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News U13

Microfluidic technologies to study the cardiomyopathy processes of Duchenne’s disease

Ignacio Ochoa and Luis Fernandez, researchers of the AMB group of CIBER-BBN and I3A-University of Zaragoza, coordinator of NANBIOSIS U13. Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit, are working on the european project “CISTEM – HEART ON CHIP BASED ON INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY FOR PERSONALIZED MEDICINE” . They are developing heart on a chip microfluidic devices to study the cardiomyopathy process in the Duchenne muscular distrophy using microfluidic technologies.

CISTEM Kick-off Meeting was successfully held on 24th of January 2018 at Elvesys, Paris, France. Representative of the consortium organizations including academic institutions and industry representatives were participating in this meeting: BioSense Institute, Elvesys, Cherry Biotech, Universidad Zaragoza, BEOnChip and Jagiellonian University

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Numerical models applied to the cornea to improve eye surgery

Researchers of the NANBIOSIS U13 apply numerical models to the cornea to better understand how it behaves and help in surgical planning. Data and algorithms developed through the computer, together with the 3D image, make it easier for ophthalmologists to perform eye surgery more precise and personalized treatments for each patient

The work carried out by Miguel Ángel Ariza Gracia at the Aragón Engineering Research Institute (I3A) has been recognized by the University of Zaragoza with the Extraordinary Award for the Best Doctoral Thesis of the Biomedical Engineering Program in 2017

In this line of research, framed in the European project PopCorn has been working Miguel Angel Ariza since September 2013 under the supervision of Begoña Calvo and José Félix Rodríguez Matas, the research group in Applied Mechanics and Bioengineering (AMB) of the I3A – CIBER -BBN, which coordinates the unit 13 of NANBIOSIS and the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LabS) of the Politecnico di Milano, respectively. The Mechanical Characterization of Biological Tissues that the project needs is carried out in NANBIOSIS U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization UnitUnit 27 High Performance Computing of NANBIOSIS is also used in this project for the Computational Simulation of Biological Tissues.

The advances in corneal biomechanics open new ways and possibilities to create technical equipment that allow to know the mechanical properties and characteristics of the eye

Here are joined three technologies, the topography (allows to measure the geometry of the cornea), the tonometry of no contact or breath of air (deforms the cornea to obtain dynamic variables that are believed associated with the properties of the cornea) and the models in silico or numerical. The three, together with the phenoptic image technology, “can make it possible to obtain the geometry of a patient’s eye, with its personalized properties to give better advice to doctors in refractive surgeries or in the planning of another surgical intervention,” explains Miguel Angel Ariza

Begoña Calvo, who also works on the numerical modeling of other structures such as skeletal muscle, points out that this “generic” process of reconstruction, transfer of clinical data to the model and generation of a finite element model can be used to simulate other treatments or reproduce different surgical techniques. “The work of Miguel Ángel has allowed us to delve into what is now known as artificial intelligence, having the necessary algorithms to generate databases that can be used in the clinic,” he says.

Fibers of collagen in the cornea

The quality of the cornea tissue depends on the collagen fibers that we have embedded in the corneal stroma, its orientation is what gives that transparency and its links (crosslinks) structural integrity. “Our proposal is to go a step further, to work to better understand collagen fiber,” explains Ariza.

Nowadays, “there is no technical team that provides all the properties and allows to know what quality the corneal tissue has to be able to adequately respond to surgery and subsequent treatments,” recalls Dr. Calvo.

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NANBIOSIS ICTS invites groups and companies to discuss Smart Biomaterials and devices for Drug Delivery

On February 22nd, the National School of Health of the Carlos III Health Institute hosted the forum on Smart Biomaterials and biomedical devices for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine, organized by the ICTS Nanbiosis, an infrastructure shared by the CIBER-BBN and the Center of Minimally Invasive Surgery Jesus Usón (CCMIJU). This is the first groups/companies meeting organized by Nanbiosis, in which about 70 B2B meetings  were held.

The meeting brought together about 40 participants from 14 research groups (from the CIBER-BBN and the CCMIJU) and 10 companies, which discussed the latest advances in the research lines developed by the groups and platforms of Nanbiosis and on the needs and demands of the industry in smart biomaterials and devices for targeted drug delivery and regenerative medicine.

Jesus Izco, Coordinator of Nanbiosis, presented the new Cutting-Edge Biomedical Solutions“, soon available on the ICTS website. These are integrated solutions to advanced challenges in nanomedicine, biomaterials, medical device, and diagnostic that can be developed by several units under a  one-stop shop model, optimized with the experience and scientific and technical knowledge of the research groups of excellence that manage the involved units. Some of the Cutting-edge biomedical solutions presented in the meeting were preclinical validation of biomaterials, mechanical and surface characterization, biocompatibility and studies of biofilm formation and infections.

The CIBER-BBN prsentations were: “Instructive materials for regenerative medicine” by Miguel Ángel Mateos (NANBIOSIS U5 IP: Elisabeth Engel); “Molecular biomaterials for drug delivery and biomedical applications” byNathaly Veronica Segovia (NANBIOSIS U6 / IP Jaume Veciana and Nora Ventosa); “Advances with micro-nano technologies for in vitro devices and point of care” by Rosa Villa (NANBIOSIS U8 ); “Development of new dosage forms for advanced therapies based on new biomaterials” by José Luis Pedraz (NANBIOSIS U10); “Contact lenses functionalized for the prevention of corneal infections” by Jordi Esquena (NANBIOSIS U12 / IP Carlos Rodríguez); “Combined in-silico and in-vitro models of the cell microenvironment and drug delivery effects in cancer and tissue engineering applications” by Fany Peña (NANBIOSIS U13 / IP Miguel Á. Martínez); “Surface of the biomaterial: the first contact with our body” by  Marisa González (NANBIOSIS U16 ); “Use of biomaterials for the repair of soft tissue defects” by Bárbara Pérez Khöler (NANBIOSIS U17 / IP J M. Bellón and Gemma Pascual); “Controlled release systems based on mesoporous materials with molecular doors for applications in therapy and diagnosis” by Ramón Martínez Máñez (NANBIOSIS U26); “New intelligent devices and biomaterials for the treatment of pathologies of the retina and the nervous system” (Eduardo Fernández); and “Near-infrared responsive scaffolds for biomedical applications” (Nuria Vilaboa).

On the part of the CCMJU, the presentations were the following: “Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in preclinical models for surgical and cardiovascular research” by Javier García Casado (NANBIOSIS U14); “Regenerative medicine in animal models of cutaneous healing and diabetic models” by Beatriz Moreno (NANBIOSIS U19); “Preclinical studies of biomaterials” by Idoia Díaz-Güemes (NANBIOSIS U21 /IP: FM Sánchez Margallo); “Porcine model of myocardial infarction as a translational research platform in regenerative medicine” by Verónica Crisóstomo (NANBIOSIS U24).

In the turn of the companies, they presented some collaboration opportunities AJL, i-Vascular, Praxis Pharmaceutical, Technical Proteins Nanobiotechnology and REGEMAT 3D; and they also participated in the Rovi, Viscofan, Biomag and Biogelx Laboratories forum.

These meetings, where links are established between research groups and companies, address issues of business and scientific interest, allowing direct contacts between researchers and business managers.

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Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS participates in a new European project that will boost the Organ-on-Chip technology

The research group coordinating NANBIOSIS Unit 13 is the Spanish group of the European project ORCHID (Organ-On-Chip In Development). The scientists  of Engineering Research Institute (I3A) and CIBER-BBN, Luis Fernández and Iñaki Ochoa, will work on this project whose objective is to accelerate the social and economic impact of the technology known as Organ-on-Chip. This technology based on the use of microfluidic platforms is already facilitating the discovery of drugs, but it can go a step further with applications in personalized medicine and safety pharmacology and that, in addition, offers alternatives to conventional tests in animals. The mechanical properties and research ability of the microfluidic platforms will be tested in NANBIOSIS  unit U13 Tissue and Scaffold Characterization.


The project that will take place over two years, is led by the Medical Center of the University of Leiden and the Dutch consortium Organ-on-Chip hDMT and participated by entities and research centers from four other countries, Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The consortium that has the financial support of the European Union with half a million euros, will work to facilitate and accelerate the development of prototypes, validated cellular systems that mimic sick or healthy human tissue and the implementation of this technology by a broad group of potential users in science, health care and industry. This platform will provide an overview and updates so that users can easily track progress, consult developers directly and identify gaps in current knowledge, which limits implementation. It will also address ethical and regulatory issues, particularly with regard to personalized information, the economic and social impact, the training of researchers and the design of a R & D “roadmap”.


Likewise, the construction of an infrastructure is planned so that scientists, policy makers, financiers and end users can join the decision-making processes that will guide future European developments in Organ-on-Chip applications. Among its actions is the establishment of a digital platform that allows the exchange of knowledge between researchers and representatives of private corporations, including insurance companies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, the food industry, health foundations and patient organizations.

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Posters presentation by NANBIOSIS Units in CIBER-BBN ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017

Last 13 and 14 of November, CIBER-BBN  has celebrated its 11th Annual Conference in Hotel Santemar in Santander. In this conference there was a poster session with the participation of the following Units of NANBIOSIS. Special mention deserves Unit 1 with Neus Ferrer as Director and  Paolo Saccardo as Coordinator (in the picture):


U1. Protein Production Platform (PPP):

Engineering protein complexes as nano- or micro-structured vehicles or drugs for human and veterinary medicine. Ugutz Unzueta, Naroa Serna, Laura Sánchez-García, José Vicente Carratalá, Olivia Cano-Garrido, Mercedes Márquez, Paolo Saccardo, Rosa Mendoza, Raquel Díaz, Héctor, López-Laguna, Julieta Sánchez, Anna Obando, Amanda Muñoz, Andrés Cisneros, Eric Voltà, Aida Carreño, José Luis Corchero, Neus Ferrer-Miralles, Esther Vázquez, Antonio Villaverde.

Units  U1. Protein Production Platform (PPP) and U18. Nanotoxicology Unit:

Intrinsic functional and architectonic heterogeneity of tumor-targeted protein nanoparticles. Mireia Pesarrodona, Eva Crosa, Rafael Cubarsi, Alejandro Sanchez-Chardi, Paolo Saccardo, Ugutz Unzueta, Fabian Rueda, Laura Sanchez-Garcia, Naroa Serna, Ramón Mangues, Neus Ferrer Miralles, Esther Vázquez, Antonio Villaverde.

Units U3. Synthesis of Peptides UnitU6. Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit, and U20. In Vivo Experimental Platform:

Synthesis of different length monodisperse COL-PEG-PEPTIDE to increase biodisponibility of multifunctional nanovesicles for Fabry’s desease. Edgar Cristóbal-Lecina; Daniel Pulido; Solène Passemard; Elizabet González-Mira; Jaume Veciana; Nora Ventosa; Simó Schwartz; Ibane Abasolo; Fernando Albericio and Miriam Royo.

Units U13. Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit and U17. Confocal Microscopy Service::

Preclinical behavior of medium-chain cyanoacrylate glue with two different surgical application forms for mesh fixation in abdominal wall repair. Gemma Pascual, Bárbara Pérez-Köhler, Marta Rodríguez, Claudia Mesa-Ciller, Ángel Ortillés, Estefanía Peña, Begoña Calvo, Juan M. Bellón.

Units U27. High Performance Computing and U8. Micro – Nano Technology Unit:

Inspiration and Expiration Dynamics in Acute Emotional Stress Assessment. Javier Milagro, Eduardo Gil, Jorge M. Garzón-Rey, Jordi Aguiló, Raquel Bailón.

U5. Rapid Prototyping Unit:

Poly-DL-lactic acid films functionalized with collagen IV as carrier substrata for corneal epithelial stem cells. Ana de la Mata, Miguel Ángel Mateos-Timoneda, Teresa Nieto-Miguel, Sara Galindo, Marina López-Paniagua, Xavier Puñet, Elisabeth Engel, Margarita Calonge.

U6. Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit:

Strategy for engineering myoglobin nano-traps for biomedical sensing technology. E. Laukhina, O. V. Sinitsyna, N. K. Davydova, V. N. Sergeev, A. Gomez, I. Ratera, C. Blázquez Bondia, J. Paradowska, X. Rodriguez, J. Guasch, Jaume Veciana.

Structure and nanomechanics of quatsome membranes. B. Gumí-Audenis, L. PasquinaLemonche, J.A. Durán, N. Grimaldi, F. Sanz, J. Veciana, I. Ratera, N. Ventosa and M.I. Giannotti

U7. Nanotechnology Unit:

Bioreceptors nanostructuration study for early detection of Alzheimer. José Marrugo, Dr. Samuel Dulay, Dr. Mònica Mir, Prof. Josep Samitier.

RGD dendrimer-based nanopatterns promote chondrogenesis and intercellular communication for cartilage regeneration. Ignasi Casanellas, Anna Lagunas, Iro Tsintzou, Yolanda Vida, Daniel Collado, Ezequiel Pérez-Inestrosa, Cristina Rodríguez, Joana Magalhães, José A. Andrades, José Becerra, Josep Samitier.

Long-range electron transfer between redox partner proteins. Anna Lagunas, Alejandra GuerraCastellano, Alba Nin-Hill, Irene Díaz-Moreno, Miguel A. De la Rosa, Josep Samitier, Carme Rovira, Pau Gorostiza.

U8. Micro – Nano Technology Unit:

Miniaturized multi-sensing platform for pH and Dissolved Oxygen monitoring in Organ-On-aChip systems. M. Zea, A. Moya, I. Gimenez, R. Villa, G. Gabriel.

Electrochemical characterization of SWCNTs based microelectrodes fabricated by inkjet printing. M. Mass, A. Moya, G. Longinotti, M. Zea, M. Muñoz, E. Ramon, L. Fraigi, R. Villa, G. Ybarra, G. Gabriel.

U9. Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit:

In vivo imaging and local persistance of polymeric micro- and nanomaterials labelled with the near infrared dye IR820. Isabel Ortiz de Solórzano, Gracia Mendoza, Inmaculada Pintre, Sara García-Salinas, Víctor Sebastián, Vanesa Andreu, Marina Gimeno, Manuel Arruebo.

U10. Drug Formulation:

Cationic nioplexes-in-polysaccharide-based hydrogels as versatile biodegradable hybrid materials to deliver nucleic acids. Santiago Grijalvo, Adele Alagia, Gustavo Puras, Jon Zárate, Judith Mayr, José Luis Pedraz, Ramon Eritja

U12. Nanostructured liquid characterization unit:

Perfluorocarbon-loaded Nanocapsules from Nano-emulsion Templates as Microbubble Precursors for Biomedical Applications. G. Calderó, A. González, M. Monge, C. Rodríguez-Abreu, M.J.García-Celma, C. Solans.

Biodistribution study of polymeric drug-loaded nanoparticles in murine model. Marta Monge, Aurora Dols, Stephane Fourcade, Aurora Pujol, Carlos Rodríguez-Abreu, Conxita Solans.

U16. Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit:

Behavior and a comparative study between tantalum and titanium alloy implant surfaces against bacterial adhesion. M.A. Pacha-Olivenza, M.L. González-Martín.

Bacterial adhesion on calcium ion-modified titanium implant surfaces. M.A. Pacha Olivenza, R. Tejero, M. Delgado-Rastrollo, M.L. González-Martín.

Bioactive coatings to promote tissue regeneration and ingrowth into 3D custom-made porous titanium endoimplants (COATREG-3D). Santos-Ruiz L; Granados JF; Ruiz F; Yáñez JI; González A; Cabeza N; Vida Y; Pérez-Inestrosa E; Izquierdo-Barba I; Vallet-Regí M; Rubio J; Orgaz F; Rubio N; González ML; Peris JL; Monopoli D; Becerra J.

U17. Confocal Microscopy Service:

Subcutaneous implantation of a biodegradable apatite/agarose scaffold: biocompatibility and osteogenesis characterization in a rat model. Natalio García-Honduvilla, Gemma Pascual, Miguel A. Ortega, Alejandro Coca, Cynthia Trejo, Jesús Román, Juan Peña, María V. Cabañas, Julia Buján, and María Vallet-Regí.

U25. NMR: Biomedical Applications I:

Dual T1/T2 NCP-based novel contrast agents for brain tumor MRI: a preclinical study. Suarez, S; Arias-Ramos, N; Candiota, AP; Lorenzo, J; Ruiz-Molina, D; Arús, C; Novio, F.

Metronomic treatment in immunocompetent preclinical GL261 glioblastoma: effects of cyclophosphamide and temozolomide. Ferrer-Font, L; Arias-Ramos, N; Lope-Piedrafita, S; Julià- Sapé, M; Pumarola, M; Arús, C; Candiota, AP.

U26. NMR: Biomedical Applications II:

Gated nanodevices for innovative medical therapies. Maria Alfonso, Irene Galiana, Beatriz Lozano, Borja Diaz de Greñu, Cristina de la Torre, Andrea Bernardos, Sameh El Sayed, Daniel MuñozEspin, Miguel Rovira, José Ramón Murguía, Manuel Serrano, Ramón Martínez-Máñez.

NANOPROBE: Gated sensing materials and devices for the detection of infectious diseases and urological cancer. Ángela Ribes, Luís Pla, Sara Santiago-Felipe, Alba Loras-Monfort, M.Carmen Martínez-Bisbal, Elena Aznar, Guillermo Quintás-Soriano, José Luis Ruiz-Cerdá, María Angeles.




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NANBIOSIS at the VI Conference of Young Researchers

On June 2, the VI Conference of Young Researchers organized by the I3A at the University of Zaragoza was held, aimed at doctoral students who have as director or co-director an I3A member.

The inaugural lecture was given by José Antonio Sanz Herrera (Professor Contractor Doctor at the University of Seville and who held his doctorate at I3A) who has talked about Multidisciplinary Research as the basis of the young professor in engineering.

After the inaugural conference a first block was opened with four oral presentations, giving way to the poster session and coffee. A second and final block with four oral presentations will be held next.

One of the presentations has been made by the research group that coordinates Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS with the title “3D simulation of intraestromal ring implants for the stabilization of keratoconus“. Another of the presentations “Heart Rate Variability Analysis in Risk of Asthma Stratification” was in charge of the Coordinating Group of Unit 27 of NANBIOSIS.

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Bioengineering is being strengthened in Spain

Estefanía Peña, Scientific Coordinator of Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS explains her resarch in the program “En route with science” of Aragon Television.

Bioengineering consists in the application of the principles of engineering to the field of medicine. In the opinion of Estefanía, coordinator of the Division of Biomedical Engineering and deputy director of I3A (Institute of Research in Engineering of Aragon) Bioingineering is being strengthened in Spain.

“Our research develops mathematical models and computational reproduction, especially of cardiovascular diseases and the therapies to solve them. Fundamentally we work on atherosclerosis, which is the appearance and development of atheroma plaque (a cluster of cholesterol in the wall of an artery)

This is a field with a very important social impact (35% of the deaths in Europe are due to cardiovascular diseases and the annual European cost can be around almost two hundred billion euro), this is why we try to reduce the part of experimentation developing mathematical models, both to understand the biological process, and to design new devices as stems.”

For further information:

http://alacarta.aragontelevision.es/programas/en-ruta-con-la-ciencia/ Cap 45 Min.21:42-28:12

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Best oral communication at the National Congress of Young Researchers in Biomedicine

María Virumbrales, PhD candidate in the research group coordinating of Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS, has been awarded the Prize to the Best Oral Presentation in the I National Congress for Young Researchers in Biomedicine, which took place in Valencia, Spain, on the 28th-29th of November, 2016. The title of the communication was: “Tubeless microfluidic device to mimic tumor microenvironment and monitor cancer-endothelium interactions”.

The talk described an in vitro 3D model closely resembling biological tissues and blood vessels, established within a biocompatible material. This model is currently being used to recreate breast tumor microenvironment and evaluate drug efficiency within. 

Best oral communication at the National Congress of Young Researchers in Biomedicine
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New 3D culture device to better understand how tumours work

Scientist of NANBIOSIS in collaboration with other CIBER-BBN researchers have developed a sophisticated microfluidic biomedicine device capable of reproducing in vitro and by 3D bioprinting the complexity of different tumour types. This device allows tumour cells to grow in a 3D environment where nutrients and oxygen are supplied in a controlled way through small capillaries, thus mimicking the body’s own blood vessels.

Thanks to this new technology, it is now possible to reproduce in a controlled way all the processes of the tumour environment, which could help to develop new treatments and combinations of drugs that are more effective for the treatment of these tumours.

In this study, published in Scientific Reports, have participated researchers from the Group of Applied Mechanics and Bioengineering (AMB) of the University of Zaragoza , which coordinates Unit 13 of NANBIOSIS .

Article of reference:

Development and characterization of a microfluidic model of the tumour microenvironment.Jose M. Ayuso, María Virumbrales-Muñoz, Alodia Lacueva, Pilar M. Lanuza, Elisa Checa-Chavarria, Pablo Botella, Eduardo Fernández, Manuel Doblare, Simon J. Allison, Roger M. Phillips, Julián Pardo, Luis J. Fernandez e Ignacio Ochoa. Scientific Reports. 10.1038/srep36086

New 3D culture device to better understand how tumours work
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4 Units of NANBIOSIS hosted in three Universities among the 200 best in the world in science.

The University of Zaragoza is one of the 200 best universities in the world in science research, according to the latest Shanghai ranking of 2016 in a specific analysis by macro areas.

In order to elaborate this ranking by macroareas indicators such as the number of students and professors who have obtained the Nobel prize or Fields medal, the number of researchers highly cited in the scientific literature, the number of scientific articles indexed in the Science Citation Index and the Percentage of articles published in the most cited 20% scientific journals are used.

Only six Spanish universities are among the 200 best in the world in the field of science, such as the Autonomous University of Madrid, University of Barcelona, University of Santiago de Compostela, Polytechnic University of Valencia, University of Valencia and Zaragoza.

The list of the world’s top 200 universities in science is headed by American universities in Berkeley (California), Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California, which rank the top six. In the seventh one appears the first European university, Cambridge, followed by the one of Tokyo, Technological Institute of Switzerland and the University of Los Angeles.

NANBIOSIS contributes to this success through the elite researchers that coordinate three of its Units located in the University of Zaragoza: Unit 9 that offers services for sciences research as Synthesis of Nanoparticles biomedicine, micronanotechnology or microfluidics biomedicine, Unit 13 with services as tissue and biomaterial characterization or mechanical tests of tissues and Unit 27 which offers services for sciences research on biomedical computer simulation, modelling of biomedical systems or large simulation multicore and multiserver, among other aspects.

In addition, the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Valencia provides the scientific management and part of the equipment to Unit 26 of NANBIOSIS that offers services for research as molecular imaging metabolomics by NMR or metabolic profiling of biofluids by NMR

Three Universities among the 200 best in the world in science, hosting 4 Units of NANBIOSIS.
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