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News U10

News U10

CRISPR technologies for Cystic Fibrosis treatment

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disease that mainly affects the lungs and the digestive system

On April 6, the first meeting was held, on the one hand, with people with Cystic Fibrosis and the Euskadi Cystic Fibrosis Association (Arnasa) and, on the other, with the NanoBioCel research group of the CIBER-BBN and the University of Basque Country, which is also part of the ICTS Nanbiosis through the Drug Formulation Unit U10.

The cooperative relationship between the NanoBioCel research group and Arnasa began approximately 5 years ago with the contributions made by the association to the NanBioCel group for research in cystic fibrosis.

The goup has focused on the development of non-viral vectors to address the treatment of cystic fibrosis through gene therapy. Progress is currently being made in the development of CRISPR technologies for its treatment.

This meeting was organized with the main objective of making those affected aware of the research carried out by NanoBioCel in cystic fibrosis and promoting associationism and collaboration between affected people and researchers to better understand the disease and find promising solutions.

The event was attended by almost 28 associates and many of the rest requested that the presentation of the researchers be recorded

Arnasa is the Cystic Fibrosis Association of the Basque Country and contributes with its work and activities to the promotion of general interest and the visibility of the disease, as well as to the improvement of the quality of life of people affected by the disease and their families.

In the picture: Increased activity of the chloride channel in CUFI cells transfected with non-viral vectors.

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1st Meeting with Cystic Fibrosis Patiens (NanoBioCel -ARNASA)

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. It is a genetic, degenerative and chronic disease, with a population incidence is 1 in 5,000, so it is considered among the so called “Rare Diseases”

The most common symptoms are continuous colds, repeated infections, decreased lung capacity, impossibility of fat absorption and malnutrition

As there is no cure for the disease, daily treatment is the only option to have an acceptable quality of life

The NanoBioCell Research Group, which coordinates unit 10 of NANBIOSIS of the CIBER-BBN and the UPV/EHU, has a wide experience in comprehensive research into effective therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis and related diseases has organized the ‘First meeting with cystic fibrosis patients’ in the collaboration with ARNASA Bizkaia, (the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Bizkaia, made up of affected people, their families and volunteers who collaborate with the association)

Registration is free here. After registration you will receive a link to the online meeting

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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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AWARDS of the Academy of Pharmacy of Castilla y León 2021 to researchers from NANBIOSIS U10

The leader of the NanoBioCell Group form CIBER-BBN and UPV/EHU, Jose Luis Pedraz, and the reaearches Laura Saenz del Burgo and Markel Lafuente have received the 2021 Award from the Academy of Pharmacy of Castilla y León, on February 4, at the city ​​of Salamanca, for the work entitled: “Design and Characterization of a biotin formulated with nanocellulose, alginate and Gags for use in 3D bioprinting and application in cartilage regeneration“, the content of this research work has been published in the Journal Macromolecular Science under the title: “Chondroitin and Dermatan Sulfate Bioinks for 3D Bioprinting and Cartilage RegenerationThe pharmacotechnical and rheological characterization work of the designed bioinks has been carried out in the U10 Drug Formulation of the Nanbiosis ICTS of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of the Basque Country and CIBER-BBN.


In addition, Prof. Jose Luis Pedraz has been appointed Corresponding Academician at the Academy of Pharmacy of Castilla y León.


Also the researcher of the NanoBiocel group, Professor Edorta Santos Vizcaíno, belonging to the CIBER BBN and the U10 Drug Formulation of the Nanbiosis ICTS, and María Gil Atienza, have been recognized that same day, with a second prize by the Academy of Pharmacy of Castilla y León for the research work: “Use of extracellular vesicles to transport antitumor agents in the treatment of cancer”. This work was carried out in the Laboratory of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology of the University of the Basque Country.

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Best Emergeging Researcher Award in the Biomedical Area to Edorta Santos

Edorta Santos Vizcaíno has been awarded as Best Emerging Researcher in the biomedical area by the Bioaraba Health Research Institute in the XXII edition of the Research and Innovation Conference.

This award aims to recognize the work of researchers under the age of 40 who carry out their research activity in any public center of the Araba Health Network (OSI ARABA UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL / BIOARABA). The main award´’s criteria are the quality of the research carried out, active participation in public and private research projects, fidelity to the line of biomedical research and the usefulness and interest of the research developed for the environment are valued. The award also carries a financial endowment destined to continue promoting the research career of the awarded person.

Edorta Santos Vizcaíno (NANBIOSIS Unit 10 “Drug Formulation”) has a degree in Biochemistry and a doctorate in Pharmacy, with an international mention and an extraordinary award, from the UPV / EHU. He has been part of the research group NanoBioCel of the UPV / EHU, Consolidated Group of Excellence of the Basque university system, since 2006. In the same way, he is a member of the Center for Biomedical Research in Network for Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), a consortium dependent on the Carlos III Health Institute through the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and the Bioaraba Health Research Institute. Edorta has extensive experience in cell therapy and drug delivery systems. During the last years, his research has focused on the biomedical application of different biomaterials (for example, alginate, gelatin, collagen), mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and their secretome (extracellular vesicles and soluble factors), in order to exert a immunomodulatory and regenerative effect in the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (for example, inflammatory bowel disease, IBD) and the regeneration of chronic wounds, among other applications.

Bioaraba‘s mission is to develop research and innovation of excellence and quality that allows the translation of its results aimed at solving the health problems of the population, also promoting scientific research and for this, it annually carries out the Research and Innovation Conference.

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New Equipment available for the Regenerative Medicine Research Line of the U10 of NANBIOSIS

The Unit 10 of Drug Formulation of the ICTS NANBIOSIS coordinated by the CIBER-BBN NanoBioCel group directed by Jose Luis Pedraz, which belongs to the University of the Basque Country, has been present at the signing of the agreement that gives support by the Provincial Council of Alava within the framework of the Advance Pharma Development project, together with the research and technological development center TECNALIA. 

With this agreement, the NanoBioCel research group will receive in the next two years (2021-2023) a contribution of 650,000 €, which will allow the hiring of research personnel and the purchase of specific equipment for the regenerative medicine research line. The first equipment purchased to strengthen U10 in Bio-printing is the RegenHU Bioprinter: R-GEN 100, which will be located in the P3 Laboratory of the Lascaray Research Building. This bioprinter will bring two new technologies to the bioprinting techniques currently being used at U10: extrusion and droplet techniques. With RegenHU it will be possible to work with two new bioprinting processes: electrospinning and electrowriting. Electrospinning is a promising technique for the controlled release of drugs and electrowriting (electrostatic writing) will allow the construction of scaffolds with variable diameters in their design and elaboration.

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Results of the POSITION-II Project “A pilot line for the next generation of smart catheters and implants”

Cáceres, October 14th, 2021

POSITION II has received funding within the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking (ECSEL JU) in collaboration with the European Union’s H2020 Framework Programme (H2020/2014-2020) and National Authorities, under grant agreement Ecsel-783132-Position-II-2017-IA.

It promotes innovation in smart medical instruments and focuses in the next generation of smart catheters and implants by the introduction of open technology platforms for: miniaturization, in-tip AD conversion, wireless communication, MEMS transducer technology and encapsulation. These platforms are open to multiple users and for multiple applications.

POSITION II will enable the further development of the European R&D and manufacturing capability, not only encompassing the micro-fabricated device itself, but also the various value chains that they enable. Finally, by bringing smart catheters into the domain of high volume manufacturing, POSITION II will improve the quality of health-care at manageable cost.

The project, led by Philips Electronics Netherlands B.V, has been developed by 45 partners located in 12 different countries and has finished in September 2021. Within this large collaborative project, the NANBIOSIS units at CCMIJU have been involved in the validation of a novel catheter to administer encapsulated cell therapy to the heart. Also NANBIOSIS U10 Drug Formulation unit of CIBER-BBN and UPV/EHU , has participated being responsible for carrying out the formulation of the cells in hydrogels, for administration through the catheter at the cardiac level, for the regeneration of heart tissue.

The results of the project are available on a video-format documentary that contains short interviews to the consortium partners on their participation. Specifically, CCMIJU has presented its work and results through a short interview to Dr. Verónica Crisóstomo, Coordinator of Cardiovascular Unit. The documentary can be found at https://vimeo.com/604674309/bd8b94050c

Further info about the project here: http://position-2.eu/

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Scientific Communication course

We want to invite you to a practical and short course of Introduction to Scientific Communication organized by CIBER-BBN and NanoBioCellGroup – NANBIOSIS U10 Drug Formulation Unit. The course will take place on the 5th (two hours from 9:00 am to 11:00 am) 6 and October 7 (4 hours from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) .-

The covid-19 pandemic has revealed the immense need to bring the world of science closer to citizens, so we are going to work on this soft skill through this course.

We have invited Inés Ortega, scientific communicator of the CIBER BBN, who will talk to us about how the dissemination activities score at the curricular level in the career of the research staff and will also address the issue of the Units of Scientific Culture (which are the intermediaries between the institutions and the citizenship to promote scientific culture). At the UPV / EHU through Euskampus Fundazioa, he will also talk about different tools to reach society. We will also have Dr. Enrique Pérez, an expert in communication and body language, with whom we will do a practical workshop on the construction of the story (for example, how to explain a scientific project to the general public) and the work of the staging.

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Characterization of encapsulated porcine cardiosphere-derived cells for cardiac regeneration.

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U10 Drug Formulation unit of CIBER-BBN and UPV/EHU and NANBIOSIS U14 Cell Therapy unit and U24 Medical imaging unit at CCMIJU have participated in a research that proposes the use of encapsulated cardiosphere-derived cells (CDC), obtained from heart tissue, as regenerative cell therapy.

The encapsulation of the cells has been carried out in NANBIOSIS Unit 10, as well as the characterization of the cells (both encapsulated and unencapsulated) for their application in regenerative medicine (cardiac regeneration); and unit 14 of NANBIOSIS has obtained the cell model used for the study “ – Explains Kaoutar Ziani Akrirout, research scientists of CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS Unit 10.

These cells are multipotent stem cells, which secrete growth factors capable of promoting revascularization and healing of infarcted tissue. However, the use of this therapy faces a great challenge, which is the survival and retention of these cells after their implantation in the infarcted area, since the heart is a tissue that is constantly contracting and expanding, which leads to the loss of these cells, as they are carried along by the bloodstream.

To solve the low retention of cells, members of the NanoBioCel research team, from the CIBER-BBN and attached to the Bioaraba Health Research Institute (IIS Bioaraba), in collaboration with researchers from the IIS Aragón and the CIBERCV, propose the encapsulation of the CDC of porcine origin within a three-dimensional alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate matrix as a therapy for cardiac regeneration, since, thanks to this, the encapsulated cells will be able to remain adhered to the tissue for longer, giving them time to exercise their function. The final objective will be to verify its efficacy in swine infarction models.

The team has verified that the phenotypic characteristics, the gene expression profile, the ability to differentiate to other cell lines and the release of growth factors from these cells are not altered by the encapsulation process, essential aspects given that their preservation it is essential for cardiac regeneration. In addition, this procedure keeps them viable for a month, which would favor the possible regeneration of the tissue.

On the other hand, that a sustained release of growth factors is maintained in these cells suggests that the implantation of encapsulated CDCs will promote the formation of new blood vessels and, consequently, the regeneration of infarcted cardiac tissue.

The researchers suggest that encapsulated CDCs could be a highly interesting therapeutic alternative in the field of cardiac regenerative medicine.

Article of reference

Ziani K, Espona-Noguera A, Crisóstomo V, Casado JG, Sanchez-Margallo FM, Saenz-Del-Burgo L, Ciriza J, Pedraz JL. Characterization of encapsulated porcine cardiosphere-derived cells embedded in 3D alginate matrices. Int J Pharm. 2021 Apr 15;599:120454.[DOI

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Reversing pulmonary fibrosis has been achieved in murine models with peptide-loaded nanoparticles

A new study with participation of NANBIOSIS Unit 10 Drug Formulation unit of CIBER-BBN and UPV/EHU, has succeeded in preventing and reversing pulmonary fibrosis in experimental models with PLGA / PEI nanoparticles loaded with the GSE4 peptide. These results are the first step to study its possible antifibrotic effect in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other progressive fibrosing diffuse interstitial lung diseases that present altered telomere function.

NANBIOSIS unit 10 has been responsible for the design and manufacture of biodegradable nanoparticles loaded with the peptide.

The work is led by Rosario Perona and Leandro Sastre, researchers of CIBERER at the Biomedical Research Institute (CSIC/UAM), and Maria Molina-Molina, researcher at CIBERES and the Department of Pulmonology at the Bellvitge University Hospital. In addition, Guillermo Güenechea, from CIBERER at CIEMAT-IIS / FJD, and José Luis Pedraz, from CIBER-BBN and the University of the Basque Country have collaborated.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal fibrotic disease associated with aging with a median survival of 2 to 5 years. The disease usually appears around the age of 60, but there are familiar forms that can manifest at younger ages. Fibrosis appears as an aberrant healing response after alveolar damage and is characterized by the appearance of abnormal lung scarring, in which the restoration of epithelial integrity and tissue function is compromised. The mechanisms responsible for defective repair and regeneration are not well understood. However, recent studies suggest a possible role of accelerated aging and telomere shortening in the onset of the disease, mainly in familial forms.

The GSE4 peptide, of 11 amino acids, corresponds to an internal sequence of dyskerin, a protein that is part of the telomerase complex. GSE4 has protective effects on the cells of patients with the rare diseases dyskeratosis congenita and ataxia-telangiectasia, as it increases telomerase activity and cell growth and reduces DNA damage, oxidative stress and cell senescence.

The authors of the study, published in The FASEB Journal, used rat lung alveolar cells treated with a profibrotic agent, bleomycin, as a model. Expression of the GSE4 peptide or treatment with GSE4-PLGA / PEI nanoparticles causes a reversal of the inflammatory and fibrotic phenotype. There is an increase in telomerase activity, a decrease in DNA damage, and a decrease in inflammation and cell death. Furthermore, these cells show an inhibition in fibrosis.

In a rat model with bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, treatment with GSE4-PLGA / PEI nanoparticles has also increased telomerase activity and decreased DNA damage in alveolar cells. In both preventive and therapeutic protocols, GSE4-PLGA / PEI nanoparticles have prevented and attenuated lung damage and inhibited fibrosis. Histological analysis of the lungs of rats treated with bleomycin and GSE4-PLGA / PEI nanoparticles shows less fibrosis and inflammation and greater regeneration of the alveolar tissue, indicating the therapeutic efficacy of GSE4-loaded nanoparticles in this experimental pulmonary fibrosis model. .

This study supports the possibility of further investigating a potential curative treatment for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.

Reference article:

Pintado-Berninches, L., Montes-Worboys, A., Manguan-García, C., et al. “GSE4-loaded nanoparticles a potential therapy for lung fibrosis that enhances pneumocyte growth, reduces apoptosis and DNA damage.” The FASEB Journal. 2021; 35: e21422. DOI: 10.1096/fj.202001160RR

(*) Explanation of the figure: Treatment with the profibrotic agent bleomycin decreases the number of cells that express the alveolar marker proSP-C (Bleo). Inoculation of GSE4-loaded nanoparticles into bleomycin-treated rats increases the number of cells expressing the marker, indicating alveolar regeneration.

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