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Posts on Jan 1970

Colloidal phenomena in COVID-19

Transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases https://www.niaid.nih.gov)

The special volume (No. 55) of the journal Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science reviews the implications of colloidal science in the phenomenology of COVID-19, for which the techniques available in NANBIOSIS U12, “Nanostructured liquid characterization unit” , are relevant.

Two articles to highlight in this special volume:

  • Airborne transmission of the virus through droplets, and the effect of evaporation and sedimentation. Airborne transmission is determined by the settling time, that is, the time it takes for droplets to be in the air before settling. Evaporation increases the settling time by reducing the mass of the droplets. In fact, the small droplets can, depending on their solute content, evaporate almost completely and remain in the air for a long time. Considering that viruses possibly remain infectious for hours in the form of aerosols, the formation of droplet nuclei can substantially increase the infectious viral airborne load. The article reviews the physical-chemical factors that control the evaporation and sedimentation times of droplets and play an important role in determining the risk of airborne infection. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359029421000558)

  • The interactions between surfactants and viruses, which act on different components such as the lipid envelope, the membrane proteins (envelope) and the nucleocapsid proteins. Surfactants play very important roles, either directly, as in disinfection, or as carrier components of drug delivery systems for prophylaxis or treatment. By designing tailor-made surfactants and consequently advanced formulations, an increasingly effective use of surfactants can be expected, either directly as antiviral compounds or as part of more complex formulations. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359029421000637)

In summary, colloid science can contribute in a multidisciplinary strategy to fight pandemics.

By Carlos Rodriguez Abreu, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U12

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Is it possible to communicate microorganisms from different kingdoms? Yes, it is, using “Nanotranslators”

CIBER, March 28 2022

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the CIBER-BBN has demonstrated, for the first time, the potential of using “translator” nanoparticles to facilitate communication between different types of cells or microorganisms. His study could have application in multiple fields, especially in the medical field for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

“We have shown that it is possible to communicate microorganisms from different kingdoms using nanoparticles as translators. The nanoparticles process a message produced by the first type of cells (bacteria) and transform it into an understandable message for the second type of cells (yeast) that respond to it. In this way, the information flows from the emitting cells (bacteria) to the nanodevice and from the latter to the receiving cells (yeast), which allows communication between two microorganisms that would not otherwise interact. This is an advance in the design of nanoscale communication systems and opens the door for the development of future applications”, says Ramón Martínez Máñez, researcher at the Institute for Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM) at the UPV and scientific director of the CIBER-BBN and Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U26,”Biomedical Applications II”.

Among these future applications, the UPV-CIBER-BBN team highlights the possible regulation of the interactions between bacteria and human cells, for example, to prevent infections, kill bacteria or modulate our intestinal microbiome, and for the treatment of diseases such as cancer. “In this case, it would help cells of our immune system to recognize cancer cells more efficiently, regulating the interactions between them,” says Antoni Llopis, a CIBER-BBN researcher at the IDM Institute.

It could also be useful for designing particles that make it possible for plants and fungi to communicate with each other, which could help develop new plant protection strategies. “We could establish communication between plant cells and other microorganisms in their environment in order to prevent pests or use them as a treatment to improve plant performance,” says Ángela Morellá, a researcher at the Institute for Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM) and study co-author.

In any case, the UPV and CIBER-BBN team insist that the results obtained are incipient –“it is a proof of concept”, they emphasize-, although they open a path with great potential for the field of micro/ nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge will be reading whether the communication between those two kingdoms has been successful or not. In our study, we have used the expression of fluorescent protein by receptor cells, which facilitated the monitoring of the process. The development of future applications will require more advanced methodologies to allow the monitoring of chemical communication processes in complex biological environments”, concludes Ramón Martínez Máñez.

Article of reference

Beatriz de Luis, Ángela Morellá-Aucejo, Antoni Llopis-Lorente, Javier Martínez-Latorre, Félix Sancenón, Carmelo López, José Ramón Murguía, and Ramón Martínez-Máñez. Nanoprogrammed Cross-Kingdom Communication Between Living Microorganisms. Nano Letters 2022 22 (5), 1836-1844. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02435

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New equipment installed in NANBIOSIS U20

NANBIOSIS, U20. In Vivo Experimental Platform, led by Dr. Ibane Ibasolo, has been updated and improved as a result of its participation in the project FICTS1420-20, selected by the MICINN for co-financing by the FEDER Program in ICTS 2014-2020 (Equipment for setting standardized immunotoxicology assays for the U20 -NANBIOSIS I17 Action of the Investment Plan-)

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The results of POSITION II highlighted by CORDIS: A pan-European alliance for the next generation of smart catheters

In the picture: microencapsulated cardiospheres 10X Captured Brightfield with DM_RGB_Brightfield with DM

The European project POSITION-II has been selected for publication in the ‘Results in Brief’ section of the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) website. CORDIS is the European Commission’s primary source of results from the projects funded by the EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation (FP1 to Horizon 2020).

The resulting short article has now been published on the CORDIS website in six languages.

The European project POSITION II “A pilot line for the next generation of smart catheters and implants” is an alliance of European leaders, united to improve technology and offer cheaper, easier to use, more efficient and technologically advanced catheters by incorporating sensors and real-time positioning and monitoring systems. This new generation of catheters will improve the treatment of multiple pathologies, through new therapeutic tools such as cell therapy and tissue engineering implemented in the project by the U10 Drug Formulation of the ICTS Nanbiosis, which is integrated in the NanoBioCel group of CIBER-BBN and UPV/EHU.

The following actions have been carried out in NANBIOSIS U10 Drug Formulation during the execution of the project:

– Isolate, expand and characterize cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs). CDCs were  isolated from porcine cardiac tissue, and their  release profile of immunomodulatory factors was determined.

– To optimize the encapsulation conditions of CDCs in alginate microcapsules.

– Evaluate whether the physical and chemical properties of the encapsulated CDCs were suitable for the catheter developed in the project.

– Determine that the secretion profile of trophic factors did not change in CDCs after encapsulation.

– Provide the TME Lab group and NANBIOSIS U13 of CIBER-BBN and the University of Zaragoza with the microcapsules and encapsulated CDCs required for their mechanical characterization and to evaluate the behavior of the capsules in the catheter and in the animals at the NANBIOSIS units of Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery in Extremadura (CCMIJU). Other collaborations during the execution of the project were established with the Fraunhofer EMFT group in Germany and with the Spanish company IberHospitex, manufacturer of the catheters.

Other related news:

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The efficacy of nanoparticles combined with chemotherapy against pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a highly devastating orphan disease with poor prognosis even when diagnosed early (The survival rate after 5 years (< 5%) has not changed over the last 30 years, despite tremendous research efforts) The european project NoCanTher, in wich participates NANBIOSIS U20 of (VHIR and CIBER-BBN) is a nanotechnology-based approach aimed to scale-up under GMP conditions and evaluate a nanoformulation for a combined therapy with chemotherapy against this pancreatic cancer.

The international clinical study, carried out in the framework of the project is now incorporating the first pacient in Spain with this type of nanotherapy.

The clinical study is based on the results obtained in the preclinical phase of the NoCanTher project, with the group of the CIBBIM (of CIBER-BBN and VHIR, led by Dr. Ibane Abasolo). This new technology based on magnetic nanoparticles increases the accessibility of chemotherapy to pancreatic tumors. Researchers have developed magnetic iron nanoparticles that, under an alternating magnetic field, generate heat – magnetic hyperthermia. This heat is able to be used because the tumor cells are still more sensitive to the standard treatment with chemotherapy and, therefore, in greater efficiency, and ultimately it is possible to directly destroy these cells.

As explained by Dra. Ibane Abasolo, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis unit 20 of CIBER-BBN and VHIR: NANBIOSIS has played an important role in this project in relation with the preclinical in vivo trials in animal models (mice). We made human pancreatic cancer cells grow and studied the efficacy of nanoparticles and their combination with chemotherapy. Specifically, we saw that i) tumor heating by magnetic hyperthermia slowed down tumor growth, but that it was necessary to combine this treatment with conventional chemotherapy to have a better effect, that ii) the hyperthermia-chemotherapy sequence that worked best (it is better to warm up first and treat with chemotherapy later than to put chemotherapy first) and iii) that the combination of hyperthermia/chemotherapy was beneficial because it greatly reduces the stroma of the tumor and makes it easier for chemotherapy to reach tumor.

The NoCanTher project is coordinated by IMDEA Nanociencia (Madrid) and includes the participation of eleven national and international centers: BioKeralty Research Institute (Miñano), ImmuPharma (London), Chemicell (Berlin), University Hospital (Jena, Germany), Resonant Circuits (London), Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) (Barcelona), Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncology (VHIO) (Barcelona), Trinity College (Dublin), Paris Diderot University (Paris), Hospital Universitari of Fuenlabrada (Madrid). The initiative is funded by Horizon 2020 (GA:685795).

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Gold Nanoparticles Synthesized by NANBIOSIS U9 will destroy tumor cells without drugs

A CIBER-BBN team at the University of Zaragoza has developed intelligent shuttles (cell vesicles -exosomes-) to transfer nanoparticles to the interior of tumor cells and destroy them by means of heat and without drugs, following the “Trojan horse” strategy.

NANBIOSIS U9, “Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit has developed the procedure to be able to internalize gold nanoparticles, with surface plasmon in the NIR electromagnetic range, inside extracellular vesicles derived from stem cells. The synthesis of the gold nanoparticles has been produced according to the synthesis procedures of UNIT 9 of the ICTS NANBIOSIS based on the galvanic substitution reaction in the liquid phase of Co atoms by Au+3 ions, generating a hollow structure whose geometry gives gold nanoparticles unique optical properties that allow the absorption of NIR light and its conversion into heat” , explain the researchers of NANBOSIS U9 Pilar Martín-Duque, Victor Sebastián and Jesús Santamaría.

They are gold nanoparticles belonging to what is known as “plasmonic nanoparticles” that have the ability to heat up when receiving near-infrared radiation, which penetrates the body. It is, therefore, a treatment without drugs, which uses the heat generated by the particles to cause cell death around them. These particles are taken to the tumor by exosomes, having been proved efectived in animal models.

“We have managed to reduce or eliminate tumors in mice without drugs, only with the heat generated by irradiating them with a laser. In other words, we inject the exosomes with the nanoparticles into the tail of the mouse and they alone “search” for the tumor, not only in conventional models but also in multinodular ones, similar to metastatic processes”, explains Pilar Martín Duque.

For futher information:


Article of reference:

Transfer of photothermal nanoparticles using stem cell derived small extracellular vesicles for in vivo treatment of primary and multinodular tumors. María Sancho-Albero, Miguel Encinas-Giménez, Víctor Sebastián, Estela Pérez, Lluis Luján, Jesús Santamaría, Pilar Martín-Duque Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 2022 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jev2.12193

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Open Call Focus on Innovative MedTech using Nanotechnology

Start-ups / SMEs! Are you working on innovative medical products using nanotechnology? This is your call for development and marketing solutions!

Last week took place the SAFE-N-MEDTECH Open Call on line info session with the idea to present the open call with a bit more detail. A few presentations and specially a time for questions and answers were organized by Anaïs Le Corber, Network Manager of CEBERG, the council of European Bioregions, partner of the project.

The webinar was recorded and it is available here:

First of all, Angel del Pozo, Coordinator of the SAFE-N-MEDTECH, gave an insight of the project.

Then, Miguel Duarte from IMM (Portugal), the business development partner of the project, presented the services offered

After him, Qwentin Pankhurst, chairman of Resonant Circuits Ltd. explained his experience as user, having a tase case in the project.

Finaly, before the space for questions and answers, Ibane Abasolo, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U20, from CIBER-BBN and Vall D’Hebron Institute Research in Barcelona, presented with more detail the clinical validation services available in this open call.

SAFE-N-MEDTECH OITB  Safety testing in the life cycle of nanotechnology-enabled medical technologies for health is a H2020 project with the objective of providing services and support to companies and other organizations for accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative MedTech solutions based on nano-enabled technology.

How can this call suit you?

Qwentin Pankhurst explained his experience: “As a medtech start-up we do not have the external experience to cover all the safety related aspects of product development for MDR compliance, we needed clear uncomplicated advance and solutions, ideally we needed a “one-stop-shop”…

“Even if a client accesses only a part of the offering, the fact that the OITB is seeking to cover the entire pathway from design input to clinical testing is important as it underpins a connected-thinking approach.”

Submission deadline: March 21st 2022, 23:59 CET

The time line: It is espected that the evaluation process will take around one month. Then NDAs will be signed before starting the work, which could be carried during one year approximatly.

The technology assesment area of the SAFE-N-MEDTECH OITB well carry out a first examitanion toguether with the applicant of the available data, the quality of the data, the needs of the product an other relevant aspects. A technology assitant proposal will ve developed and the services needed will be defined toguether with the client.

Call documents:

  • Guidelines for Applicants The Guide for Applicants contains the basic information needed to guide you in preparing a proposalfor submission to the SAFE-N-MEDTECH Open Call. It gives an introduction on how to structureyour proposal. It also describes how to submit the proposal and the evaluation criteria.
  • Application Form

This call uses funds obtained within the scope of the SAFE-N-MEDTECH project funded by European Union´s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. (Grant Agreement No. 814607)

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U30-S09. Data analysis of proteomics experiments

Data analysis of proteomics experiments

Description: Use of dedicated software for the analysis and interpretation of the results obtained from the proteomic analyses. It includes search engines (MaxQuant, MSFragger) for protein identification and quantification, software for statistical analysis (Perseus) and programs for integrated solutions (Peaks) that also enable the analysis of post-translational modifications (PTMs), sequence variants and mutations.

Applications: Biomarker discovery, proteomic profiling, metaproteomics studies, PTM analysis, etc.

U30 S09 Data analysis of proteomics experiments
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U30-S08. Luminex or ELISA assay development and analysis

Luminex or ELISA assay development and analysis

Description: Design and development of immunoassays employing antibody pairs for the detection and absolute quantification of target proteins. These can be set up on a traditional ELISA format, or coupled to magnetic beads (xMAP, Luminex) for multiplex detection. Optimization procedures, including cross-reactivity assays, are performed to standardize the assay protocol. Alternatively, this service may also use commercial ELISA or multiplex kits for the analysis of specific protein panels.

Applications: Quantification of proteins and protein panels, including cytokines, chemokines or specific biomarker candidates, in biological samples.

U30-S08 : Luminex or ELISA assay development and analysis
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U30-S07. Protein separation by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis

Protein separation by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis

Description: Separation of complex protein mixtures on isoelectric focusing strips (according to their charge) and/or SDS-PAGE gels (according to their size), as a step for further protein or proteomic analysis.

Applications: Fractionation of complex protein samples prior to proteomic analysis, gel-based quantitative proteomic studies by DIGE (differential in-gel electrophoresis), evaluation of protein profiles.

U30-S07 Protein separation by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis
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