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Posts on Jan 1970

New device for more efficient gluten detection

About 1% of the world’s population suffers from celiac disease, a complex and autoimmune disorder caused by ingestion of gluten and for which there is no treatment beyond its elimination from the diet. In Spain every May 27, the National Celiac Day is commemorated to publicize the disease and give visibility and support to people with celiac disease.

The detection of gluten becomes a key element for celiac patients to control the disease, as well as for the food industry, whose regulation requires declaring its presence in food. In this line, a team of researchers coordinated by the professor of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and scientific director of the CIBER of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Ramón Martínez Máñez, are working on the development of intelligent methods for the gluten detection, to avoid the involuntary ingestion of this protein and also collaborate with the regulation and the fight against fraud in the food industry.

Recently published work in Analytica Chimica Acta presents a new system that enables rapid detection of gluten through a simple signaling process. As the authors state, it could be the basis for the development of portable, fast, sensitive and easy-to-use systems for the control of gluten in foods.

“The biosensor is composed of a nanoporous anodic alumina film loaded with a fluorescent dye and covered with an aptamer (DNA or RNA molecule) that specifically recognizes gliadin, which is the soluble protein of gluten” explains M. Carmen Martínez Bisbal, professor from the University of Valencia (UV) and researcher at the CIBER-BBN and the Interuniversity Institute for Research on Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM UPV-UV) and one of the authors of the work. “In the presence of gliadin, the aptamer moves from the surface of the biosensor, resulting in the opening of the pores and the release of the signaling dye” adds Sara Santiago Felipe, researcher at the La Fe Health Research Institute, CIBER-BBN and the IDM UPV-UV and also author of the work.

The new sensor has been validated in real food samples, allowing the detection of gluten through a simple signaling process, with great potential for use in food control. “We have found that it has a detection limit of 100 µg kg-1 of gliadin, good selectivity and a detection time of 60 minutes,” explains Luis Pla, first signatory of the work and researcher at CIBER-BBN and IDM UPV-UV.

“Our results can be the basis for developing portable, simple, fast and sensitive systems for the detection of gluten, which can be easily adjusted through the use of different molecules, offering great potential for allergen testing” concludes the scientific director of the CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS Unit 26 Ramón Martínez Máñez.

Article of reference:

Luis Pla, M. Carmen Martínez-Bisbal, Elena Aznar, Félix Sancenón, Ramón Martínez-Máñez, Sara Santiago-Felipe, A fluorogenic capped mesoporous aptasensor for gluten detection, Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 1147, 2021, Pages 178-186, ISSN 0003-2670, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2020.12.060

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A new biosensor will help for the early diagnosis of breast cancer

A team of Spanish researchers coordinated by the professor of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and scientific director of the CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS unit 26, Ramón Martínez Máñez, and the Valencian oncologist, co-coordinator of the Research Group of Biology in Breast Cancer of the INCLIVA Health Research Institute, of the Hospital Clínico de València, Ana Lluch, also belonging to the CIBER de Cáncer (CIBERONC), has developed a prototype of a new biosensor to help detect breast cancer in its phases earlier. The work has been published in ACS Sensors magazine.

According to the latest data collected by the European Cancer Information System (ECIS), in 2020 a total of 34,088 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in Spain, this type of tumor being the most frequent among the women in our country.

Currently, mammography is the most widely used standard technique for diagnosis, but it has some limitations, such as radiation exposure, and lower sensitivity and specificity in young women with dense breast tissue. “For this reason, new diagnostic tools are necessary to help in the early detection of breast cancer. Our biosensor follows this line”, explains Ana Lluch.

The development of this prototype biosensor to aid diagnosis is part of the field of what is known as a liquid biopsy, which, through a blood test, helps detect the presence of cancer. In this case, the mesoporous biosensor developed by the UPV and INCLIVA team is simple to use, inexpensive and offers results in a very short time – between 30 and 60 minutes – from a patient plasma sample.

The biosensor is composed of a nanomaterial -a nanoporous alumina- that facilitates the detection in plasma of microRNA miR-99a-5p associated with breast cancer. Until now, this has been done with complex and time-consuming techniques, which means that they cannot be used as a diagnostic tool in the clinical setting.

Ramón Martínez Máñez explains how the alternative diagnostic system in which they work works: the nanopores of the biosensor are loaded with a dye -rhodamine B- and closed with an oligonucleotide. By interacting with the plasma sample, if it does not detect the presence of the microRNA, the pore doors remain closed; instead, in the presence of miR-99a-5p, those gates are opened and the dye is released. “The change in the release of the dye can be correlated with healthy patients or with breast cancer“, summarizes Martínez Máñez.

Researchers from the La Fe Health Research Institute (IIS La Fe) have also participated in the development of this biosensor, where tests have been carried out for the validation of the new biosensors, and the Cancer Network Biomedical Research Center (CIBERONC) .

The next step in our work will consist of validation in a larger group of patients and continue working to make the detection system even more robust and easy to use,” conclude Juan Miguel Cejalvo, from the Cancer Biology Research Group of Mama from INCLIVA and Ramón Martínez Máñez.

Reference article:

Iris Garrido-Cano, Luis Pla, Sara Santiago-Felipe, Soraya Simón, Belen Ortega, Begoña Bermejo, Ana Lluch, Juan Miguel Cejalvo , Pilar Eroles, and Ramón Martínez-Máñez. Nanoporous Anodic Alumina-Based Sensor for miR-99a-5p Detection as an Effective Early Breast Cancer Diagnostic Tool ACS Sensors 2021 6 (3), 1022-1029 [DOI]

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A potential solution to decrease toxicity in colorectal cancer treatment

Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death, with over 18.1 million cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. One of the most successful drugs used in chemotherapy for the treatment of diverse severe cancers is 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), however, one of the major problems described in clinical practice is 5-FU cell resistance.

Resarchers of the Nucleic Acids group and the Colloidal and interfacial Chemistry Group of CIBER-BBN at IQAC-CSIC have collaborated in a research to  inspect and test the ability of parallel G-quadruplexes to deliver floxuridine oligonucleotides into different types of cancer cells; finally, the internalization ability and the antiproliferative action of these oligoFdU-G-quadruplexes have been evaluated in FU-resistant cell lines.

Recently an article has been published with the research results by the Jorunal of Molecules entitled Parallel G-quadruplex structures increase cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of 5-Fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine Oligomers in 5-Fluorouracil resistant cells”

The article describes a potential solution to decrease the toxicity of floxuridine, a known nucleoside antimetabolite used in the treatment of colorectal cancer, explains Ramón Eritja, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U29 from CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC.

The authors used the NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) to prepare short oligonucleotides that form a tetrameric structure that is recognized by cancer cells facilitating the specific delivery to the tumor cells. Once inside of the cells, the oligonucleotides generate the active drug by nuclease degradation as a Trojan horse.

Article of reference:

Clua A, Fàbrega C, García-Chica J, Grijalvo S, Eritja R. Parallel G-quadruplex Structures Increase Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity of 5-Fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine Oligomers in 5-Fluorouracil Resistant CellsMolecules. 2021; 26(6):1741. [DOI] 

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Researchers of NANBIOSIS at CCMIJU units invited to co-edit a collection of video articles by the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE)

Verónica Crisóstomo, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 24 Medical imaging and Coordinator of the Cardiovascular area at CCMIJU afiliated to the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Cardiovascular (CIBER-CV), along with Claudia Báez, researcher of that area, have been invited to co-edit the collection of video articles for JOVE.

Have you ever tried to reproduce a methodology you have only read about on a paper? When we try it, we normally end up wishing we could see how the authors actually do it” – explain the researchers. 

To date, very few Journals are available to accept video articles for submission/publication in our field, despite this type of articles being of paramount importance in translational cardiovascular research in order to share new techniques and approaches.

For this reason, reeaearchers decided to start a Collection entitled Large Animal Models of Cardiovascular Diseasefrom Training to Translation on JoVE, whose purpose is to offer a comprehensive overview and a visual guide to how successfully reproduce cardiovascular disease models in large animals with the ultimate aim of bridging the gap from bench to bedside.

The Journal is currently indexed in the major databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and Web of Science. The most recent Impact Factor for JoVE (ISSN 1940-087X) is 1.163 in JCR. 

JoVE’s team takes care of the entire process of filming and producing the video: after submission, each manuscript will be editorially and peer reviewed, which is typically a 1-2 month process. Once a text article passes review, a script will be generated. Generally, a filming date will be scheduled within 4-8 weeks after acceptance. A videographer will be sent to the authors’ site to film the procedure.

If interested, please contact by email crisosto@ccmijesususon.com or  cbaez@ccmijesususon.com   or submit the  abstract here:  https://www.jove.com/methods-collections/1004

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The importance of Nanomedicine and Bioengineering to address health challenges

Josep Samitier, Coordinator of the Nanomedicine Platform (NanoMed) and Director of IBEC, as well as Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 7 of Nanotecnology, of IBEC and CIBER-BBN, particiated in the XIV Annual Conference of Biomedical Research Technology Platforms was held on 11 and 12 May.

The Conference counted with the presence of relevant public and private sector actors, and more than 700 registered participants. During the opening ceremony, was opened, among others, by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, it was precisely emphasized the importance of investment in science and technology. In the words of Josep Samitier: “The health area is experiencing a paradigm shift towards predictive, preventive, personalized, participatory, precision medicine and integrated healthcare. This change cannot be achieved without the different medical technologies, with special importance of nanomedicine, which will offer new opportunities to face the challenge by increasing the efficiency of health systems, while reducing costs ”. Samitier also reminded that two of the vaccines currently administered in Spain are based on nanotechnology. 

Source of information: IBEC

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NANBIOSIS participates in a transversal action of CIBER incorporated into the Biobanks and Biomodels Platform of the Carlos III Health Institute

Recently, a transversal action of CIBER has been started, coordinated by Cristina Villena, made up of teams from 4 thematic areas of the CIBER (CIBERES, CIBERER, CIBER-BBN and CIBERONC) that has constituted a unit of the CIBER that has been incorporated into the new Platform of Biobanks and Biomodels of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII).

The CIBER unit has been selected in the call for ISCIII Platforms to support R+D+I in Biomedicine and Health Sciences of the Strategic Action in Health 2017-2020, which will finance the Platform of Biobanks and Biomodels and two more platforms on support to clinical research and revitalization of the industrial capacities of the National Health System.

This transversal unit of the CIBER, which is one of the 41 units that will be part of the Biobanks and Biomodels Platform, will be financed with more than 130,000 euros over the next three years.

The ISCIII Biobanks and Biomodels Platform (2021-2023) will coordinate the supply of biological samples of conventional diseases through the creation of virtual biobanks, and in turn, will develop the provision of services in the field of organoids, animal models and 3D printing of tissues.

The CIBER unit initially involved, (due to their long experience in providing services), the CIBER Pulmonary Biobank Platform for Respiratory Diseases (PBP CIBERES), with 12 years of operation; the CIBER Biobank of Rare Diseases (CIBERER Biobank, CBK), with 9 years; the Mouse Embryo Cryopreservation Service (CRIOCNB) and Histology (HISTOCNB) of the CIBERER (CNB-CSIC) with 16 years; and the Non-Invasive Neurofunctional Evaluation Service (ENNI) of the CIBERER (Institute of Biomedical Research “Alberto Sols” (IIBM-CSIC / UAM)) with 14 years; as well as the ICTS NANBIOSIS platform of the CIBER for Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Biomedicine (CIBER-BBN) with 8 years and the work modules of the Center for Biomedical Research in Cancer Network (CIBERONC).

This initiative, based on the collaborative work of several thematic areas of the CIBER, has as main objectives: (i) to create a CIBER catalog of biological samples and biomodel services available to consultable R + D + i, and with a common integrated management to be able to develop a CIBER Virtual Biobank; (ii) identify new existing biomodels at the CIBER, as well as technical capabilities and services that may be of interest, which can also be offered to researchers outside the institution itself; and (iii) create alliances with other similar structures to harmonize procedures and processes in the provision of research services.

“Without a doubt, this platform will improve the visibility, performance and offer of all the existing bio-resources and research support services at the CIBER, which will contribute to improving collaboration between researchers, the quality of research, as well as the transfer to the clinical practice and the productive sector ”, according to Cristina Villena

ISCIII platforms

The ISCIII Platforms are a set of research centers and groups that share their high-level scientific-technical capacities with research groups of the National Health System (SNS), and with a clear orientation to health sciences, to patients and their families, with the aim of making Spanish groups more competitive in the new Horizon Europe program.

In the 2020 call, the ISCIII has financed the Biobanks and Biomodels Platform and 2 more platforms, the Support Platform for Clinical Research and a platform that will facilitate the industrialization of the developments and research of the National Health Service, with a Global financing for the three platforms of 27 million euros to be executed during 2021-2023.

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Collaboration in the CSIC White Paper “New Challenges in Biomedicine and Health”

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is publishing the White Papers of the 14 strategic themes established on the basis of their scientific impact and social importance. The pen access to the White Paper of the fifth Challenge, Brain, Mind & Behaviour, is now avaailable. The book is the result of the “CSIC Scientific Challenges: Towards 2030”, in which the institution tackles the main issues and priorities for the future. This book is coordinated by Jesús Marco de Lucas and M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas.

Drs. Rosa Villa and Anton Guimera (Biomedical Applications Group, GAB and NANBIOSIS U8 Micro– Nano Technology Unit from CIBER-BBN and IMB-CNM-CSIC) collaborate in the secoond topic of the book: “From genes and circuits to behaviours” and  Rosa Villa also has collaborated on of the eighth topic, “Brain and spinal cord damaged and rehabilitation“.


The last decade of the 20th century, officially designated as the Decade of the Brain, brought forth significant advances in our understanding of the biological basis that underlie brain function. Despite this notable progress, neurological and psychiatric disorders currently affect almost a third of the population, a situation that derives from our still uncomplete knowledge of basic principles ruling brain development and function. Today, we are also facing a new era of technological advances that affect our lives in profound ways and we are bound to recast our relationship with our brains. In fact, there is the prevailing view that we are on the verge of new discoveries that will challenge our concepts for self-identity and free will, the privacy of our thoughts, the origins of social behavior or the inner workings of a diseased brain. To accelerate the pace of discoveries in Neurosciences able to prevent and treat mental affections and contribute to reshape the landscapes of other fields, from psychology to economics, education and the law, we need seamless flow of information between neurobiology and other areas of science that provide different but complementary perspectives and research expertise. Given the multidisciplinary wealth of the CSIC and the privileged position of Spanish neuroscience, we are in an optimal position to make a qualitative leap in understanding the mechanisms that control brain activity and be able to turn it into useful knowledge for building a healthier, more responsible society.

CSIC White Papers

What are the major scientific challenges of the first half of the 21st century? Can we establish the priorities for the future? How should the scientific community tackle them? This book presents the reflections of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) on 14 strategic themes established on the basis of their scientific impact and social importance.

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Practical Sessions in the Master of Cosmetic and Dermopharmacy by NANBIOSIS U12

The researchers of NANBIOSIS U12, Nanostructured liquid characterization unit of CIBR-BBN and IQAC-CSIC, will participate in teaching and training students of the Master en Cosmética y Dermofarmacia, organized by Centro de Estudios Superiores de la Industria Farmacéutica (CESIF), from 17 May to 16 June 2021.

Cosmetic manufacturing companies are committed to innovation, both in technological development and in the use of components in their formulations, adapting to new trends and user needs. Determination of colloidal stability, surface tension, particle size and rheological behaviour, among many others properties, is essential for the proper characterization and understanding the performance of cosmetic products. Attendees participate in practical sessions in which they can learn advanced experimental techniques and methodologies of great interest in the cosmetic industry

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Collaboration in the CSIC White Paper “New Challenges in Biomedicine and Health”

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is publishing the White Papers of the 14 strategic themes established on the basis of their scientific impact and social importance. The pen access to the White Paper of the fourth Challenge, New Challenges in Biomedicine and Health, is now avaailable. The book is the result of the “CSIC Scientific Challenges: Towards 2030”, in which the institution tackles the main issues and priorities for the future. This book is coordinated by Mario Delgado (Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina “López – Neyra”, Granada) and María Moros (Instituto de Nanociencia y Materiales de Aragón, Zaragoza).

Drs. Rosa Villa (Biomedical Applications Group, GAB and NANBIOSIS U8 Micro– Nano Technology Unit from CIBER-BBN and IMB-CNM-CSIC) collaborate in the eighth topic of the book: “New methods for diagnostic tools and prevention” and  is also a part of the seventh topic, “Advanced therapies“.

New methods for diagnostic tools and prevention” is a highly interdisciplinary area, with a wide range in areas of research, methodologies and applications. It consists on contributions according to imaging modality for diagnostics, detection/screening methods, and prevention and personalised treatments.

The chapter mentions GAB efforts to develop biocompatible and biodegradable implants for neurological applica-tions, and wearable devices (implants and external) for the real time and continuous monitoring, and early diagnosis for in vivo applications. .

As for Organ-on-chips, it contains GAB‘s research in 3D microfluidics and sensors integration to simulate organ and tissuspecific micro-environments. These systems are applied for toxicological stud-ies and personalized medicine and represent a clear alternative to minimize animal experimentation.

In “Advanced therapies” the research in instrumentation for proton tomography and proton-range verification using prompt gamma rays is highly studied.

Biomedicine and Health

A lesson learnt from the pandemia caused by coronavirus is that solutions in health require coordinated actions. Beside this and other (re)emerging infectious diseases, Spain and Europe are suffering a plethora of disorders that are currently acquiring epidemic dimensions, including cancer, rare diseases, pain and food allergies, among others. New tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment need to be urgently designed and implemented using new holistic and multidisciplinary approaches involving researchers, clinicians, industry and all stakeholders in the health system.

CSIC White Papers

What are the major scientific challenges of the first half of the 21st century? Can we establish the priorities for the future? How should the scientific community tackle them? This book presents the reflections of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) on 14 strategic themes established on the basis of their scientific impact and social importance.

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