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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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Ainhoa González Pujana, NANBIOSIS U10, 2019 best doctoral thesis award by the Bioaraba Research Health Institute

The Bioaraba Health Research Institute has awarded Ainhoa ​​González Pujana, a researcher at NanoBioCell and the Nanbiosis Platform through the U10 Drug Formulation (from CIBER-BBN and UPV-EHU), the award for the best doctoral thesis 2019 at the XXI Bioaraba Research and Innovation Conference, held last November 5 in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Along with the recognition, the award consists of an economic endowment of € 1,000 in funds for R + D + i. The thesis, directed by Professor Rosa María Hernández and Dr. Edorta Santos Vizcaíno, has been carried out in the NanoBioCel group of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU). Under the title “Bioinspired three-dimensional multifunctional systems to enhance the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stromal cells”, the thesis has focused on the design of biomimetic matrices that enhance the immunomodulatory effect of mesenchymal stem cells, as a therapeutic alternative for treatment of the immunological alterations that occur in diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or Lupus erythematosus.

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New Webinar: Introduction to regulatory aspects of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical devices

On November 25th, CIBER-BBN organized a new webinar on regulatory aspects of in vitro diagnistic (IVD) medical devices.

The European Parliament, in 2016, approved the new regulations that redefined the development of In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) methods, with the aim of providing a framework of greater safety and transparency for patients, and at the same time renewing the regulations in force in that moment.

This conference is aimed at researchers from the Academy, or any professional interested in clarifying the most important changes in regulations for the development of IVD products. We will have the participation of experts from the national competent authority, and several companies that will explain their experience to bring this type of product to market. Among them: Ramón Martínez Máñez Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II and Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit

Registration and program here.

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Update on biomaterials, bioengineering and nanomedicine, with a focus on COVID-19, at the annual CIBER-BBN conferences

National and international leading researchers have addressed this Monday and Tuesday the main scientific advances and challenges in the areas of bioengineering, biomaterials and nanomedicine. For yet another year, the XIV CIBER-BBN Annual Conference, held online, has brought together all the scientific groups in this area of ​​the ISCIII Center for Online Biomedical Research (CIBER).

The conference was opened on Monday by the director of the ISCIII, Raquel Yottti, who highlighted the role of the CIBER-BBN investigation “to find answers to very complex problems, specifically this year in the field of the fight against the pandemic.” The scientific director of the CIBER-BBN, Ramón Martínez Máñez, highlighted the good results in scientific production of the groups at the center, the importance of internationalization and the high number of requests for European projects.

Internal collaborations and projects with CIBEREHD

This edition of the conference has included presentations of internal collaboration projects, three plenary talks given by renowned experts in the fields of Hybrid Biosignals and Nanomaterials Analysis, a forum on the main achievements of ICTS Nanbiosis, and a session dedicated to COVID- 19 and the most recent advances in fighting disease in detection, prevention, and therapy.

The conference began on Monday with two internal collaboration sessions, in which topics such as hybrid (nano) materials for biomedical applications, molecular and metabolic biomarkers in bladder cancer for new detection and treatment strategies or technologies based on in proteins for targeted tumor cell therapy.

She also highlighted the collaboration in these conferences of the CIBER on Liver and Digestive Diseases (CIBEREHD), thanks to the participation of María Luz Martínez, from CIC BIOGUNE. In this session, the seed projects were discussed in collaboration between the two areas.

Session on COVID-19

During the day of the 17th, the first part has been dedicated to COVID-19. Jordi Vila, from the Institute of Global Health and Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, ​​spoke about the ‘Evolution of the clinical microbiological diagnosis of COVID-19 during the pandemic’, while Julià Blanco, from the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute of Barcelona, ​​has fact about the ‘Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination’. For her part, Nuria Oliver, curator of the Presidency of the Valencian Community, has focused on ‘Data science to fight COVID-19’.

The conference closed this Tuesday with two sessions on internal collaborations and another on Nanbiosis, the ICTS of the CIBER-BBN, Bionand and the Jesús Usón Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (CCMIJU) .

Source of information: ISCIII

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Laura Lechuga: awarded the most important recognition in Spain in the field of scientific research

The Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit Laura Lechuga, has been awarded the 2020 National Research Prize, the most important recognition in Spain in the field of scientific research, granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The National Research Awards, created in 1982, aim to distinguish the merit of those researchers of Spanish nationality who are carrying out outstanding work in scientific fields of international relevance and who exceptionally contribute to the advancement of science, to the transfer of technology and the progress of humanity. These awards have a total amount of 300,000 euros, (30,000 euros each award).

National Award “Juan de la Cierva”, in the area of ​​Technology Transfer
Laura Lechuga, group leader of the CIBER-BBN at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), a joint GENCAT-CSIC-UAB center, has received the Juan de la Cierva National Award, in the area of ​​Technology Transfer, for her contribution innovator of diagnostic methods through pioneering projects such as the development of “lab-on-a-chip” platforms.

The jury highlighted the complete nature of her career, which combines high-quality scientific activity with technology transfer, not only in the development of patents but also in terms of promoting the creation of spin-off companies. All this, together with the leadership and coordination of important projects at the international level, and the impact of her work on the early diagnosis of diseases, makes her worthy of this distinction.

Prof. Lechuga has received several awards and recognitions throughout her career, such as the Physics, Innovation and Technology Award from the Royal Spanish Physics Society and the BBVA Foundation in 2016, a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) since 2014, the Ada 2020 Byron Award, from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and, recently, the Rei Jaume I New Technologies 2020 Award, awarded by the Valencian Government and the Rei Jaume I Awards Foundation.

Source of information: Ministry of Science and Innovation.

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How to delay vision loss in hereditary retinal dystrophies? Looking for the most effective and economical pharmacological nanotherapy

Researchers from the CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS are participating in a new project that aims to achieve the most effective, specific and economical pharmacological nanotherapy that allows delaying the death of retinal cells and subsequent loss of vision in hereditary retinal dystrophy. retinitis pigmentosa, regardless of the genetic defect causing the disease.

In this project, coordinated by the researcher Regina Rodrigo, the ONCE and the Prince Felipe Research Center (CIPF) of Valencia collaborate, together with researchers from the CIBER of Rare Diseases (CIBERER) and the Manises Hospital in Valencia. On behalf of the CIBER-BBN, the scientific director, Ramón Martínez Máñez, together with Elena Aznar from the IDM-UPV group of the Polytechnic University of València, José Luís Pedraz, Gustavo Puras and Idoia Gallego, from the group of the University of the Basque Country and Nanbiosis.

The NANBIOSIS participation in the project will be through the U10 Drug Formulation unit (from @CIBERBBN and @upvehu), led by NanoBioCell Group and Prof. José Luis Pedraz and U26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II , led by IDM-UPV-UV Group, led by Prof. Ramón Martínez Máñez. Elena Aznar, researcher of CIBER-BBN at IDM-UPV-UV explained “We use the unit to characterize the nanoparticles. Through a solid phase NMR confirms that the molecular gate has been correctly attached to the surface of the nanoparticles“.

Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of inherited retinal dystrophies characterized by progressive and irreversible loss of vision. Although it is considered a rare disease, it is the leading genetic cause of blindness in developed countries. So far there is no effective treatment, although there are various therapeutic approaches such as gene therapy, cell therapy, pharmacological therapy, optogenetics or electronic implants.

During the progression of the disease, an important inflammatory component has been observed that may contribute to its pathogenesis. In this sense, different anti-inflammatory strategies have been evaluated. The research group has successfully tested one of these strategies in preclinical models of retinitis pigmentosa. However, the implementation of this therapeutic strategy with nanocarriers as controlled release delivery systems would improve the mode of action of the administered drug, avoiding its degradation, increasing its half-life, stability or its availability in the retina. In this project, two types of nanocarriers will be used and their effect on the degenerative process in a murine model of retinitis pigmentosa will be evaluated.

  • PICTURE: Hematoxylin and eosin image showing that intravitreal blockade of the cytokine TNFα with Adalimumab-type monoclonal antibodies (ADA) reduces retinal degeneration, preventing the death of photoreceptors (RF) in the murine model of retinitis pigmentosa, rd10 mouse.
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Nb4D group – NANBIOSIS Unit 2 CAbS – accredited with the TECNIO seal

The Nb4D group of CIBER-BBN and IQAB-CSIC, coordinator of NANBIOSIS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), has been accredited with the TECNIO seal.

This accreditation is the hallmark TECNIO granted by the Government of Catalonia, through ACCIÓ, to identify the developers and facilitators of differential technologies in Catalonia. TECNIO is the umbrella brand for catalan technology centres and university research groups dedicated to industrial research and technology transfer.


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NANBIOSIS in the new poster of ICTS map published by Spanish Goverment.

ICTS underpins the Spanish reputation for research excellence.

In the picture: the new poster of the ICTS map in which NANBIOSIS facilities have been highlighed with a red square

The term Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS) refers to facilities, resources, or services for the development of top-quality cutting-edge research, as well as the communication, exchange, and preservation of knowledge, the transfer of technology, and promotion of innovation. They are unique or exceptional in their fields, with a high cost of investment, maintenance, and operation, and are of a strategic importance that justifies their availability to all actors in the field of R&D&I. The ICTS share three fundamental characteristics; they are infrastructures with public ownership, unique and open to competitive access.

ICTS offer an opening capacity percentage of their essential services under ‘Competitive Open Access’ for the use by national and international public and private sector researchers, with the support of technical and administrative personnel of the ICTS. Infrastructures access is ruled by a public “Access Protocol” that describes the procedure and criteria for access to the infrastructure. The main features of ‘Competitive Open Access’ are that R + D + i quality of activities developed at the infrastructure should be proven and that requests for access should be prioritized on the basis of objective criteria.

The dissemination of ICTS and their capabilities is essential to provide Spanish and international researchers with access to a large base of quality services and facilities, a basic requirement for the development of excellent science.

The new posster pushised by the General Subdirectorate of Large
Scientific-Technical Facilities of the of the Sapanish Ministry of Science and Research Innovation helps to disseminate and understand the map of ICTS wich are located throughout the country

NANBIOSIS, is one of the five ICTS in the field of Health Sciences and Biotechnology

Further informations: MICINN

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