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News U2

News U2

NANBIOSIS researchers featured in the 15th Edition of Spanish Researchers Ranking

The 15th edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities has been published, ranking researchers in Spain as well as Spaniards doing research abroad. A total of 11 Directors of NANBIOSIS units appear on the most recent list, featured on the top 2000. The list is ordered by the h-index, a metric that calculates research impact based on a correlation of papers published and number of citations, and then by number of citations. The result is a list of whose’s publications have had more impact online.

NANBIOSIS researchers featured are Fernando Albericio (#207), scientific director of U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit, Ramón Martínez Máñez (#342) U26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II, Jaume Veciana (#459) U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit, José Luis Pedraz (#906) U10 Drug Formulation unit, Jesús Santamaría (#912) U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit, Ramón Eritja (#1022) U29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP), Pablo Laguna (#1153) U27 High Performance Computing, Antoni Villaverde (#1249) U1 Protein Production Platform (PPP), Laura Lechuga (#1511) U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit M.Pilar Marco (#1517), U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), and Josep Samitier (#1836) U7 Nanotechnology Unit.

This list reflects on the impact online publication can have as a tool to share knowledge. 

For further information: here

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New methods to detect Coronavirus: interactive webinar on the diagnosis of COVID-19

CSIC has orgnized an interactive webinar on new COVID-19 detection systems that brings together biotechnologist Luis Blanco, nanotechnologists Laura Lechuga and Pilar Marco, and physicist Javier Tamayo .

Researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will answer citizens’ questions about the diagnostic methods of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, in a webinar or interactive debate that will be broadcast on Wednesday, June 3, at 8:15 p.m., on the CSIC YouTube channel.

The meeting will feature the participation of biotechnologist Luis Blanco, the physicist Javier Tamayo and the nanotechnologists Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unti 4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit and Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS). The debate will be moderated by geneticist, biotechnologist and popularizer Lluis Montoliu, from the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC),

Questions can be sent in advance to the address webinar@csic.es, by twitter with the hashtag #CSICDiagnostico or during the broadcast via YouTube chat. After the broadcast, it will be hosted on the CSIC’s YouTube channel for consultation, such as previous discussions on prevention and de-escalation and treatments and vaccines.

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Pilar Marco explains on TV her group’s research against Covid-19 pandemic

M.-Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) has been interviewed on Spanish TV (RTVE) to talk about her research against the Covid-19 pandemic in the frame of the CSIC POC4CoV project, for the development of new and rapid diagnostic tools.

Nb4D group of CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC, led by Prof. Marco is working on the development of tests to increase the efficiency and speed of diagnosis of the methods currently on the market.

According to Pilar Marco, the new strategy of the project differs basically in two fundamental aspects: on the one hand the technology, which is based on the current knowledge of some of the CSIC’s research groups in micro and nano techno technology and, on the other hand, in the selection strategy of the antigens that will produce a more specific and sensitive response to the or SARS-COV-2.

The time required to develop these tests is relatively short since researchers have the advantage of having detection technologies already developed and tested in other types of projects, but even so, these tests need between 6 and 8 months of development to obtain the first prototypes that, obviously, will have to be validated so that they can be made available in the market in a safely. Therefore the new tests will help us to be much better prepared before the new waves of the pandemic expected by the epidemiologists.

The interview can be watched in the following link (0:41:50)

Further information on POC4CoV project here

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NANBIOSIS U2, U3 & U29 participate in the POC4CoV project to develop diagnostic technologies for SARS-COV-2

The Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will finance the project Point-of-care tests for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 (POC4CoV), whose objective is to have effective diagnostic technologies for Covid-19. The Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC), the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) and the Institute of Materials Science of Aragon (ICMA) participate in it.

The POC4CoV project aims to develop Point-of-Care (POC) devices for the in vitro diagnosis of SARS-COV-2 infection quickly and reliably, thanks to the use of multiplexed systems and the use of particular biomolecular probes. To do this, POC technological platforms will be used in combination with specific capture biomolecules and nanobiotechnological probes (enzyme bioconjugates and biofunctional plasmonic and magnetic nanoparticles), which will allow the simultaneous detection of different biomarkers (viral RNA and antigens, IgM and IgG) related to Covid-19 disease. The biomolecular complexes will be collected at specific points on the devices where the electrochemical or optical signals will be recorded.

The developed POC platforms will undergo analytical and clinical validation in a clinical setting.

Three units of NANBIOSIS (form CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC) will will take an active participation in the project.

NANBIOSIS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), will produce antibodies against the Spike protein and other virus proteins, trying to maximize the recognition of those epitopes that differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other Coronaviruses

NANBIOSIS Unit 3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit will synthesize peptidic sequences that will allow to identify towards which epitopes the immune response is directed, which will allow to develop more specific diagnostic methods.

NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) has designed probes with oligonucleotide sequences that will allow the capture of viral RNA through the formation of high affinity triplex complexes

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Pilar Marco honored by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Maria Pilar Marco Colás has been honored by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in appreciation for having complited 25 years of work at the CSIC, an intense period of 25 years at the service of Science, 11 of them as Scientific Director of Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), unit 2 of NANBIOSIS since its inclusion in the national ICTS map.

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The Nanobiotechnology for Diagnostics group (Nb4D) of CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC, (coordinator of NANBIOSIS U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS)), led by Prof. Mª Pilar Marco, is organizing a workshop on “Ethical aspects of research” netx 18th November 2019, at the Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC). 

There will be three sessions given by experts from this topic area.

  • ANIMAL TESTING by Dr. Lluís Montoliu

Certificate of Attendance will be issued for each participant.

This workshop is FREE but has LIMITED SPACE. To  register, fill in the form by 10th November 2019https://bit.ly/2VI5W3j

Venue: Salón de Actos, CID-CSIC C/Jordi Girona 18-36. Barcelona. Monday, November 18, 2019, 9:30 h

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Micro & nano(bio)technology for Diagnosis: Changes and Challenges

Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) participated as Keynote speakers at the Second European Biosensor Symposium (EBS2019) taking about “Micro & nano(bio)technology for Diagnosis: Changes and Challenges” at the 2nd European Biosensor Symposium 2019 that took place in Florence (Italy) Last February 18-21.

The EBS brougth toguether young scientists, experienced researchersand companies to push forward new approaches on biosensor and and their applications,

Pilar Marco spoke abaut the changes ocurred on the field of Diagnosis since the days of “house calls”, relying primarily on physical examination, to nowadays in which a wide portfolio of biochemical analytical tests is available, and pointed out the challenge to improve knowledge in microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip technologies, system integration, device automation, and signal readout, as well as simultaneously measure distinct sets of biomolecular features on a reproducible and reliable manner. Prof. Marco also gave some examples of technological alternatives to circumvent these limitations in the clinical diagnostic field.

Pictures by Rudolf Schneider https://bit.ly/2T0yYNi

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PILAR MARCO, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U2, interviewed by CIBER-BBN ISCIII Bulletin

Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) has been highlighted in the January Bulletin of CIBER-BBN ISCIII

In the interview, among other topics Prof. Pilar Marco talks about diagnostic devices based on nanobiosensors and the extraordinary impact that these technologies could have on health in the coming decades.

Her research group Nb4D (Nanobiotechnology for Diagnosis) has an important collection of specific antibodies for different biomarkers and the CIBER-BNN/IQAC-CSIS platform CAbS (Custom Antibody Service) that constitutes the unit 2 of NANBIOSIS, they offer the possibility of producing specific and immunoreactive antibodies with the necessary expertise to generate antibodies “a la carte”, that is, being able to modulate to some extent the affinity and selectivity of these biomolecules, depending on the needs of each project. “And we do this, -Prof Marco explains- not only for molecules with high immunogenic capacity such as most proteins, but also for low molecular weight molecules, which in themselves are not capable of generating an immune response”. They are also able to chemically modify these antibodies and bind them to nanoparticles with defined optical, electrochemical or magnetic properties, thus converting them into nanoprobes able to detect biomarkers and generate an optical or electrochemical signal. We can also incorporate them in a controlled manner in transducer devices designed based on the latest advances in micro (nano) electronics to develop a new generation of diagnostic devices, much more sensitive and reliable, capable of providing quick answers and allowing a more accurate diagnosis early and accurate.

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NANBIOSIS Scientific Women in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to raise awareness of the gender gap in science and technology.

According to the United Nations, while yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science, science and gender equality are vital to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thus, in recent years, the international community has made a great effort to inspire and promote the participation of women and girls in science.

NANBIOSIS wants to acknowledge  the efforts made by scientific women who struggle every day to contribute their bit to Science and highlight their essential role in nowadays research. Especially we want to recognize the work of scientists women involved in our units, whatever is the nature of their contribution: technical, scientific development, management, coordination, direction, etc; just to mention some examples:
Neus Ferrer in the Scientific Direction of Unit 1 Protein Production Platform (PPP)
Pilar Marco and Nuria Pascual in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) 
Miriam Royo in the Scientific Direction of U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit
Laura Lechuga and M.Carmen Estevez in the Direction and Scientific Coordination of U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit
Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia in the Scientific Direction and Technical Coordination of U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit
Isabel Oliveira and Teresa Galán in the Coordination of U7 Nanotecnology Unit
Rosa Villa and Gemma Gabriel in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U8 Micro – Nano Technology Unit
Gema Martínez in the Scientific Coordination of U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit
Fany Peña in the Scientific Coordination of U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Mª Luisa González Martín in the of Direction and Scientific Coordination of U16 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Gemma Pascual and Isabel Trabado in the Coordination of the U17 Confocal Microscopy Service
Mª Virtudes Céspedes in the Scientific Coordination of U18 Nanotoxicology Unit
Beatriz Moreno in the Scientific Direction of Unit 19 Clinical tests lab
Ibane Abásolo in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 20 In Vivo Experimental Platformt
Verónica Crisóstomo in the Scientific Direction of Unit 24 Medical Imaging 
Ana Paula Candiota in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 25 Biomedical Applications I 
Maria Luisa García in the Scientific Direction of U28 NanoImaging Unit from Bionand, recently incorporated to NANBIOSIS

Thanks to all of you and your teams!

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New device could monitor treatments with anticoagulant to achive personalized therapies

  • Researchers from NANBIOSIS units 2 and 4 have designed a biosensor device based on gold nanostructures that precisely detects the presence of the anticoagulant drug from a small blood sample.
  • Treatments with anticoagulants such as Sintrom® (acenocoumarol) face the difficulty of adjusting the drug doses. This device will allow patients to self-regulate the dose.


Researchers of NANBIOSIS unit 4  Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and CIBER Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) have developed a biosensor device which allows the monitoring of anticoagulants such as Sintrom® (acenocoumarol) to deliver a personalized therapy in which the patient or doctor can adjust the drug dose to achieve the optimal effect.

The ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NanoB2A) Group, led by CSIC researcher Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 (Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit), designed this plasmonic device containing gold nanostructures to which specific bioreceptors can be attached, in order to detect biomarkers in a reproducible and accurate way using a small sample of the patient’s blood and without the need for any prior treatment.

Previously, the Nanobiotechnology for Diagnostics (Nb4D) Group of the CSIC’s Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), led by Prof. M. Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U2 (Custom Antibody Service (CAbS),  produced haptenized proteins (similar to Sintrom®) and polyclonal antibodies specific for this anticoagulant in the U2 of NANBIOSIS. The large experience of U2 unit in the preparation of labeled proteins and production of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies has resulted in the generation of specific antibodies capable of recognizing Sintrom®. Their usefulness has been demonstrated in a clinical study using an immunoanalytical technique with high sample throughput.

Building on their previous results, the two groups collaborated to develop an automated biosensor device allowing a personalized dose adjustment of this oral anticoagulant. Their results were recently published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

As stated by CSIC researcher Prof. Laura Lechuga, “we have studied the optimal conditions to develop this biosensor device and have obtained excellent sensitivity to detect the anticoagulant, which indicates that it is possible to measure very low concentrations of this drug”.

Since it is a quantitative and highly sensitive technology, this device is very suitable for its use in clinical environments, where it could provide a real time follow-up of the medication, or even for patients to manage the medication themselves, a significant breakthrough for people receiving anticoagulants.

Patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases or thromboembolic disorders are usually treated with anticoagulants such as Sintrom® to prevent blood clots formation. The problem is that this treatment entails risks, explain the researchers. “For example, in case the dose is too low, it would not achieve the expected effect and blood clotting may occur; On the other hand, in case the dose is too high, it could cause side effects such as internal bleeding. The right dose depends on many factors such as weight, age, diet and interaction with other medications. ”


Reference articles:

Nanoplasmonic biosensor device for the monitoring of acenocoumarol therapeutic drug in plasma Cristina Peláez, M Carmen Estévez, Alejandro Portela, Pablo Salvador, Pilar Marco, Laura M. Lechuga. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 119, 2018, 149-155 – DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2018.08.011

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for therapeutic drug monitoring coumarin oral anticoagulants in plasma J.Pablo Salvador, Dolors Tassies, Joan-Carles Reverter, M.-PilarMarco. Analytica Chimica Acta. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2018.04.042

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