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Posts on Jan 1970

Scientists from NANBIOSIS selected by Barcelona Activa “Preacceleration” Program

Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia, (Scientific Director and Coordinator of NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit from CIBER-BBN and ICMAB_CSIC), have been selected as part of the NARTIC Project team for an incubation program by Barcelona Activa. NARTIC is a biotech project for the development of molecular therapy based on Quatsomes for diseases such as cancer.

The NARTIC project has recently been selected for the 6th edition of the Preacceleration Program, an incubation program developed by Barcelona Activa for starting ventures with a high technological impact.

The project team includes two researchers from the Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials (NANOMOL) group (from CIBER-BBN and ICMAB-CSIC): Nora Ventosa, as scientific advisor, and Nathaly Segovia, as scientific consultant for technology transfer. The rest of the team is formed by Ariadna Boloix, PhD fellow between the ICMAB and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), as entrepreneur, Miquel Segura, researcher at VHIR, as scientific advisor, and Martí Archs, Innovation & Tech Transfer Project Manager at VHIR, as innovation and tech transfer consultant.

The project has already developed a laboratory scale proof of concept for their nanomedicine, which uses RNA molecules conjugated to Quatsomes to design a biocompatible lipidic nanoparticle that transports RNA molecules, like microRNAs or siRNAs, and releases them within cancerous cells to induce an anti-tumoral activity. This has been achieved through collaboration between the Recerca Translacional del Càncer Infantil i de l’Adolescència group at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the NANOMOL team at ICMAB.

This program will allow to further define the business model for the project, as well as kickstart their access to the market, through workshops with experts in the field, covering topics like product discovery, lean start ups, and intelectual property, amongst others. They will also get access to the MediaTIC incubator and the possibility of a 5.000€ prize at the end of the process.

For further information: here

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Microencapsulated Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 therapy improves cardiac function and reduces fibrosis in a porcine acute myocardial infarction model

Researchers of NANBIOSIS Units at JUMISC. led by Verónica Crisóstomo, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 24 of Medical Imaging, have just published an article in the Journal Scientific Report

Cardiovascular diseases, especially ischemic heart disease, are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Conventional treatments have contributed to reduce early mortality after an acute myocardial infarction, but do not recover the damaged myocardial tissue. In the last two decades stem cell therapy has been studied for that purpose. Nowadays it is known now that stem cells are able to secrete combinations of biomolecules that modulate the composition of the damaged cardiac environment contributing to functional tissue repair by stimulating the migration, proliferation and survival of endogenous cardiac progenitor cells as well as attenuating fibrosis and modulating inflammation. Among the secreted substances, there are different cytokines, extracellular vesicles and growth factors including insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Our researchers’ goal in this work has been to assess the safety and effectiveness of an intracoronary infusion of microencapsulated IGF-1 after acute myocardial infarction in a clinically relevant swine model of reperfused myocardial infarction.

Large animal studies have been conducted by the ICTS “NANBIOSIS”, more specifically by Units 14, 21, 22 and 24 of the Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre.


Báez-Díaz, C., Blanco-Blázquez, V., Sánchez-Margallo, F. et al. Microencapsulated Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 therapy improves cardiac function and reduces fibrosis in a porcine acute myocardial infarction model. Sci Rep 10, 7166 (2020).


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A Concise Review on Nano-emulsion Formation by the Phase Inversion Composition (PIC) Method

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U12. Nanostructured liquid characterization unit from CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC have recently published an interesting review entitled “A Concise Review on Nano-emulsion Formation by the Phase Inversion Composition (PIC) Method” in the JOURNAL OF SURFACTANTS AND DETERGENTS. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsde.12414

Studies of phase behavior and particle sizing were performed at the Nanostructured Liquid Characterization Unit, member of the NANBIOSIS ICTS.

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NANBIOSIS U27 researchers working in an App for the early diagnosis of covid-19 through mobile phones

Bsicos group researchers, from the I3A (Engineering Research Institute) of the University of Zaragoza and CIBER-BBN), Dr. Jesús Lázaro, Dr. Eduardo Gil, Dr. Raquel Bailón and Dr. Pablo Laguna, are working on a line of work for the search of solutions for the early diagnosis of Covid-19 cases, through the development of an App for mobile phones.

For almost three years, Dr. Jesús Lázaro, under the supervision of Professor Pablo Laguna, from the resarch group Bsicos, which coordinate Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing , have been working on the European project WECARMON (Wearable Cardiorespiratory Monitor) for the development of an ambulatory system that would allow monitoring the cardiac and respiratory rhythm of patients with Clinical Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and thus control and predict episodes of worsening of the disease.

However, the current situation of pandemic due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has led the researchers, with the approval of the European Commission, to temporarily redirect their objective, foccusing their work in search of solutions for the early diagnosis of the covid-19.
The work carried out for patients with a respiratory disease such as COPD could now serve for the early detection of people with symptoms of covid-19, before even having fever, but also for asymptomatic people, since the rapid variation of these parameters is known. in the initial stages of other respiratory conditions. Our researchers will use these cardiac and respiratory parameters, indirect markers of the autonomic nervous system and, therefore, sensitive to the response of the immune system, potentially helping to identify possible cases of covid-19 earlier. A technological tool that could join the fight to control this pandemic.

Jesús Lázaro has recently made a two-year stay at Connecticut University in the United States, partner of the WECARMON project in which he was working with Pablo Laguna. Two other researchers from the Bsicos group, Dr. Raquel Bailón and Dr. Eduardo Gil, have also decided to redirect their lines of research and focus on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Re-directing research lines with different objectives to join the fight against the coronavirus is a great challenge and shows the relenvance of cutting-edge research to provide answers to the arising challenges in our society.
Jesús Lázaro explains that the application they are working on would allow a pre-selection of people at risk by analysing markers of the autonomic nervous system that would be measured on a mobile phone. ” At this moment, the above-mentioned four researchers have already developed the algorithms for other platforms and they are working now on an App using the technology of the cameras and the flashlight of the mobiles. A sudden change in heart rate variability or an increase in respiratory rate could give a sensitive and early warning, to resort to other more specific diagnostic tests for covid-19, decreasing the latency time, which has been sadly shown key in this pandemic. The developments and validation, those already made and those planned, are being carried out using NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing (I3A-Unizar/ CIBER-BBN)

The WECARMON project is funded by the H2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Commission. It is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Actions, whose objective is to promote the professional career of young and brilliant researchers, expanding their knowledge through training, stays abroad and internships, in order to help them develop all their potential as researchers.

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Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring

Researchers Dr. Jesús Lázaro and Dr. Pablo Laguna, from Bsicos group, which coordinate Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing from I3A -Engineering Research Institute of the University of Zaragoza- and CIBER-BBN, in the framework of the European project WECARMON (Wearable Cardiorespiratory Monitor) are coauthors of the recently published article titeled “Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring” in the Scientific Journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering ( Early Access )

Our long-term wearable armband is evaluated as heart rate monitor with 24h recordings during daily life”, explained Dr. Jesús Lázaro.

A wearable armband electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor has been used for daily life monitoring. The armband records three ECG channels, one electromyogram (EMG) channel, and tri-axial accelerometer signals. Contrary to conventional Holter monitors, the armband-based ECG device is convenient for long-term daily life monitoring because it uses no obstructive leads and has dry electrodes (no hydrogels), which do not cause skin irritation even after a few days. Principal component analysis (PCA) and normalized least mean squares (NLMS) adaptive filtering were used to reduce the EMG noise from the ECG channels. An artifact detector and an optimal channel selector were developed based on a support vector machine (SVM) classifier with a radial basis function (RBF) kernel using features that are related to the ECG signal quality. Mean HR was estimated from the 24-hour armband recordings from 16 volunteers in segments of 10 seconds each. In addition, four classical HR variability (HRV) parameters (SDNN, RMSSD, and powers at low and high frequency bands) were computed. For comparison purposes, the same parameters were estimated also for data from a commercial Holter monitor. The armband provided usable data (difference less than 10% from Holter-estimated mean HR) during 75.25%/11.02% (inter-subject median/interquartile range) of segments when the user was not in bed, and during 98.49%/0.79% of the bed segments. The automatic artifact detector found 53.85%/17.09% of the data to be usable during the non-bed time, and 95.00%/2.35% to be usable during the time in bed. The HRV analysis obtained a relative error with respect to the Holter data not higher than 1.37% (inter-subject median/interquartile range). Although further studies have to be conducted for specific applications, results suggest that the armband device has a good potential for daily life HR monitoring, especially for applications such as arrhythmia or seizure detection, stress assessment, or sleep studies.

The developments are being carried out using NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing (I3A-Unizar/ CIBER-BBN)

The WECARMON project is funded by the H2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Commission. It is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Actions, whose objective is to promote the professional career of young and brilliant researchers, expanding their knowledge through training, stays abroad and internships, in order to help them develop all their potential as researchers.

Article of reference:

J. Lázaro, N. Reljin, M. B. Hossain, Y. Noh, P. Laguna and K. Chon, “Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring,” in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 10.1109/TBME.2020.2987759

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Biosensors for Pandemics

Next 6 of May wii take place the On-line Conference Biosensors for Pandemics: Reliable and efficient nanotech-based diagnostics in emergency situations, will gather worldwide well known experts in biosensing technologies currently working in COVID-19 diagnostics or having very relevant technologies in the field.

Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit of CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC, will be one of the speakers. Laura Lechuga is coordinating the European proyect CONVAT: advanced nanobiosensing platforms for point-of-care diagnostics and surveillance of coronavirus for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of COVID ー 19, 

To join


Abstract Submission (ePoster request): April 22, 2020

Author Submission Acceptance Notification: April 24, 2020

Flash Poster Acceptance Notification: April 24, 2020

Early Bird Registration Fee: April 24, 2020

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JUMISC will invest 7.3 million in the development of new surgical robots

The Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Center (CCMIJU), partner of NANBIOSIS, has been granted the with the FID-CPI Innovative Public Procurement Program of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, as well as with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Agenda of the Board, for the development of the TREMIRS project “Minimally invasive robotic surgery systems” aimed at improve current techniques in laparoscopy and microsurgery

TREMIRS will improve current robotic surgical systems, providing better service to the patient, better ergonomics to the surgeon and greater benefits to the surgical team, achieving an increase in the quality of care. The project is endowed with 7,345,300 euros, and is co-financed 80 percent by the European Regional Development Fund-FEDER.

During the three-year duration of the project, a robotic platform for laparoscopic surgery will be developed that will facilitate new surgical approaches, improvements in the ergonomics of surgeons, advances in vision systems for the entire surgical team and the availability of new portable training tools. .

In the field of microsurgery, TREMIRS will develop a teleoperated robotic platform for reconstructive microsurgery, consisting of robotic microinstruments with high maneuverability and precision, the Board reports in a press release.

It will be used for soft tissue manipulation to perform microsurgical techniques such as anastomosis, suturing, and ligation of small anatomical structures such as blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic ducts.

The development of both platforms will mean making new equipment available to the National Health System and the Extremadura Health System that is currently not available in the market and that will allow for the improvement of the quality of the services provided to the patient and improvements in surgical results.

Source: https://www.hoy.es/caceres/centro-cirugia-minima-20200419121007-nt.html#vca=fixed-btn&vso=rrss&vmc=tw&vli=C%C3%A1ceres

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Infrared sensitive hydrogels to control the regeneration of bone tissue.

NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit has participated in a research carried out bu researchers of CIBER-BBN group FIOBI-HULP at Hospital de la Paz, led by Nuria Vilaboa. reclently published in the scientific journal Biomaterials The researchers have used transgenic cells, which are incorporated into the scaffolding, to regulate the physiological production of bone growth factors and induce the osteoinduction process.

Achievement of spatiotemporal control of growth factors production remains a main goal in tissue engineering. In the present work, we combined inducible transgene expression and near infrared (NIR)-responsive hydrogels technologies to develop a therapeutic platform for bone regeneration. A heat-activated and dimerizer-dependent transgene expression system was incorporated into mesenchymal stem cells to conditionally control the production of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). Genetically engineered cells were entrapped in hydrogels based on fibrin and plasmonic gold nanoparticles that transduced incident energy of an NIR laser into heat. In the presence of dimerizer, photoinduced mild hyperthermia induced the release of bioactive BMP-2 from NIR-responsive cell constructs. A critical size bone defect, created in calvaria of immunocompetent mice, was filled with NIR-responsive hydrogels entrapping cells that expressed BMP-2 under the control of the heat-activated and dimerizer-dependent gene circuit. In animals that were treated with dimerizer, NIR irradiation of implants induced BMP-2 production in the bone lesion. Induction of NIR-responsive cell constructs conditionally expressing BMP-2 in bone defects resulted in the formation of new mineralized tissue, thus indicating the therapeutic potential of the technological platform.

Thanks to the participation of NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit it has been possible to explore the use of gold plasmonic nanoparticles, capable of absorbing light in the near-infrared (NIR) area and converting it into heat

Article of reference:

Sánchez-Casanova, S., Martin-Saavedra, F.M., Escudero-Duch, C., Falguera Uceda, M.I., Prieto, M., Arruebo, M., Acebo, P., Fabiilli, M.L., Franceschi, R.T., Vilaboa, N. Local delivery of bone morphogenetic protein-2 from near infrared-responsive hydrogels for bone tissue regeneration. Biomaterials 241:119909. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2020.119909

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A new strategy to synthesize Chol-PEG “on demand”

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit of CIBER-BBN at IQAC-CSIC, led by Miriam Royo, have published an article in the scientific journal ACS Omega that develops a method for the production of cholesterol conjugates to peptide ligands through polyethylene glycol (ND-PEG) not dispersed through a non-hydrolyzable bond.

The developed methodology allows to generate stable, highly pure and well defined Chol-PEG compounds, linked to different lengths of PEG from 4 to 20 units of ethylene oxide through an ether bond. These Chol-PEG compounds were conjugated with different peptides, such as cyclic peptide (RGDfK), gluturation and a Tf1R peptide ligand, preserving the oligomeric purity of the precursors, as demonstrated by analysis by HRMS and NMR. This method allows the systematic synthesis of stable, high-purity Chol-PEGs, bypassing the use of activation groups at each elongation step and thus reducing the number of synthesis steps.

The use of Chol-PEG conjugates has increased in recent years as a component of nanoformulations for applications such as drug administration or imaging systems, due to the ability of Chol to insert into artificial and cell membranes. This ability facilitates the stability of nanovesicles, such as liposomes or others, and entry into cells.

The synthesis of the peptides used in this work was carried out in Unit 3 of NANBIOSIS – ICTS Peptide Synthesis Unit and was developed within the framework of the HORIZON 2020 Smart4Fabry project.

Article of referrence:

Synthesis of Stable Cholesteryl–Polyethylene Glycol–Peptide Conjugates with Non-Disperse Polyethylene Glycol Lengths. Edgar Cristóbal-Lecina, Daniel Pulido, Pau Martin-Malpartida, Maria J. Macias, Fernando Albericio, and Miriam Royo. ACS Omega 2020 5 (10), 5508-5519 https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c00130

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Nanbiosis among the European Research Infrastructures working for COVID-19 Pandemics

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several research infrastructures (RIs) NANBIOSIS among them, have set up specific services, such as rapid or fast track access, to allow researchers to obtain results as soon as possible.

The Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures Facilities (ERF-AISBL), collects the relevant information about the initiatives on a dedicated website.

NANBIOSIS provides rapid access for COVID-19 research. The ICTS offers preclinical stages services of biomedical product development, specifically, synthesis and preparation of biomolecules like antibodies, peptides, recombinant proteins, oligonucleotides for diagnostic therapeutic and prophylactic purposes.

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