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Posts on Jan 1970

2020 Rei Jaume I Awards ceremony – Laura Lechuga NANBIOSIS U4-

This monday 30 of october has taken place the traditional ceremony of Rei Jaume I Awards in Valencia, granted to six professionals in research, science and economics.

At the ceremony, the awards have been given to the winners of the six categories: Rei Jaume I Basic Research Prize 2020 to Fco. José García Vidal; Rei Jaume I Economy Prize 2020 to Diego Puga; Rei Jaume I Medical Research Prize 2020 to Miguel Beato del Rosal; Rei Jaume I Environmental Protection Award 2020 to Fernando T. Maestre; Rei Jaume I New Technologies Award 2020 to Laura Lechuga and Rei Jaume I Entrepreneur Award 2020 to Verónica Pascual.

Queen Letizia has led the event apologizing for the absence of King Felipe VI for being in quarantine, and had estated that the awards constitute “the example of how research, science, technology and entrepreneurship are the way that gives us as a society the tools to face challenges such as those that the pandemic has put on the table”. After, the Queen pointed out that “the talent, effort and generosity” of the winners of the Rei Jaime I Awards, one of the best endowed in Spain with 100,000 euros each discipline , show the ability to project a “modern, supportive and strong” Spain.Queen Letizia has emphasizes at the Rei Jaume I Awards that research is “essential” to face the pandemic.

The winners defend that the coronavirus has reaffirmed the importance of science and that the investment in science must be accompanied by a change in the model.

Laura Lechuga (New Technologies 2020 award), has called for a pact for science to provide stability because science requires long-term financing and structures, as well as decent salaries that prevent the brain drain that is formed with money public. “It is a millionaire loss,” she pointed out.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga Gomez, full professor of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), head of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications group at the ICN2 and a member of the Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBER-BBN), received the New Technologies Award for her career in the field of photonic and phononic nanobiosensors. Prof. Lechuga is recently working on a EU funded project (CoNVaT) aiming to apply these technologies to develop a fast, portable and cheap device for the diagnostic of COVID-19.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga has been recently awarded with the two most prominent scientific Prizes in Spain Rei Jaume I and the Spanish National Research Award.

The research group led by Laura Lechuga on Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NAnoB2A) from CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC, coordinators of unit 4 ot NANBIOSIS ICTS have been folloing the Rei Jaume I awards ceremony in streaming, from the ICN2-CSIC, very proud of Laura Lechuga!

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Nb4D group- NANBIOSIS U2 receives the acreditation TECNICO, in the on line event organizes by ACCIO

Las November 27 was held the ACCIO ceremony (on line this year due to the Covid Pandemic restrictions) of disclosure of new TECNIO accreditations.

Aurea Rodriguez, Director of Business Innovation at ACCIO has welcomed the attendees to the event. Later, the TECNIO program Coordinator, Marta Peidro, presented the background and rationale for this accreditation for excellence groups in technology transfer in Catalonia. This year there have been five new groups from among all Catalan universities and research organizations, which have obtained the TECNIO accreditation for the first time, making a total of fifty-four groups accredited in 2020.

The event continued with the presentation of the five new accredited groups, starting with the IQAC-CSIC – CIBER-BBN Nb4D group, coordinator of NANBIOSIS unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) that investigates improvements to current clinical diagnostic methods.

After the presentations of the five new groups, the tools and benefits that ACCIO offers to TECNIO groups were explained and the event ended with a round of questions from the attendees, such as what will be the future financing strategy of ACCIO for TECNIO groups or how has it been the response to the recent call for INNOTEC grants

As expressed by Prof M. Pilar Marco: “This seal recognizes us as a tech-transfer agent with distinguishing technological capabilities and increases our visibility in front of the business world.”

ACCIÓ is the agency set up by the Catalan Government to make Catalan enterprise more competitive throughout the world. Its key aims are to drive innovation, internationalisation and attract inward investment. ACCIÓ is enterprise-centred, working on the needs of each individual business and to work hand in hand to look for opportunities and achieve that all important competitive edge. At ACCIÓ we believe this edge can come about with work on three vital areas of competitive dynamics: innovation, internationalisatio, attraction of investment. ACCIÓ is a proactive agency, with a simple, clear and efficient modus operandi, above all dedicated to working in close quarters with enterprise. ACCIÓ is based in Barcelona with an international network of a further 35 Business Promotion Centres covering some 80 markets worldwide. It provides advice and practical help for businesses with a vocation to expand worldwide. It focuses on attracting inward investment into Catalonia and also works on synergies between R+D+i areas and business.

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Two new equipment items at the U6 of Nanbiosis with cofinancing from FEDER funds

The U6 of NANBIOSIS (Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit) has expanded its capabilities with 2 new equipment items for the characterization unit. Both equipment items will allow the characterization of some physico-chemical properties of different nanomaterials.

The Zetasizer ULTRA is used to measure the particle size of dispersed systems from sub-nanometer to several micrometers in diameter, using the technique of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Zetasizer systems are also used to analyze particle mobility and charge (Zeta potential) using the technique of Electrophoretic Light Scattering (ELS), and the molecular weight of particles in solution using Static Light Scattering (SLS).

The Green laser module for the NanoSight NS300 equipment. The NS300 allows analysis of the size distribution and concentration of all types of nanoparticles from 0.01 – 1 µm in diameter. This new laser module will allow NTA to measure a range of fluorescent particles, avoiding interferences during the measurements due to sample (auto)fluorescence and absorption.  This is done by detecting the fluorescence signal, which is emitted naturally by particles or as a result of fluorescence labeling or tagging


This equipment have been confinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Plurirregional Operational Program of Spain (POPE)2014-2020

European Regional Development Fund
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The Nanomedicine Revolution

Yesterday, November, 25 took place, within the the program of the Ateneo of the EINA (School of Engineering and Architecture of Aragón), the online conference on “The Revolution of Nanomedicine” by Ramón Martínez Máñez.

The Conference chair, Jesús Martínez de la Fuente, Principal Investigator of the BIONANOSURF group of CIBER-BBN and the Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragón, introduced the guest, Ramón Martínez Máñez, Scientific Director of CIBER-BBN, highlighting “his creativity in the use of his systems and how he combines them with different diagnostic release systems, combining organic chemistry, surface chemistry, applications in biotechnology and giving way to translation and transfer, his works are very unique

Ramón Martínez Máñez, Scientific Director NANBIOSIS unit 26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II, gave a very instructive talke about what is nanotechnology and how nanotechnology revolution has reached the medicine, with current examples of the application of nanomedicines, as well as in the medicine of the future.

After it, a very interesting debate took place in which different issues were discussed, especially in relation to nanomedicine applied to therapy, such as the barriers to generalize the use of nanoparticles in therapy, the current state of implantation of nanoformulated drugs in the market and the advancement of the use of some nanoparticles as polymers or liposomes compared to inorganic nanoparticles, the degree of development of nanoparticles under GLP certification or why cancer is the main target of nanomedicine with a great difference over other pathologies. The audience asked questions that led to the discussion of some more controversial points such as whether it is true that “Big Pharma” does not like nanoparticles, why there is a regulatory vacuum regarding their use and how to solve these problems.

Regarding the diagnosis applications, Ramón Martínez commented that “nanotechnology already has its way open, both in the development of nanoparticles and systems to amplify the signal, based on nanophotonics, resonant rings or other technologies at the nanometric level. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having rapid detection systems for bio parameters, pathogens, bacteria … We have a lot of knowledge acquired in recent years in these systems and they are currently being developed in a more or less short time, we are truly close to revolutionizing the field of detection“.

Finally, in realtion with the nanomedicine of the future, the questions raised in the debate revolved mainly around nanobots and their state of development or the problems that are emerging in it or the possibility of uniting nanomedicine with artificial intelligence and possible applications.

The Ateneo is an activity of the EINA in collaboration with the Aragón Engineering Research Institute and SAMCA Chair of Technological Development of Aragon, both directed by Pablo Laguna, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing. Pablo Laguna closed the event thanking Ramón Martínez Máñez and Jesús Martínez de la Fuente for their participation and highlighting the high number of attendees at the conference.

The conference can be followed in Spanish in EINA youtoube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fh1O1VuNU

Anouncing this Conference in the Ateneo EINA, Ramón Martínez Máñez was yesterday interviewed by Aragon Radio. In this case, the interview had the focuss in the “Nanomedicine against COVID” . The podcast can be listen in Spanish here: https://www.cartv.es/aragonradio/podcast/emision/nanomedicina-frente-a-la-covid

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NANBIOSIS U12 expands its capabilities with a new SEM for morphological and dimensional characterization of solid samples

The U12 of NANBIOSIS (Nanostructured liquid characterization unit) has expanded its capabilities with a new equipment U12-E22. SEM Hitachi TM4000Plus II for morphological and dimensional characterization of solid samples

Low vacuum Scanning Electron Microscopy with two electron detectors (secondary, SE, and backscattered, BSE). SE imaging provides a detailed information of the morphology of the sample and BSE gives information about the different components of the sample, based on the different atomic number (the higher the atomic number, the brighter the surface).

The equipment can apply different vacuum levels (using a turbo molecular pump) with accelerating voltages between 5 and 20 kV and magnifications from 10x to 100,000x. Specimens with size up to 80 mm diameter and/or 50 mm thickness can be characterized and samples.

Conductive and non-conductive samples can be characterized with little or no previous preparation. The software enables image processing of micrographs, for instance, measuring the size of solid particles after the acquisition of images.

SEM analysis is very useful in several fields:

  • Life sciences, for the topographical and morphological characterization of tissues, hairs, fibers, etc.
  • Materials science, for quality control and failure analysis. Morphological properties are quite important in the research of innovative materials. In addition, the characterization of the surface is a key factor in porous materials used for delivery systems.
  • Semiconductor inspection and microchip assembly, to analyse the topography and to investigate the effectiveness of production methods.

The equipment has been financed by CSIC and with funds of the research group coordinanting the unit from CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC, led by Carlos Rodriguez-Abreu

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U12-E22. SEM Hitachi TM4000Plus II for morphological and dimensional characterization of solid samples

U12-E22. SEM Hitachi TM4000Plus II for morphological and dimensional characterization of solid samples

SEM Hitachi TM4000Plus II for morphological and dimensional characterization of solid samples.

Description:

Low vacuum Scanning Electron Microscopy with two electron detectors (secondary, SE, and backscattered, BSE). SE imaging provides a detailed information of the morphology of the sample and BSE gives information about the different components of the sample, based on the different atomic number (the higher the atomic number, the brighter the surface).

The equipment can apply different vacuum levels (using a turbo molecular pump) with accelerating voltages between 5 and 20 kV and magnifications from 10x to 100,000x. Specimens with size up to 80 mm diameter and/or 50 mm thickness can be characterized and samples.

Conductive and non-conductive samples can be characterized with little or no previous preparation. The software enables image processing of micrographs, for instance, measuring the size of solid particles after the acquisition of images.

Applications:

SEM analysis is very useful in several fields:

  • Life sciences, for the topographical and morphological characterization of tissues, hairs, fibers, etc.
  • Materials science, for quality control and failure analysis. Morphological properties are quite important in the research of innovative materials. In addition, the characterization of the surface is a key factor in porous materials used for delivery systems.
  • Semiconductor inspection and microchip assembly, to analyse the topography and to investigate the effectiveness of production methods.

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NANBIOSIS-ICTS AT CASEIB 2020

The XXXVII Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (CASEIB) is taking place between November 25 and 27. This new edition of CASEIB, in virtual format is organized by the CIBER-BBN group of Biomedical Engineering at Valladolid Universitiy, led by Prof. Roberto Sánchez Hornero.

Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit, member of the advisoty committee of scientific experts (Multidisciplinary Working Group) to the Ministry of Science and Innovation in COVID-19 and coordinator of the European project CONVAT shall participate in the Roundtable I: Biomedical Engineering and COVID-19 November 26, 12:00 h

Researchers of BSICoS Group from CIBER-BBN and I3A-UZ, running NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, led by Prof. Pablo Laguna, will participate defending their last works:

  • “Delay between QT and RR in stress test records as an indicator of the heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization”. Cristina Pérez, Esther Pueyo, Juan Pablo Martínez, Jari Viik, Pablo Laguna.
  • “Prediction of sudden death in patients with chronic heart failure by studying the periodic dynamics of repolarization”. Saúl Palacios, Iwona Cygankiewicz, Antoni Bayés-de-Luna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Esther Pueyo.
  • “Electrodermal response analysis for the identification of patients with depression”. Marta Martínez, Jesús Lázaro, Spyridon Kontaxis, Pablo Laguna, Eduardo Gil, María Luisa Bernal Ruíz, Sara Siddi, Concepción de la Cámara, Jordi Aguiló, Esther García, Josep María Haro, Raquel Bailón.
  • “In silico characterization of the duration of repolarization and its variability in Type 1 Long QT syndrome under β adrenergic stimulation”. David Adolfo Sampedro-Puente, Fabien Raphel, Jesús Fernández-Bes, Pablo Laguna, Damiano Lombardi, Esther Pueyo
  • “Monitoring of Blood Potassium Concentration in dialysis through changes in the multi-lead morphology of the T wave: Comparison between using the transformation in Periodic and Principal Components”. Flavio Palmieri, Pedro Gomis, José Esteban Ruiz, Dina Ferreira, Alba Martin, Esther Pueyo, Pablo Laguna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Julia Ramírez.

Further information on BSICoS website

On the other hand researcher of NANBIOSIS at JUMISC will present:

  • Study of the influence of the diameter and temperature of the nozzle on the thickness of the filament for bioprinting“. Enrique Mancha, Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, Alfonso Carlos Marcos Romero, Manuel Matamoros Pacheco, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo, José Blas Pagador Carrasco.
  • Influence of voluntary contractions on the basal sEMG activity of the pelvic floor muscles. M. Albaladejo-Belmonte, M. Tarazona, F.J. Nohales, J. Alberola-Rubio, J. Garcia-Casado
  • 3D Printing Mold Making: Soluble Male Viability for Hollow Artificial Organs Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, José Blas Pagador Carrasco, Antonio Jesús Rodríguez Fuentes, Alfonso González González, Mara Olivares Marín, Jesús Usón Gargallo, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo

Further information on JUMISC website

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Closer to understand the regulation of SMARCA4 expression

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) from CIBERBBN at @IQAC_CSIC, led by Prof. Ramón Eritja, are the authors of an article published by Int J Biol Macromol. 2020, entitled “Influence of pH and a porphyrin ligand on the stability of a G-quadruplex structure within a duplex segment near the promoter region of theSMARCA4 gene”. Prof Eritja hightlighs the contribution to this work by Dr. Raimundo Gargallo from the University of Barcelona.

The manuscript described the structural analysis of the promoter region of the SMARCA4 gene involved in ovarian cancer. This promoter region has an exceptionally long G-rich sequence. In this work we observed the formation of a singular G-quadruplex structure in equilibrium with an i-motif that can be modulated by changes in the pH and by the addition of external G-quadruplex ligands such as porphyrins. The NANBIOSIS Unit U29 provided synthetic versions of the DNA promoter region for the structural analysis.

In a previous work, the formation of G-quadruplex structures in a 44-nucleotide long sequence found near the promoter region of the SMARCA4 gene was reported. The central 25 nucleotides were able to fold into an antiparallel G-quadruplex structure, the stability of which was pH-dependent. In the present work, the effect of the presence of lateral nucleotides and the complementary cytosine-rich strand on the stability of this G-quadruplex has been characterized. Moreover, the role of the model ligand TMPyP4 has been studied. Spectroscopic and separation techniques, as well as multivariate data analysis methods, have been used with these purposes. The results have shown that stability of the G-quadruplex as a function of pH or temperature is greatly reduced in the presence of the lateral nucleotides. The influence of the complementary strand does not prevent the formation of the G-quadruplex. Moreover, attempts to modulate the equilibria by an external ligand led us to determine the influence of the TMPyP4 porphyrin on these complex equilibria. This study could eventually help to understand the regulation of SMARCA4 expression.

Article of reference:

Influence of pH and a porphyrin ligand on the stability of a G-quadruplex structure within a duplex segment near the promoter region of the SMARCA4 gene. Alba Navarro Sanae Benabou RamonEritja RaimundoGargallo. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. Volume 159, 15 September 2020, Pages 383-393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.05.062

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Moore4Medical a project to accelerate innovation in electronic medical devices

The NanoBioCell group, led by Prof. Jose Luis Pedraz, participates in the European project Moore4medical. A project to accelerate innovation in emergencing medical devices with open tecnhology platforms. The NanoBiocel group, will focus on the lyophilization process of biopharmaceuticals and their use in microfluidic devices

The NanoBiocel research group of the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, which is part of the CIBER BBN and the ICTS Nanbiosis through the U10 Drug Formulation Unit, and led by Professor Jose Luis Pedraz of the Faculty of Pharmacy, participates in the European project Moore4medical, which aims to accelerate innovation in electronic and microfabricated devices for several emerging medical specialties. Specifically, the work of the NanoBiocel group will focus on optimizing the lyophilization process of biopharmaceuticals in microfluidic devices.
The three-year Moore4Medical project is funded by the public-private partnership ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership), which manages a research and innovation program to strengthen the electronic components and systems sector to maintain to the European Union at the forefront of technological development. The total financing of the project amounts to € 68M, of which more than half a million have been awarded to the work of NanoBiocel.
In Moore4Medical, 68 partners participate (between private companies, universities and research institutions) from 13 countries and is led by the Dutch multinational Philips in its electronics and medical systems and service innovation divisions.

Microfluidic device
The NanoBioCell group will work, together with the Mondragón company microLIQUID, in the development of technology for integrating lyophilized drugs and their rehydration in a microfluidic device for their correct administration. The lyophilized drug will be integrated into the microfluidic device using specific techniques to ensure a good interaction between the fluid and the drug for delivery by the pump. The final objective is to design a system for the administration of drugs by parenteral route that is much more comfortable for patients and that improves the therapeutic compliance of treatments.
The microLIQUID company is a leading biotechnology company in the microfluidic technologies sector and will be in charge of the design and development of microfluidic modules.
In this work called ‘Drug Adherence’, integrated within the total project, the NanoBioCel group will team up with the Irish national institute Tyndall, the multinational pharmaceutical company AbbVie, the Fraunhofer Institute of Germany, the service innovation section of Philips, the company German Gaudlitz GmbH, specialist in polymers, the Karlsruhe Technological Institute in Germany and the HI Iberia company in Madrid.

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Understanding human heart behaviour with mathematics and engineering.

Researchers from the I3A and the CIBER-BBN at the University of Zaragoza Esther Pueyo and Konstantinos Mountris have been interwiewed at the Radio program “Hoy por Hoy” LA SER in relation with their work from engineering and mathematics to understand the functioning of the heart when it is healthy and when a heart attack occurs, to provide clinical specialists with the tools needed to improve patient care.

They do this through computing in cardiology using the instalations of the ICTS Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing Unit, with the creation of a virtual heart that allows the computer to reproduce the electrical activity of a real heart. His line of research advances towards a simpler methodology. Until now, computational simulation required the construction of a geometry that created a mesh, joining different points of that virtual heart. This system was not applicable to the clinical routine, extensive engineering knowledge was needed, but now they have created a new methodology that facilitates that application because it more easily translates an image to a computational model and, therefore, it can be easier to be interpreted in the hospital setting.

It is an innovative advance in this field and its work has already been recognized in the Congress of Computing in Cardiology (CinC) held recently and where they have received the Maastricht Simulation Award (MSA). “The Meshfree Immersed Grid alleviates the necessity for mesh generation and allows eliminating the mesh-related limitationsUsing the HPC services of NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, – explains Konstantinos Mountris – we were able to validate the Meshfree Immersed Grid method as a promising alternative to Finite Element Method performing large-scale simulations of myocardial infarction in biventricular swine models

Until now, this group of researchers started from a clinical image that they had to divide into small pieces and establish their connection. With this new methodology, this is no longer necessary, it is no longer necessary to build the virtual heart by connecting those small parts to see how it works, but they start from the image itself, a model is built automatically and they are able to see the activity cardiac.

This methodology that unites engineering and mathematics “is applicable to different pathologies of the heart, but in the work that we present, it had been tested against myocardial infarction. Our idea is to test the electrical activity of the heart that has suffered a heart attack ”, explains Konstantinos Mountris, but they also test the activity in a healthy heart.

Transferring the image of a damaged heart to the computer simulation allows us to check what its activity will be like from now on, how it will behave and this can help clinicians in their diagnosis, application of treatments and decision making. It is a method with a great mathematical and engineering load but with a great clinical application, “they are algorithms that could be taken to the clinic and obtain a result from the image that doctors have”, highlights Esther Pueyo, principal investigator of the project European Modelage, in which the work that has just been internationally recognized is framed.

This line of research proposes a method that has different applications, from surgeries to diagnostic tests or treatments. A mathematical model that reproduces how a healthy heart or a heart with areas affected by an arrhythmia or a heart attack works and that can be adapted to each patient.

Modelage is a project that tries to know the aging rhythms of the heart and develop patterns that help prevent arrhythmias are some of the objectives. It is led by Esther Pueyo, a CIBER-BBN researcher in the BSICoS group of the I3A led by Pablo Laguna. It was selected within the first Starting Grant call of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union in which more than 3,200 proposals competed.

See presentation of the work in the Congress of Computing in Cardiology

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