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Posts on Jan 1970

Gold/Silver/Gold Trilayer Films On Nanostructured Polycarbonate Substrates For Direct And Label‐Free Nanoplasmonic Biosensing

Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4. Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit is coathor of the article “Gold/Silver/Gold Trilayer Films On Nanostructured Polycarbonate Substrates For Direct And Label‐Free Nanoplasmonic Biosensing” published by

Ultrasmooth gold/silver/gold trilayer nanostructured plasmonic sensors were obtained using commercial Blu-ray optical discs as nanoslits-based flexible polymer substrates. A thin gold film was used as an adhesion and nucleation layer to improve the chemical stability and reduce the surface roughness of the overlying silver film, without increasing ohmic plasmon losses. The structures were physically and optically characterized and compared with nanostructures of single gold layer. Ultrasmooth and chemically stable trilayer nanostructures with a surface roughness <0.5 nm were obtained following a simple and reproducible fabrication process. They showed a Figure of Merit (FOM) value up to 69.2 RIU-1 which is significantly higher (more than 95%) than the gold monolayer  ounterpart.
Their potential for biosensing was demonstrated by employing the trilayer sensor for the direct and refractometric (label-free) detection of CRP protein biomarker in undiluted urine achieving a LOD in the pM order.

Article: DOI: 10.1002/jbio.201800043


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Mimicking physiological O2 tension in the female reproductive tract improves assisted reproduction outcomes in pig

Francisco M. Sánchez-Margallo, Assistant Director of NANBIOSIS and Scientific Coordinator o NANBIOSIS U23. Assisted Reproduction,  is co-author of the article “Mimicking physiological O2 tension in the female reproductive tract improves assisted reproduction outcomes in pig”, publish by the Journal Molecular human reproduction

The research has been carried out with the participation of the NANBIOSIS  Assisted Reproduction Lab that has  a 120 m2 laboratory, small animal surgery, clinical analysis support, etc. and it is featured with two intracitoplasmatic micromanipulation equipment of the latest generation with IMSI, Laser and Oosight system, embryo biopsy systems, vision systems of the mitotic spindle, with flow cabinets with stereo-microscopes and heated plates, incubators with different gasses systems, equipment and cryopreservation freeze gamete and embryo, among others


Is O2 tension in the pig oviduct and uterus affected by the estrous cycle stage and the animal’s age, and can the outcome of in vitro embryo development be improved by mimicking these physiological values?


O2 tension within the pig reproductive organs is affected by the animal’s age, and values close to those measured in vivo have a positive impact on embryo development and quality when used during IVF and embryo culture (EC).

Article of reference: doi: 10.1093/molehr/gay008

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Manuel Doblaré, Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS, SEMNI Award O. C. Zienkiewicz

The Spanish Society of Numerical Methods in Engineering (SEMNI) has awarded the SEMNI O. C. Zienkiewicz prize to Professor Dr. Manuel Doblaré.

The SEMNI O. C. Zienkiewicz Award is the highest award given by this company and recognizes, in this case, both the undisputed scientific curriculum of prof. Doblaré as his permanent contribution to the good functioning of this society, of which he has been a founding member and member of its executive committee until 2007, having also organized the Congress of Numerical Methods in Zaragoza in 1996.

The prize will be given during the Congress of Numerical Methods to be held in Guimarães from July 1 to 3, 2019. The Congress on Numerical Methods in Engineering takes place biennially and is jointly organized by the Spanish Society on Numerical Methods in Engineering (SEMNI, Spain) and the “Portuguese Association of Theoretical, Applied and Computational Mechanics” (APMTAC, Portugal)

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JUMISC, partner of NANBIOSIS has hosted PICCOLO Project Face-to-Face Meeting.

During two days meeting, the PICCOLO consortium 4th face to face meeting has taken place. Project partners reviewed the current state of the development, results, deliverables and future actions.

Inspired in the experimental setting up of the JUMISC, one of the most interesting topics in this meeting was the pre-clinical discussion about the validation plan of the PICCOLO prototypes. The PICCOLO consortium analysed both laboratory and pre-clinical trials that will start at the end of this year. Some detailed protocols and preliminary results of the experimental models for these trials were presented as results of a close collaboration between clinical and technological partners.

It has been a great chance to share know-how between clinicians, technological partners and pre-clinical researchers.

Image of the meeting participants at the face to face meeting in the JUMISC, partner of NANBIOSIS.

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Jesús Santamaría, interviewed in the Cadena Ser Radio, denounces the bureaucratic barriers that hinder research.

Jesús Santamaría, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 9, Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit, denounces the bureaucratic obstacles of the Law of Contracts, which are paralyzing the investigations whenever it is necessary to buy material or hire personnel.  His research against cancer, which received one of the most powerful European funding of more than two million euros, is stranded because of this rule, which requires to take out any purchase over 15,000 euros. “You can not do research like that,” Santamaría said. “In other countries there are no obstacles and we have to compete with them”

With the entry into force on March 9 of Law 9/2017 of November 8, scientists encounter importan important problems to use not only their basic budgets but also to use funds obtained in open and competitive calls, so they have money available to investigate that can not be spent.

This situation of Spanish research has been reviewed internationally, for example in an article published by the prestigious journal Science: Accounting rules hobble Spanish institutes 

Until now, spending limits were applied per researcher, project and year. (that is, public tenders or having to submit several budgets). Now the limit is computed at the institutional level. This makes it impossible, in practice, to execute budgets, given that once the border of 15,000 euros per institution is exceeded, the direct contract it is not possible but it is needed to undertake the procedures of a contest which can take months.

But all of this does not happen outside Spain, not even in Europe, even though this law is an adaptation of a European Directive. In the rest of the European Union, Science has been prevented from going through this “funnel”. Santamaria calls for a stronger reaction from the scientific community towards the administration.

These obstacles and their results in the R+D were explained in an article published in El Diario.es on April 4, titled “Why does the government make it difficult to carry out scientific research spending?”: “This measure, which may make some sense for laboratories Hospitals that carry out routine analyzes in a standardized manner are meaningless when we talk about independent research groups that work in very diverse areas within the same center, and that lack the administrative personnel necessary to manage this new form of bidding. make impossible, for example, the execution of expenses in other countries, something as common as the payment to a laboratory in North America for the performance of a chemical or genetic analysis: according to this law the foreign laboratory would have to be submitted to the contest. of billing of this type of services are tiny enough so that a laboratory i International, which is extremely busy with the processing of their samples and the calibration and maintenance of their equipment, bother to start the long and complex path of opting for a public tender so that a Spanish researcher can pay for the analysis of their samples. “

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Biomaterials as signal-releasing platforms

Scientists of the CIBER-BBN and IBEC reserch group Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies, led by Miguel Angel Mateos-Timoneda and Elisabeth Engel who run NANBIOSIS U5. Rapid Prototyping Unit,  have  published a review of the state-of-the-art in biomaterials for skin healing that proposes a move towards more personalized, in situ therapies.

Skin wound healing repairs and restore tissue through a complex process that involves different cells and signalling molecules that regulate cellular response and the remodelling of the extracellular matrix. Publishing in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, the article begins by summarizing recent advances in therapies for healing that combine biomolecule signals such as growth factors and cytokines with cells.

So far, the application of these therapies is hampered by high costs, a lack of standardization, no scalable processes, and storage and regulatory issues – as well as a lack of real evidence that they work,” explains Oscar Castaño, senior researcher in the  group. “To address this, we suggest concentrating on biomaterials that can act as platforms to generate stimuli that can promote the type of cell activity that encourages skin regeneration.” This strategy of tissue regeneration in situ uses the body’s own capacity for regeneration by mobilizing host endogenous stem cells or tissue-specific progenitor cells to the wound site to promote repair and regeneration. “The aim would be to create instructive microenvironments that combine biomaterial supports with the many different signal cues that happen in wound healing,” says Oscar. “They’d regulate the spatio-temporal delivery of the proper signalling based on the biological mechanisms of the various events that occur.”

Article of reference:

Oscar Castaño, Soledad Pérez-Amodio, Claudia Navarro-Requena, Miguel Angel Mateos-Timoneda, Elisabeth Engel Instructive microenvironments in skin wound healing: Biomaterials as signal releasing platforms.  Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 129, 95-117, 2018. doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2018.03.012


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NANBIOSIS Unit 14 of Cell Therapy receives the Research Excellence Accreditation

Dr. Javier García Casado, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 14, of Cell Therapy, has been awarded  by the General Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation, belonging to the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, the accreditation of research excellence of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura in the field of Life Sciences, which includes the research areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Medical Sciences, Pharmacology and Physiology, Food Science and Technology and other related fields.

The accreditation, which is valid for 4 years, is the recognition of Javier García Casado’s research career, highlighted by his contributions to scientific-technological knowledge, due to the impact and international relevance of his scientific results.


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New cover ACS Sustainable Che. Eng. by Scientists of NANBOSIS U9

Scientists of NANBIOSIS Unit 9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit are coauthors of  of the New cover ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.
Sustainable Production of Drug-Loaded Particles by Membrane Emulsification. Albisa A, Piacentini E, Arruebo M, Sebastian V, Giorno L. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2018, 6 (5), pp 6663–6674 March 13, 2018. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b00401. IF: 5,951

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Stimuli-Responsive Functionalization Strategies to Spatially and Temporally Control Surface Properties: Michael vs Diels–Alder Type Additions

NANBIOSIS Unit 6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring and Unit 3 Synthesis of Peptides collaborate in a research whose results are published by The Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Stimuli-Responsive Functionalization Strategies to Spatially and Temporally Control Surface Properties: Michael vs Diels–Alder Type Additions

Adriana R. KyvikCarlos Luque-CorrederaDaniel PulidoMiriam RoyoJaume VecianaJudith Guasch, and Imma Ratera
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2018 122 (16), 4481-4490

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b01652

Stimuli-responsive self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are used to confer switchable physical, chemical, or biological properties to surfaces through the application of external stimuli. To obtain spatially and temporally tunable surfaces, we present microcontact printed SAMs of a hydroquinone molecule that are used as a dynamic interface to immobilize different functional molecules either via Diels–Alder or Michael thiol addition reactions upon the application of a low potential. In spite of the use of such reactions and the potential applicability of the resulting surfaces in different fields ranging from sensing to biomedicine through data storage or cleanup, a direct comparison of the two functionalization strategies on a surface has not yet been performed. Although the Michael thiol addition requires molecules that are commercial or easy to synthesize in comparison with the cyclopentadiene derivatives needed for the Diels–Alder reaction, the latter reaction produces more homogeneous coverages under similar experimental conditions.


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Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 7, Panelist in a round table about the current situation of biomedical research

Last month NANBIOSIS Unit 7 Nanotechnology Unit Scientific Director Josep Samitier was one of the panelists in a round table organised by the Cercle de Salut, an association devoted to improving the health system so that it may respond adequately to the challenges posed by society.

In the discussion at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB) entitled ‘L’excel·lència en la recerca, reptes immediats’, Josep and the other participants – ISGlobal director Antoni Plasencia and IrsiCaixa director Bonaventura Clotet – discussed the current situation of biomedical research in Catalonia. In particular, the hot topic under discussion was the impact that recent regulatory and administrative changes may have on its competitiveness.

Samitier is a key figure of influence in this area, not only as president of ACER (the Associació Catalana d’Entitats de Recerca, but also with IBEC being a member of SOMMa, the alliance of the country’s 41 Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu units. One of SOMMa’s first actions was the document ‘Informe SOMMa: Acciones necesarias para salvaguardar la competitividad de la ciencia’ to attract the attention of politicians to address some of the problems currently hampering research in the country, such as VAT deduction, public contracting, and the hiring of personnel.

The proceedings began with a presentation of the document on behalf of SOMMa by Bruna Vives, managing director of the CRG, and the round table moderator was Jordi Camí, director general of the PRBB and the Fundació Pasqual Maragall. The session was closed by Cercle de Salut vicepresident Lluis Bohigas.

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