and kill CD44+ tumor cells in culture, and upon local administration, promote destruction of tumoral tissue in orthotropic mouse models of human breast cancer. These findings support the concept of bacterial inclusion bodies as versatile protein materials suitable for application in chronic diseases that, like cancer, can benefit from a local slow release of therapeutic proteins.

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Next October 15-18, the researchers of NANBIOSIS U12, Nanostructured liquid characterization unit, are giving a course on Nano Technologies and Microencapsulation organized by CSIC General Foundation and CUIMPB – Center Ernest Lluch of the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Barcelona.

The nano- and microencapsulation consists in the protection of active substances inside nano- and microcarriers, particularly labile molecules, improving their stability, with the aim of transporting them and achieving their controlled release. This topic is the subject of great interest in numerous fields and industrial applications. It is known that the performance efficiency of an active substance greatly increases with its encapsulation, depending on the size of the capsules, their transfer surface and the permeability properties of said capsules. In addition, the capsules can be directed specifically inside an organism, using suitable vectors.
The object of the course is to provide attendees with the basics of micro- and nanoencapsulation techniques, including fundamentals and preparation methods, as well as innovative applications in the chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical fields, among others.

The registration form and detailed information can be found on the CUIMPB website

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AKT2 as a promising target for future anti-cancer therapies

The researchers of NANBIOSIS U20, led by Ibane Abásolo and Simó Schwartz have published a new article on the scientific magazine Cancerswith the title Pivotal Role of AKT2 during Dynamic Phenotypic Change of Breast Cancer Stem Cells

All the in vivo studies were performed by NANBIOSIS U20 In Vivo Experimental Platform.

Therapeutic resistance seen in aggressive forms of breast cancer remains challenging for current treatments. More than half of the patients suffer from a disease relapse, most of them with distant metastases. Cancer maintenance, resistance to therapy, and metastatic disease seem to be sustained by the presence of cancer stem cells (CSC) within a tumor. The difficulty in targeting this subpopulation derives from their dynamic interconversion process, where CSC can differentiate to non-CSC, which in turn de-differentiate into cells with CSC properties. Using fluorescent CSC models driven by the expression of ALDH1A 1(aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1), we confirmed this dynamic phenotypic change in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and to identify Serine/Threonine Kinase 2 (AKT2) as an important player in the process. To confirm the central role of AKT2, we silenced AKT2 expression via small interfering RNA and using a chemical inhibitor (CCT128930), in both CSC and non-CSC from different cancer cell lines. Our results revealed that AKT2 inhibition effectively prevents non-CSC reversion through mesenchymal to epithelial transition, reducing invasion and colony formation ability of both, non-CSC and CSC. Further, AKT2 inhibition reduced CSC survival in low attachment conditions. Interestingly, in orthotopic tumor mouse models, high expression levels of AKT2 were detected in circulating tumor cells (CTC). These findings suggest AKT2 as a promising target for future anti-cancer therapies at three important levels: (i) Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) reversion and maintenance of CSC subpopulation in primary tumors, (ii) reduction of CTC and the likelihood of metastatic spread, and (iii) prevention of tumor recurrence through inhibition of CSC tumorigenic and metastatic potentia

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New publication by scientists of NANBIOSIS Unit 6 aims to motivate scientific community to start a new research line for organic and bio-organic electronics focused on the device fabrication

Researchers of Nanomol Group, coordinator of NANBIOSIS U6 of CIBER-BBN and ICMAB-CSIC, led by Inma Ratera and Jaume Veciana have publish a new article titled “Reversible switching of the Au(111) work function by near infrared irradiation with a bistable SAM based on a radical donor–acceptor dyad“, at Journal of Materials Chemistry C.


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The Autonomous University of Barcelona, in the elite of the 300 best universities in the world

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as Shanghai Ranking, which was made public on August 15, places the Autonomous University of Barcelona among the elite of the 300 best universities in the world.

This indicator organizes up to 20,000 university centers worldwide,
based on transparent methodology and objective third-party data. ARWU is regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university rankings

The Autonomous University of Barcelona houses two of NANBIOSIS Units:

U1 Protein Production Platform (PPP), led by Toni Villaverde, Neus Ferrer and Paolo Saccardo, offer an “tailored” service for the design, production and purification of recombinant proteins using both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems

U25 NMR: Biomedical Applications I, led by Carles Arús and Ana Paula Candiota, with a recognized research track record in the use of NMR as a tool for biomedical applications, and more especifically to identify biomarkers of different pathologies, the main objective of this unit is the acquisition, processing and/or interpretation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance data

Here you can check the results of the University of Zaragoza in this year’s Shanghai Ranking:

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The University of Zaragoza, in the elite of the 500 best universities in the world

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as
Shanghai Ranking, which was made public on August 15, once again places the University of Zaragoza among the elite of the 500 best universities in the world.

This indicator organizes up to 20,000 university centers worldwide. Among the keys that have been able to positively influence the results of the research, according to the Vice Chancellor for Prospect, Sustainability and Infrastructure of the University of Zaragoza, Francisco Serón, are the increase in public campus funding for four years as well as the quality of their Scientists.

The University of Zaragoza houses three of NANBIOSIS Units:

U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit, led by Jesús Santamaría and Gema Martínez

U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit, led by Miguel Ángel Martínez Barca and Fany Peña

U27 High Performance Computing , led by Pablo Laguna

Since 2003, every August, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as “Shanghai Ranking,” is published, one of the international reference studies to compare higher education institutions. The ranking selects the 1,000 best educational institutions from a global point of view, among the 20,000 higher education centers that exist.

It is possibly the most famous and most recognized university analysis that values the quality of institutions in the generation of knowledge. The research community respects the results of these rankings because they are based on objective data and their classification is reproducible.

Here you can check the results of the University of Zaragoza in this year’s Shanghai Ranking: http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/University-of-Zaragoza.html.


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