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News U10

News U10

3DBio-impression systems and bio-ink for the regeneration of cartilage and bone

The Nanobiocel Group, coordinator of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS participate in a public-private collaborative project to reach clinical application in the regeneration of osteochondral lesions, which mainly affect the knee and ankle joints.

The new project is funded by the Challenges-Collaboration program of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. It has a budget of 691,000 euros for 3 years and the participation of two Spanish companies (Bioibérica and REGEMAT3D), the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the University of Granada, the Center for Biomedical Research in Network Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER -BBN) and its ICTS NANBIOSIS.

The companies and research groups participating in this project will work in the manufacture of three-dimensional mesh pieces or scaffolding designed with 3D bio-printing systems. These pieces will be fed with cells that make it possible to generate tissues in vitro to regenerate lesions. The ultimate goal is the development of new bio-inks (in which meshes and cells are combined) that are implanted in bone and cartilage.

In addition, the high prevalence of joint injuries makes them very interesting as the first application of bio-printing, with a view to its use in clinical practice”, Explains Patricia Gálvez, director of the Advanced Therapies Unit of Bioibérica, the coordinating company of this project.

A worldwide pioneering project

The company REGEMAT3D has developed a system of devices for bio-pioneering worldwide. This system, intended for research groups in its initial version, allows bio-printing three-dimensional meshes loaded with various cell types (chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells) for the regeneration of cartilage. This type of fabric has a number of advantages compared to others because of its relative simplicity, and above all because it is not necessary that a previous cultivation has been carried out.

From the scientific point of view, there are several improvements to be made in the area of ​​3D bio-printing to make this technology so promising can be used in the clinic with guarantees of success. It is necessary to develop new biomaterials for meshes that mimic biological materials with similar mechanical and chemical properties. These biomaterials have to be printable and their parameters have to be controllable. It is also necessary to access a well characterized and reproducible source of cells to feed these pieces that can be obtained in large quantities to be able to repair wide areas of tissue.

For this task, they have joined forces REGEMAT3D, Bioibérica, the Nanobiocel Group of CIBER-BBN, coordinator of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS, the research group CTS-205 of the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology and the research group CTS-963 of Advanced Therapies: Differentiation, Regeneration and Cancer, both belonging to the University of Granada and the Biomaterials Group of the Polymer Science and Technology Institute of CSIC, also belonging to CIBER-BBN.

All these companies and research groups contribute with their know how in bio-printing to the development of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of joint injuries, cellular therapies and biomaterials, in a way that constitutes a multidisciplinary consortium with wide guarantees of success.

Nanbiosis - New bioadhesive with 3D printing technique to improve pterygium surgeryLogo FEDER - Nanbiosis

“Promover el desarrollo tecnológico, la innovación y la investigación de calidad”

bioprinted human cells
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Nanomedicine in B·Debate Fighting Blindness by Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS

The recent published Newsletter of Institut of Màcula and the Barcelona Màcula Foundation: Research for Vision reported about the forum  B·Debate Fighting Blindness. Future Challenges and Opportunities for Visual Restoration, September 6-7 , that gathered more than thirty experts in the different areas related with blindness.

The second Session, about Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, was chaired by Jose Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS and Gustavo Puras Ochoa, researcher  of the group Nanobiocel, which coordinates Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS gave a lecture “Non-viral gene delivery for the treatment of inherited retinal disorders” :

Many devastating blinding disorders that affect the retina in the developed world have a well-known genetic background. Despite gene therapy strategies have made major advances in recent years, many of the patients affected by inherited retinal diseases must live under impaired vision, even with the best medical treatment. Therefore, the development of effective gene carriers represents a major challenge for the scientific community. At present, viral and non-viral vectors are the most employed approaches to deliver genetic material to the retina. Although first promising clinical trials results with viral vectors offer reasonable hope to patients affected by some inherited diseases that cause irreversible blindness such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, Stargardt´s disease, Choroideremia and Age related Macular Degeneration, important concerns related to the risk of oncogenesis, immunogenicity, inflammatory responses, and the persistence of viral vectors in brain after intravitreal injection have garnered the interest to invest on non-viral gene transfer methods. Compared with their counterparts, non-viral vectors offer many important advantages, since are less limited by the size of the gene to transfect, do not raise major safety concerns, are easier and cheaper to produce, and are classified as drugs rather than as biologist by the regulatory authorities.

Nanomedicine in B·Debate Fighting Blindness by Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS
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Micro and nano capsules that will increase the effectiveness and precision of medicine.

José Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS and members of NANOBIOCEL group, which coordinates Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS, explain for the TEKNOPOLIS program of EiTB, the first communication group in the Basque Country, the development of micro and nanocapsules, gels and scaffolds to solve the problems of administration of new drugs.

The new active principles – says Pedraz – that have emerged in recent years from studies of genetic engineering, the production of recombinant proteins and others, have generated new molecules whose characteristics are very different from the conventional active ingredients of chemical synthesis and have raised a series of problems with their administration that do not solve the classic pharmaceutical formulas of the type of tablets, capsules or injectables, this is the  reason why it is necessary to develop new systems of administration based on micro and nano technologies that can be administered in a correct and efficient way for patients. These devices can be used for transplantation and treatment of different diseases such as Parkinson, Alzheimer or Diabetes.

Nanbiosis U10 Micro and nano capsules that will increase the effectiveness and precision of medicine.
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“It is necessary to increase our relationship with European research groups” by José Luis Pedraz – U10 of NANBIOSIS

Last Sunday, November 27, the Newspaper of Álava published a special supplement with the title “ALAVA 2020”. It contained an article by José Luis Pedraz (Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS)

According to Dr. Pedraz, group leader of the CIBER-BBN NANOBIOCEL group, in the next future, important challenges with new technologies will allow a considerable advance in the treatment of diseases of genetic origins. In this context, it is crucial to increase the number of international contacts in order to be able to access new infrastructures more competitively. The opening of new lines of research and the creation of new research infrastructure through consortiums such as CIBER-BBN or the Unique Scientific and Technologic Infrastructure (ICTS) NANBIOSIS generate an advantageous situation to attract new investments and create new companies. Pedraz continues explaining that we must increase our relations with European research groups in order to build consortia with which participate in for European research calls.

The NANOBIOCEL Group, coordinator of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS, currently participates in two European consortiums (DRIVE Project) and (BERENICE Project) .

"It is necessary to increase our relationship with European research groups" by José Luis Pedraz - U10 of NANBIOSIS
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Midyear meeting in Vitoria of European project DRIVE

CIBER-BBN participates in the project through NanoBioCel group, led by professor José Luis Pedraz Muñoz, Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS, working on the optimization of formulations to be included in a bioartificial organ.

José Luis Pedraz Munoz and Jesus Izco coordinator of NANBIOSIS have participated in the meeting held in Vitoria on 3 and 4 of October.

The DRIVE objective is to develop new biomaterials and devices surgical transplantation and improve islet survival producing pancreatic insulin for the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels and affects 422 million people in the world, according to 2014 World Health Organization (WHO).

DRIVE is a four-year European project funded by the Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation of the Union European and endowed with 8.9 million euros. It is being conducted by 14 European partners and coordinated by the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland). Seeks to develop a bioartificial pancreas that is inserted into the body through minimally invasive techniques. To do this, they are being carried out preclinical studies to integrate this system in the human body and assess its effectiveness in people. The system will contain islets Pancreatic to restore the natural control of blood sugar and eliminate the need for multiple daily injections of insulin, thus improving the quality of life of patients.

Midyear meeting in Vitoria of European project DRIVE
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Nanbiosis in the 2ª General Assambly of DRIVE project, Venice (16th-17th 2016)

Jesus Izco, Coordinator of NANBIOSIS and José Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10-Drug Formulation  of NANBIOSIS and NanoBioCel Group of CIBER-BBN, participated in the 2ª General Assambly of  DRIVE project, held in Venice, May 16th-17th 2016.

The second General Assembly of European project DRIVE “DIABETES-REVERSING-IMPLANTS FOR ENHANCED VIABILITY AND LONG TERM EFFICACY”, took place last 16 and 17 of May in San Servolo Island, Venice. Jesus Ciriza, from NanoBioCel  group, presented the work scheduled for this first year and the results obtained.

The DRIVE, a 4-year project to be carried out by 14 European partners, among which is CIBER-BBN, develops biomaterials and new surgical devices to improve transplantation and survival of insulin-producing pancreatic islet for the treatment of diabetes.

CIBER-BBN participates in the project thought Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS with the role of:

-Development of hydrogel formulations for β-Gel

-Developing unlimited future sources of insulin-producing β-cells

-Testing β-cell function in β-Gel using 3D in vitro tissue model.

Jesus Izco, Coordinator of NANBIOSIS and José Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10-Drug Formulation of NANBIOSIS and NanoBioCel Group of CIBER-BBN, participated in the 2ª General Assambly of DRIVE project, held in Venice, May 16th-17th 2016.
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Cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels as hybrid materials to deliver nucleic acids

Jose Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS Drug Formulation unit and Ramon Eritja Scientific Director of Unit U29 of NANBIOSIS Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) (CIBER-BBN) have participated in the entrapment of cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels and the use of these materials for transfecting cells.

This work is focused on entrapping cationic nioplexes within supramolecular hydrogels based on N-protected phenylalanine. To modulate the supramolecular hydrogel diffusion properties, hydrogels were easily tuned with ĸ-carrageenan (≤ 1%). These materials were fully characterized using rheology. The niosomal liberation in solution through hydrogels was monitored by fluorescence and this release was controlled by diffusion mechanisms. The lack of toxicity of these materials allowed these materials to be used in cell culture. Preliminary transfection results confirmed the suitability of entrapping niosomal formulations in supramolecular hydrogels and the potential opening up of alternative strategies in therapy.

This study was published in RSC Advances:

S. Grijalvo, G. Puras, J. Zárate, R. Pons, J.L. Pedraz, R. Eritja, D. Díaz. “Nioplexes encapsulated in supramolecular hybrid biohydrogels as versatile delivery platforms for nucleic acids” 2016, 6, 39688-39699. DOI: 10.1039/C6RA01005A

Nanbiosis_U10_Cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels as hybrid materials to deliver nucleic acids
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José Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of the Unit 10: Drug Formulation of NANBIOSIS explained DRIVE European project in the third edition of Diabetes Experience Day, diabetic patients meeting that gathered 1500 people in Madrid. The DRIVE project, in which participate fourteen partners from seven European countries, among which is the CIBER-BBN, develops biomaterials and new surgical devices to improve transplantation and survival of insulin-producing pancreatic islet for the treatment diabetes.


The DRIVE project, in which participate fourteen partners from seven European countries, among which is the CIBER-BBN, develops biomaterials and new surgical devices to improve transplantation and survival of insulin-producing pancreatic islet for the treatment diabetes.

NANBIOSIS participation in the project focuses on the evaluation of the biocompatibility of new biomaterials with insulin-producing cells. These new biomaterials provided by Contipro will be compared with the biomaterials most frequently used to encapsulate cells such as alginate derivatives, a product obtained from seaweed.

At the same time, the research group coordinating Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS work in differentiating IPC insulin producing cells as an alternative to pancreatic islets for use in bioartificial organ source, with the aim of addressing the problems of availability of pancreatic islets for such therapies.

DRIVE European project 3rd edition of  Diabetes Experience Day.

Nanbiosis_Unit8-Drive Project-Improving transplant pancreatic cells_Dr. Jose Luis Pedraz
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CIBER-BBN, partner in the DRIVE project to develop biomaterials and Cell based treatments for diabetes

The CIBER-BBN is partner in a new EU consortium which receives €8.9 million funding to develop materials and cell based treatments for diabetes

Programme of research will be a game-changer for people with Type 1 diabetes and insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes

Last June took place in Brussels the kick-off meeting of the European project DRIVE (Diabetes Reversing Implants with enhanced Viability and long-term Efficacy), consortium involves fourteen partners from seven European countries, has received €8.9 million funding as part of the Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

The DRIVE programme will develop natural materials and new surgical devices to enhance the transplant and survival of insulin producing pancreatic islets for the treatment of diabetes. DRIVE project is co-ordinated by Dr. Garry Duffy, Department of Anatomy and Tissue Engineering Research Group, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Prof. José Luis Pedraz, led of the Nanobiocel Group of CIBER-BBN in the Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU) and coordinator of the Unit 10-Drug Formulation of NANBIOSIS, participates in this consortium.

Drive Project kick-off meeting

Drive Project kick-off meeting

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised by high blood sugar (glucose).  If not treated carefully, diabetes causes several debilitating side effects including heart disease, damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerve endings (e.g. hands, feet) and can lead to premature death. The total number of people living with diabetes in Ireland is estimated to be over 225,000.  According to the international diabetes federation (IDF), 382 million people worldwide have diabetes and in 2013 an estimated 5.1 million deaths were attributable to the disease, representing 8.4% of global adult mortality. Blood glucose is high in diabetes because of the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. Currently the main treatment for diabetes is the daily injection of insulin. In patients where control is poor, transplantation of pancreatic cells (which contain insulin-producing β-cells) is possible. However there are challenges with this therapy including the short supply of donor pancreases, the need to use 3-4 pancreases to get enough β-cells for treatment and poor graft survival and retention at the transplant site.

The DRIVE consortium will address these challenges by developing a completely new system to deliver pancreatic β-cells effectively in a targeted and protected fashion. This will mean that fewer donor pancreases are needed for cell transplantation allowing more patients to avail of a more effective longer-lasting treatment with less demand on donor pancreases. Additionally, the consortium will investigate the combination of DRIVE’s technology with future stem cell-derived β-cells that will widen the availability of islet transplantation therapy to all insulin-dependent patients.

Dr. José Luis Pedraz, commented on the research funding: “We are delighted to participate in the DRIVE programme to translate new collaborative research for the benefit of patients with diabetes mellitus.  Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of patients who have diabetes, and through DRIVE we will develop new technologies to enhance stem cell therapies for these patients by increasing targeting and ease of delivery using advanced biomaterials.”

DRIVE’s β-System consists of a β-Gel, which contains the pancreatic β-cells within a pancreas mimicking gel; which itself is protected within a capsule called a β-shell. This is delivered using a specialised injection catheter, called β-cath, which offers a more minimally invasive surgical procedure than is currently used.

The current transplantation technique offers patients natural glucose control for 1-2 years. DRIVE’s β-system aims to provide control for up to 5 years by increasing the longevity of the β-cell transplant. The system offers further advantages through the slow release of immunosuppressant drugs by the β-shell, reducing the patient’s need for long-term anti-rejection medication, which has harmful side effects. The β-shell will also be retrievable, so it can be removed and replenished after the 5-year period. DRIVE’s 5-year work plan will include animal testing, with a view to human testing at the end of the project.

Professor Paul Johnson, Director of the Oxford Islet Transplant Programme and Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Oxford, said: “Over the past 10 years, the transplantation of insulin-producing pancreatic cells known as islet cells (that can sense blood sugar levels and release insulin to maintain normal sugar levels) has achieved very promising results in adults who have developed the severest complications from insulin-dependent diabetes. The challenge is to now make sure that more people can benefit from this minimally-invasive treatment. Ultimately we would hope that it can be used to reverse diabetes in children soon after diagnosis. The DRIVE Consortium brings together some of the leading researchers in Europe in the fields of bioengineering, cell biology, and cell transplantation. The overall aim is to develop novel membranes to protect the transplanted islets from rejection ensure that islet transplantation can be undertaken without the need for the patient to take anti-rejection medication, with all the associated complications. This programme of research could be a real game-changer for people with Type 1 diabetes and the team in Oxford are very excited to be part of this state of the art research collaboration.”

The DRIVE Consortium represents a major interdisciplinary effort between stem cell biologists, experts in advanced drug delivery, research scientists, clinicians and research-active companies working together to develop novel therapeutics to address the challenges of treating diabtes. The researchers will optimise adult stem cell therapy using smart biomaterials and advanced drug delivery, and couple these therapeutics with minimally-invasive surgical devices.

Further Information about DRIVE

The project has recived funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 645991.

 Other partners include:

Royal College of Surgeon’s in Ireland (Ireland)

Dublin City University (Ireland)

Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen (Germany)

Utrecht University (The Netherlands)

University College Dublin (Ireland)


Abiel S.r.l. (Italy)

Contipro Pharma A.S.(Czech Republic)

Explora Biotech S.r.l. (Italy)

InnoCore Pharmaceuticals (The Netherlands)

Boston Scientific Ireland Ltd (Ireland)

INNOVA S.p.A. (Italy)

Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda (Italy)

University of Oxford (UK)

Nanoencapsulated cells
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