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Posts Taged nanotechnology

Nano-carrier to release drugs into damaged cells

Senescent cells are damaged cells that do not perform their normal roles anymore but that are not dead –hence they are commonly known as zombi cells. These cells interfere with the functioning of the tissue in which they accumulate. Senescence is a cell program that is triggered by many types of damage and senescent cells are present in many diseases. They accumulate in diverse types of tissues during aging, thus contributing to the progressive deterioration associated to aging. Eliminating these zombi cells is one of the challenges facing science today.

In the Cellular Plasticity and Disease lab headed by the ICREA researcher Manuel Serrano at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and supported by “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, the researchers devise strategies to eliminate senescent cells. In a study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, they present a proof of principle of a drug delivery system with selectivity for tissues that harbour senescent cells.

In collaboration with a team headed by Ramón Martínez-Máñez, Scientific Diirector of NANBIOSIS Unit 26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II ,  the IRB Barcelona scientists have exploited a particular hallmark of senescent cells in order to design a delivery system that specifically targets them. They have demonstrated its efficacy in cells in vitro and in two experimental mouse models, namely pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. These diseases are characterized by the presence of damaged cells, and in the case of cancer this is particularly true after treatment with chemotherapy.

In these models, the senescent cells take up the carrier more efficiently than other cells and once inside the cell the casing of the carrier degrades to release the drug cargo. When the nano-vehicles contained cytotoxic compounds, the senescent cells were killed and this resulted in therapeutic improvements in mice with pulmonary fibrosis or with cancer.

“This nano-carrier may pave the way for new therapeutic approaches for serious conditions, such as pulmonary fibrosis or to eliminate chemotherapy-induced senescent cells,” explains Manuel Serrano. Another outcome of this study is that these nano-carriers could be used for diagnostic tests of senescence as they can transport a fluorescent compound or marker.

This study, performed by IRB Barcelona in collaboration with the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, CNIO, the University of Cambridge, CIBER-BBN, and the company Pfizer in the US, is a step towards achieving the capacity to eliminate senescent cells. Developing tools to specifically eliminate senescent cells is currently a central goal for many pharmaceutical companies, among them the one set up by Manuel Serrano himself together with Ramón Martínez-Máñez and José Ramón Murguia, Senolytic Therapeutics, which is located at the Barcelona Science Park and in Boston.

The study has been funded by “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, the Botín Foundation, the European Research Council, CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness/ERDFs and the Catalan Governmen

Daniel Muñoz‐Espín, Miguel Rovira, Irene Galiana, Cristina Giménez, Beatriz Lozano‐Torres, Marta Paez‐Ribes, Susana Llanos, Selim Chaib, Maribel Muñoz‐Martín, Alvaro C Ucero, Guillermo Garaulet, Francisca Mulero, Stephen G Dann, Todd VanArsdale, David J Shields, Andrea Bernardos, José Ramón Murguía, Ramón Martínez‐Máñez, Manuel Serrano A versatile drug delivery system targeting senescent cells EMBO Molecular Medicine (2018) DOI 10.15252/emmm.201809355

Image: The figure shows two views, frontal and lateral, of the image obtained by CT of the lungs of a mouse with fibrosis (grey areas) before and after receiving nano-therapy directed at senescent cells. (Guillem Garaulet and Francisca Mulero, CNIO)

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«The combination of nanotechnology with bioengineering and biomedicine allows us to act on the human body on a molecular scale»

Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 7 Nanotechnology Unit, has been highlighted in ‘Dominical’ supplement of the Diari de Girona last week.

More information here 

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Nanotechnology, gene therapy, omics therapies and ‘big data’

Nanotechnology, gene therapy, omics therapies and ‘big data’ were the topics discussed in the Forum on Emerging Technologies oganized on May 8 by nanotechnology, gene therapy, omics therapies and ‘big data’ were the topics discussed in the I Forum on Emerging Technologies held on May 8, organized by the CIBER Internationalization Platform, of which the CIBERER, the CIBER-BBN and the CIBERES.

The objective of this event, structured in sessions of presentations and scientific debates about the types of technologies addressed, was to promote the exchange of ideas and scientific knowledge with the aim of generating new collaborations among the CIBER research groups  such as participation in transversal projects or the development of cutting-edge technologies.

NANBIOSIS was represented by Pablo Laguna (Unit 27, High Performance Computing), Laura Lechuga (Unit 4, Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit), José Luis Pedraz (Unit 10, Drug Formulation) and Rosa Villa (Unit8, Micro – Nano Technology Unit)

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Nanotechnology and biomedical applications. Gene therapy

Yesterday, at the University of Zaragoza, Prof. Nuria Vilaboa (CIBER-BBN– Hospital Universitario de La Paz) gave a talk  on “Nanotechnology and biomedical applications. Gene therapy“.

The event was organized by Manuel Arruebo II Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon), researcher of the coordinating group of Unit 9 of NANBIOSIS.

In recent years, a multitude of materials of nanometric size have been explored, which because of their small size have properties that give them a great attraction for a wide range of biomedical applications. Prof. Vilaboa reviewed gene therapy technology, where materials at  nanoscale offer interesting alternatives.

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Multifunctional biomaterials and nanomaterials: the new technological revolution.

CaixaForum Zaragoza, Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at 7:00 pm: talk by Jesús Santamaría, Scientific Director of Unit 9 of NANBIOSIS, within the Conference Cycle: Technology, the permanent revolution

Nanotechnology is the application of nanoscience and, in its modern conception, implies having the ability to design nanomaterials for a specific purpose and to control the manufacturing processes that allow them to have the desired characteristics (composition, size, shape, surface characteristics).

This talk presents the developments in nanotechnology as a true technological revolution. The general concepts and the influence of nanotechnology in our lives shall be discussed with examples of recent advances, with special emphasis on those obtained in the Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon and Unit 9 of NANBIOSIS including with applications in the field of nanomedicine.

Multifunctional biomaterials and nanomaterials
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