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News U27

News U27

The Nanomedicine Revolution

Yesterday, November, 25 took place, within the the program of the Ateneo of the EINA (School of Engineering and Architecture of Aragón), the online conference on “The Revolution of Nanomedicine” by Ramón Martínez Máñez.

The Conference chair, Jesús Martínez de la Fuente, Principal Investigator of the BIONANOSURF group of CIBER-BBN and the Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragón, introduced the guest, Ramón Martínez Máñez, Scientific Director of CIBER-BBN, highlighting “his creativity in the use of his systems and how he combines them with different diagnostic release systems, combining organic chemistry, surface chemistry, applications in biotechnology and giving way to translation and transfer, his works are very unique

Ramón Martínez Máñez, Scientific Director NANBIOSIS unit 26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II, gave a very instructive talke about what is nanotechnology and how nanotechnology revolution has reached the medicine, with current examples of the application of nanomedicines, as well as in the medicine of the future.

After it, a very interesting debate took place in which different issues were discussed, especially in relation to nanomedicine applied to therapy, such as the barriers to generalize the use of nanoparticles in therapy, the current state of implantation of nanoformulated drugs in the market and the advancement of the use of some nanoparticles as polymers or liposomes compared to inorganic nanoparticles, the degree of development of nanoparticles under GLP certification or why cancer is the main target of nanomedicine with a great difference over other pathologies. The audience asked questions that led to the discussion of some more controversial points such as whether it is true that “Big Pharma” does not like nanoparticles, why there is a regulatory vacuum regarding their use and how to solve these problems.

Regarding the diagnosis applications, Ramón Martínez commented that “nanotechnology already has its way open, both in the development of nanoparticles and systems to amplify the signal, based on nanophotonics, resonant rings or other technologies at the nanometric level. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having rapid detection systems for bio parameters, pathogens, bacteria … We have a lot of knowledge acquired in recent years in these systems and they are currently being developed in a more or less short time, we are truly close to revolutionizing the field of detection“.

Finally, in realtion with the nanomedicine of the future, the questions raised in the debate revolved mainly around nanobots and their state of development or the problems that are emerging in it or the possibility of uniting nanomedicine with artificial intelligence and possible applications.

The Ateneo is an activity of the EINA in collaboration with the Aragón Engineering Research Institute and SAMCA Chair of Technological Development of Aragon, both directed by Pablo Laguna, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing. Pablo Laguna closed the event thanking Ramón Martínez Máñez and Jesús Martínez de la Fuente for their participation and highlighting the high number of attendees at the conference.

The conference can be followed in Spanish in EINA youtoube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fh1O1VuNU

Anouncing this Conference in the Ateneo EINA, Ramón Martínez Máñez was yesterday interviewed by Aragon Radio. In this case, the interview had the focuss in the “Nanomedicine against COVID” . The podcast can be listen in Spanish here: https://www.cartv.es/aragonradio/podcast/emision/nanomedicina-frente-a-la-covid

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The XXXVII Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (CASEIB) is taking place between November 25 and 27. This new edition of CASEIB, in virtual format is organized by the CIBER-BBN group of Biomedical Engineering at Valladolid Universitiy, led by Prof. Roberto Sánchez Hornero.

Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit, member of the advisoty committee of scientific experts (Multidisciplinary Working Group) to the Ministry of Science and Innovation in COVID-19 and coordinator of the European project CONVAT shall participate in the Roundtable I: Biomedical Engineering and COVID-19 November 26, 12:00 h

Researchers of BSICoS Group from CIBER-BBN and I3A-UZ, running NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, led by Prof. Pablo Laguna, will participate defending their last works:

  • “Delay between QT and RR in stress test records as an indicator of the heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization”. Cristina Pérez, Esther Pueyo, Juan Pablo Martínez, Jari Viik, Pablo Laguna.
  • “Prediction of sudden death in patients with chronic heart failure by studying the periodic dynamics of repolarization”. Saúl Palacios, Iwona Cygankiewicz, Antoni Bayés-de-Luna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Esther Pueyo.
  • “Electrodermal response analysis for the identification of patients with depression”. Marta Martínez, Jesús Lázaro, Spyridon Kontaxis, Pablo Laguna, Eduardo Gil, María Luisa Bernal Ruíz, Sara Siddi, Concepción de la Cámara, Jordi Aguiló, Esther García, Josep María Haro, Raquel Bailón.
  • “In silico characterization of the duration of repolarization and its variability in Type 1 Long QT syndrome under β adrenergic stimulation”. David Adolfo Sampedro-Puente, Fabien Raphel, Jesús Fernández-Bes, Pablo Laguna, Damiano Lombardi, Esther Pueyo
  • “Monitoring of Blood Potassium Concentration in dialysis through changes in the multi-lead morphology of the T wave: Comparison between using the transformation in Periodic and Principal Components”. Flavio Palmieri, Pedro Gomis, José Esteban Ruiz, Dina Ferreira, Alba Martin, Esther Pueyo, Pablo Laguna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Julia Ramírez.

Further information on BSICoS website

On the other hand researcher of NANBIOSIS at JUMISC will present:

  • Study of the influence of the diameter and temperature of the nozzle on the thickness of the filament for bioprinting“. Enrique Mancha, Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, Alfonso Carlos Marcos Romero, Manuel Matamoros Pacheco, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo, José Blas Pagador Carrasco.
  • Influence of voluntary contractions on the basal sEMG activity of the pelvic floor muscles. M. Albaladejo-Belmonte, M. Tarazona, F.J. Nohales, J. Alberola-Rubio, J. Garcia-Casado
  • 3D Printing Mold Making: Soluble Male Viability for Hollow Artificial Organs Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, José Blas Pagador Carrasco, Antonio Jesús Rodríguez Fuentes, Alfonso González González, Mara Olivares Marín, Jesús Usón Gargallo, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo

Further information on JUMISC website

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Understanding human heart behaviour with mathematics and engineering.

Researchers from the I3A and the CIBER-BBN at the University of Zaragoza Esther Pueyo and Konstantinos Mountris have been interwiewed at the Radio program “Hoy por Hoy” LA SER in relation with their work from engineering and mathematics to understand the functioning of the heart when it is healthy and when a heart attack occurs, to provide clinical specialists with the tools needed to improve patient care.

They do this through computing in cardiology using the instalations of the ICTS Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing Unit, with the creation of a virtual heart that allows the computer to reproduce the electrical activity of a real heart. His line of research advances towards a simpler methodology. Until now, computational simulation required the construction of a geometry that created a mesh, joining different points of that virtual heart. This system was not applicable to the clinical routine, extensive engineering knowledge was needed, but now they have created a new methodology that facilitates that application because it more easily translates an image to a computational model and, therefore, it can be easier to be interpreted in the hospital setting.

It is an innovative advance in this field and its work has already been recognized in the Congress of Computing in Cardiology (CinC) held recently and where they have received the Maastricht Simulation Award (MSA). “The Meshfree Immersed Grid alleviates the necessity for mesh generation and allows eliminating the mesh-related limitationsUsing the HPC services of NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, – explains Konstantinos Mountris – we were able to validate the Meshfree Immersed Grid method as a promising alternative to Finite Element Method performing large-scale simulations of myocardial infarction in biventricular swine models

Until now, this group of researchers started from a clinical image that they had to divide into small pieces and establish their connection. With this new methodology, this is no longer necessary, it is no longer necessary to build the virtual heart by connecting those small parts to see how it works, but they start from the image itself, a model is built automatically and they are able to see the activity cardiac.

This methodology that unites engineering and mathematics “is applicable to different pathologies of the heart, but in the work that we present, it had been tested against myocardial infarction. Our idea is to test the electrical activity of the heart that has suffered a heart attack ”, explains Konstantinos Mountris, but they also test the activity in a healthy heart.

Transferring the image of a damaged heart to the computer simulation allows us to check what its activity will be like from now on, how it will behave and this can help clinicians in their diagnosis, application of treatments and decision making. It is a method with a great mathematical and engineering load but with a great clinical application, “they are algorithms that could be taken to the clinic and obtain a result from the image that doctors have”, highlights Esther Pueyo, principal investigator of the project European Modelage, in which the work that has just been internationally recognized is framed.

This line of research proposes a method that has different applications, from surgeries to diagnostic tests or treatments. A mathematical model that reproduces how a healthy heart or a heart with areas affected by an arrhythmia or a heart attack works and that can be adapted to each patient.

Modelage is a project that tries to know the aging rhythms of the heart and develop patterns that help prevent arrhythmias are some of the objectives. It is led by Esther Pueyo, a CIBER-BBN researcher in the BSICoS group of the I3A led by Pablo Laguna. It was selected within the first Starting Grant call of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union in which more than 3,200 proposals competed.

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Job offer: FULLY-FUNDED PhD FELLOWSHIP at the University of Zaragoza

BSICoS Group at I3A- University of Zaragoza –NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing offer FULLY-FUNDED PhD FELLOWSHIP

Applications must be submitted before October 27th, 2pm (Spain time).

 Profile of the candidate:
Graduate/Master in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or related disciplines.

 PhD contract and topic:
A PhD contract (former FPI program) is offered for a PhD position at the Biomedical Signal Interpretation and Computational Simulation (BSICoS) group of the Aragón Institute of Engineering Research, University of Zaragoza.
The PhD thesis is associated with the research grant “Towards improved management of cardiovas-cular diseases by integrative in silico-in vitro-in vivo research into heart’s structure, function and autonomic regulation”, funded by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, with reference PID2019-105674RB-I00.
As part of his/her PhD thesis, the candidate will work on some of the following lines:

  • Processing of signals acquired by patch-clamp and optical mapping as well as electrograms and electrocardiograms.
  • Incorporation into multi-scale computational models of the heart and the autonomic nerv-ous system of all the information extracted from the signals and from additional processing of histological images and molecular biology data.
  • Development of numerical methods for simulation of cardiac activity.
  • Application of artificial intelligence techniques for prediction of abnormalities in heart’s electrical behavior.

 Procedure and deadline for application submission:
Interested candidates should submit an application through the electronic website of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation: https://sede.micinn.gob.es/ayudaspredoctorales/
Application submission will be open from October 13th to October 27th, 2pm (Spain time).

 Full details about the call:

Call for PhD fellowship

Summary of the PhD fellowship program

 Additional information:
Although the candidate should submit his/her application through the electronic website of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, as indicated above, he/she is advised to send CV and academic transcripts by email to Esther Pueyo (epueyo@unizar.es).
For additional information, please contact Esther Pueyo (epueyo@unizar.es).

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Maastricht Simulation Award to Konstantinos Mountris and Esther Pueyo

Konstantinos Mountris and Esther Pueyo, (NANBIOSIS Unit 27 High Performance Computing), have been awarded with the Maastricht Simulation Award for their participation in the CinC 2020.

Researchers of BSICoS Group, from CIBER-BBN and I3A of Zaragoza University, have participated in the 47 Computing in Cardiology Conference, which took place in Rimini, Italy, during the days 13-16 of September. Alba Martín, was awarded with the Best Remote Poster Presentation for the poster entitled “Model-based characterization of atrial fibrilation episodes and its clinical association“. And the work “Next-generation in-silico Cardiac Electrophysiology through Immersed Grid Meshfree Modelling. Application to Simulation of Myocardial Infarctionby Konstantinos Mountris and Esther Pueyo has been awarded with the CinC Maastricht Simulation Award (MSA).

This work proposes a novel Meshfree Immersed Grid method for cardiac electrophysiology simulation and its application in the simulation of myocardial infarction. Usually, cardiac electrophysiology simulation is performed using mesh-based techniques like the Finite Element Method. Such techniques implicate the generation of a mesh discretization of the domain of interest that can be a time-consuming process, especially for complex anatomical models. The Meshfree Immersed Grid alleviates the necessity for mesh generation and allows eliminating the mesh-related limitations. Using the HPC services of NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, – explains Konstantinos Mountris – we were able to validate the Meshfree Immersed Grid method as a promising alternative to Finite Element Method performing large-scale simulations of myocardial infarction in biventricular swine models.

The goal of this award (and its $500 prize) is to recognize the best submission to the conference each year on the topic of cardiovascular simulations.

2020 Is the second consecutive edition of the CinC Conference in wich members of Bsicos Group and NANBIOSIS U27 are awarded with the MSA. In 2019 the winner was Violeta Monasterio with the work Influence of the Stimulation Current on the Differences between Cell and Tissue Electrophysiological Simulations.

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The University of Zaragoza, in the elite of the 500 best universities in the world

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as
Shanghai Ranking, which was made public on August 15, once again places the University of Zaragoza among the elite of the 500 best universities in the world.

This indicator organizes up to 20,000 university centers worldwide. Among the keys that have been able to positively influence the results of the research, according to the Vice Chancellor for Prospect, Sustainability and Infrastructure of the University of Zaragoza, Francisco Serón, are the increase in public campus funding for four years as well as the quality of their Scientists.

The University of Zaragoza houses three of NANBIOSIS Units:

U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit, led by Jesús Santamaría and Gema Martínez

U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit, led by Miguel Ángel Martínez Barca and Fany Peña

U27 High Performance Computing , led by Pablo Laguna

Since 2003, every August, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as “Shanghai Ranking,” is published, one of the international reference studies to compare higher education institutions. The ranking selects the 1,000 best educational institutions from a global point of view, among the 20,000 higher education centers that exist.

It is possibly the most famous and most recognized university analysis that values the quality of institutions in the generation of knowledge. The research community respects the results of these rankings because they are based on objective data and their classification is reproducible.


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NANBIOSIS scientists in Aragón, explain on TV their research againts coronavirus

The special program on the coronavirus pandemic  by “En Ruta con la Ciencia” of Aragón Televisión, analyzes different aspects of the disease with special attention to the work of Aragonese scientists. Among them, two  research groups that coordinate NANBIOSIS units 9 and 27.

Starting at minute 44’45 ‘of the program, Doctor Jesús Lázaro, researcher of the BSICoS group of I3A-UZ and CIBER-BBN, led by Pablo Laguna, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing Unit, explains his research. For almost 3 years, Jesús Lázaro had been working on a European project to develop a respiratory and heart rate monitoring system for patients with EPOC to control and predict episodes of worsening disease, but the current situation has led him to redirect his goal to try to provide solutions in this crisis and have creates an application for the mobile phone to detect from our home, if we have a viral infection: – “The parameters measured by this application have to do with the nervous system Autonomous, – explains Jesús Lázaro – they are the heart rate, its variability and the respiratory rate, these three parameters would allow observing a response through SARS-COV-2. The application works based on a technology that uses the flash of the mobile phone camera as a receiver to obtain a signal that is proportional to the blood volume of the finger put on the flash light, what allows detecting both, the number of beats per minute and the morphology of the arterial pulse, to obtain the respiratory rate. At the moment this application has been tested by the research staff and the next phase is to assess it with the general public. As the application is based on detecting autonomic markers, a very high sensitivity is expected, as well as a very low specificity, which would allow detecting not only SARS-COV-2 but analyzing these parameters in other contexts and in other diseases, even detecting other eventual viruses of other eventual pandemics ”.

Further information on the research project here

Starting at 28’14 ’’ One of the problems of the coronavirus test is what is known as false negatives, people who have passed the disease, but are not detected and could continue to spread it. A research group is developing early diagnostic tests to try to reduce this error rate. Pilar Martín Duque, at the IACS Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences, is a researcher of the NFP group of the INA and the CIBER-BBN, led by Jesús Santamaría, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit : – “All techniques have a detection limit and a sensitivity, it is necessary to have a minimum amount of virus in the body for the virus being detected, if the viral load is low it may not be detected at that time, it is possible that some patients with a low viral load recover, but in other cases the virus begins to grow and after two weeks they can be positives”- explains Pilar Martín. Her project makes PCRs more effective by concentrating the viral load before testing. – “There is a curious case, – continues Pilar -, of an American navy ship, moored in China, in which five sailors were detected to be infected by coronavirus, so they were quarantined during fourteen days and, after new tests with negative results, they were allowed to return to the United States on the ship. However halfway through the journey, the same five sailors suffered an outbreak of the disease. Therefore, our study would be useful for detecting patients with the virus tested for the first time or for not discharging patients who had been already diagnosed if they really are not yet negative”.  It is estimated that 10% of the population has infected 80%, these 10% are the so-called “superspreaders”, they are infected with a high viral load, but they feel well and do not know about it. For example, there have been several cases in choirs, such as the Choir of Zarzuela in Madrid, where 53 members were contagious out of the 80 members form the choir, this is because when singing or speaking very loudly, more drops are produced that carry the virus”. But why do some people become infected before others? Pilar explains that this is related to some, already known, receptors for entry of viruses, the AC2 receptors, and there are people who has more of these receptors than others.

Further information on the research here:

If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is the importance of health and research, a robust research system has the knowledge, tools, and human talent to respond to any situation. If we want to be prepared for the next pandemic, it is important and essential to continue betting on research.

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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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Automatic Detection of Slow Conducting Channels during Substrate Ablation of Scar-Related Ventricular Arrhythmias

Researchers of BSICoS Group form CIBER-BBN and I3A-Unizar, coordinating NANBIOSIS Unit 27 tooghether with researchers of Physense group of UPF and Hospital Clinic have carried out the research which results have been just published by Journal of Interventional Cardiology.

The researchers propose automatic analysis of EGM signals using the “Slow Conducting Channel Mapping Algorithm” that improves the accuracy of bipolar voltage measurements within the scar area, achieving a more detailed tissue characterization and being an operator-independent tool for accurate identification of SCCs. This last feature encourages the use of the algorithm together with EAM navigation systems as a reproducible approach for guiding VA ablation procedures in daily practice.

The computation was performed by the ICTS NANBIOSIS, U27 High Performance Computing Unit of the CIBER in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) at the University of Zaragoza. The CIBER-BBN is an initiative of Instituto de Salud Carlos III

Article of reference:

Alejandro Alcaine, Beatriz Jauregui, David Soto-Iglesias, Juan Acosta,
Diego Penela, Juan Fernandez-Armenta, Markus Linhart, David Andreu,
Lluıs Mont, Pablo Laguna, Oscar Camara, Juan Pablo Martiınez
and Antonio Berruezo, Automatic Detection of Slow Conducting Channels during Substrate Ablation of Scar-Related Ventricular Arrhythmias. Journal of Interventional Cardiology. Volume 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4386841

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Neurocardiac Oscillation in Repolarization and Cardiac Arrhythmias

David Sampedro and Esther Pueyo, from NANBIOSIS Unit 27 High Performance Computing (CIBER-BBN, I3A-UZ) have conducted a research about Neurocardiac Oscillation in Repolarization and Cardiac Arrhythmias.

Recent studies in humans and dogs have shown that ventricular repolarization exhibits a low-frequency (LF) oscillatory pattern following enhanced sympathetic activity, which has been related to arrhythmic risk. The appearance of LF oscillations in ventricular repolarization is, however, not immediate, but it may take up to some minutes.

This study seeks to characterize the time course of the action potential (AP) duration (APD) oscillatory behavior in response to sympathetic provocations, unveil its underlying mechanisms and establish a potential link to arrhythmogenesis under disease conditions

The conclussion was that the time course of LF oscillatory behavior of APD in response to increased sympathetic activity presents high inter-individual variability, which is associated with different expression and PKA phosph

Computations were performed by ICTS NANBIOSIS 

Article of reference:

David Adolfo Sampedro-Puente, Jesus Fernandez-BesNorbert Szentandrássy, Péter Nánási, Esther Pueyo. Time Course of Low-Frequency Oscillatory Behavior in Human Ventricular repolarization Following Enhanced Sympathetic Activity and Relation to Arrhythmogenesis” published in the scientifiec journal. Front. Physiol., 14 January 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01547

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