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News U4

News U4

Three Nanbiosis units work in the development of new sensors for the better detection of the fungus P. jirovecii, responsible for Pneumocystis pneumonia

Researchers from the CIBER-BBN have succeeded in developing detection systems for Pneumocystis jirovecii, an atypical fungus responsible for very serious pneumonia in immunosuppressed patients. These results, published in the journal Nanomaterials, are the result of collaboration between the CIBER-BBN groups led by Laura Lechuga, Ramon Eritja and Ramón Martínez Máñez, and the CIBERESP group led by Enrique J. Calderón.

The researchers acknowledge the paricipation of three NANBIOSIS units of CIBER-BBN:

The detection of the fungus in patients, who may be asymptomatic carriers until they develop pneumonia, is currently carried out using the PCR technique, requiring several hours, adequate facilities and qualified personnel to detect it. Now, the application of Nanotechnology has allowed the development of more sensitive and efficient biosensors to detect specific sequences corresponding to pathogens responsible for infectious diseases in a shorter time and without the need for large infrastructures.

In this case, a specific sequence corresponding to the gene belonging to the ribosomal subunit (mtLSU rRNA) of the P. jirovecii fungus has been detected using hairpin-shaped capture probes. These specific probes, as pointed out by Dr. Aviñó, a researcher at CIBER-BBN at the IQAC-CSIC, “are more efficient and are capable of recognizing a specific genomic sequence of the fungus and forming very stable triplex structures that can be detected on different platforms. biosensor “.

Laura Lechuga’s team at ICN2, through the use of an optical biosensor based on SPR technology, has detected in real time and without the use of markers, P. jirovecii in bronchoalveolar lavages and nasopharyngeal aspirates with a detection limit of nM level and in just a few minutes.

Likewise, the group led by Ramón Martínez-Máñez, scientific director of CIBER-BBN and principal investigator of the IQMA-IDM group at the Universitat Politècnica de València, has used the strategy of molecular gates composed of an anodic albumin matrix to develop a sensor capable of to efficiently detect real P. jirovecii samples without previous amplification steps in as little as one hour.

“These advances in the diagnosis of PCP have great potential for the development of highly sensitive point-of-care devices using direct patient samples and applicable in a wide variety of settings,” says the CIBERESP group leader. Enrique J. Calderón from the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital in Seville.

The researchers also emphasize that these techniques are very selective and can discriminate patients with other respiratory diseases derived from other microorganisms, thus allowing a more reliable diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Articles of reference:

Calvo-Lozano, O., Aviñó, A., Friaza, V., Medina-Escuela, A., S Huertas, C., Calderón, E. J., Eritja, E., Lechuga, L. M. (2020). Fast and accurate pneumocystis pneumonia diagnosis in human samples using a label-free plasmonic biosensor. Nanomaterials, 10(6), 1246. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061246

Pla, L., Santiago-Felipe, S., Aviñó, A., Eritja, R., Ruiz-Gaitán, A., Pemán, J., Friaza, V., Calderón, E.J. Martínez-Máñez, R., Aznar E. (2020). Triplex hybridization-based nanosystem for the rapid screening of Pneumocystis pneumonia in clinical samples. Journal of Fungi, 6(4), 292. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040292

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2020 Rei Jaume I Awards ceremony – Laura Lechuga NANBIOSIS U4-

This monday 30 of october has taken place the traditional ceremony of Rei Jaume I Awards in Valencia, granted to six professionals in research, science and economics.

At the ceremony, the awards have been given to the winners of the six categories: Rei Jaume I Basic Research Prize 2020 to Fco. José García Vidal; Rei Jaume I Economy Prize 2020 to Diego Puga; Rei Jaume I Medical Research Prize 2020 to Miguel Beato del Rosal; Rei Jaume I Environmental Protection Award 2020 to Fernando T. Maestre; Rei Jaume I New Technologies Award 2020 to Laura Lechuga and Rei Jaume I Entrepreneur Award 2020 to Verónica Pascual.

Queen Letizia has led the event apologizing for the absence of King Felipe VI for being in quarantine, and had estated that the awards constitute “the example of how research, science, technology and entrepreneurship are the way that gives us as a society the tools to face challenges such as those that the pandemic has put on the table”. After, the Queen pointed out that “the talent, effort and generosity” of the winners of the Rei Jaime I Awards, one of the best endowed in Spain with 100,000 euros each discipline , show the ability to project a “modern, supportive and strong” Spain.Queen Letizia has emphasizes at the Rei Jaume I Awards that research is “essential” to face the pandemic.

The winners defend that the coronavirus has reaffirmed the importance of science and that the investment in science must be accompanied by a change in the model.

Laura Lechuga (New Technologies 2020 award), has called for a pact for science to provide stability because science requires long-term financing and structures, as well as decent salaries that prevent the brain drain that is formed with money public. “It is a millionaire loss,” she pointed out.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga Gomez, full professor of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), head of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications group at the ICN2 and a member of the Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBER-BBN), received the New Technologies Award for her career in the field of photonic and phononic nanobiosensors. Prof. Lechuga is recently working on a EU funded project (CoNVaT) aiming to apply these technologies to develop a fast, portable and cheap device for the diagnostic of COVID-19.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga has been recently awarded with the two most prominent scientific Prizes in Spain Rei Jaume I and the Spanish National Research Award.

The research group led by Laura Lechuga on Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NAnoB2A) from CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC, coordinators of unit 4 ot NANBIOSIS ICTS have been folloing the Rei Jaume I awards ceremony in streaming, from the ICN2-CSIC, very proud of Laura Lechuga!

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NANBIOSIS-ICTS AT CASEIB 2020

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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Laura Lechuga: awarded the most important recognition in Spain in the field of scientific research

The Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit Laura Lechuga, has been awarded the 2020 National Research Prize, the most important recognition in Spain in the field of scientific research, granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The National Research Awards, created in 1982, aim to distinguish the merit of those researchers of Spanish nationality who are carrying out outstanding work in scientific fields of international relevance and who exceptionally contribute to the advancement of science, to the transfer of technology and the progress of humanity. These awards have a total amount of 300,000 euros, (30,000 euros each award).

National Award “Juan de la Cierva”, in the area of ​​Technology Transfer
Laura Lechuga, group leader of the CIBER-BBN at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), a joint GENCAT-CSIC-UAB center, has received the Juan de la Cierva National Award, in the area of ​​Technology Transfer, for her contribution innovator of diagnostic methods through pioneering projects such as the development of “lab-on-a-chip” platforms.

The jury highlighted the complete nature of her career, which combines high-quality scientific activity with technology transfer, not only in the development of patents but also in terms of promoting the creation of spin-off companies. All this, together with the leadership and coordination of important projects at the international level, and the impact of her work on the early diagnosis of diseases, makes her worthy of this distinction.

Prof. Lechuga has received several awards and recognitions throughout her career, such as the Physics, Innovation and Technology Award from the Royal Spanish Physics Society and the BBVA Foundation in 2016, a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) since 2014, the Ada 2020 Byron Award, from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and, recently, the Rei Jaume I New Technologies 2020 Award, awarded by the Valencian Government and the Rei Jaume I Awards Foundation.

Source of information: Ministry of Science and Innovation.

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Laura Lechuga awarded the 2020 Rei Jaume I Prize in New Technologies

The Valencian Government (Generalitat Valenciana), together with the Foundation Premios Rei Jaume I, announced today the awardees of the 32th edition of the Rei Jaume I Awards, one of the highest recognitions for a research career in Spain. Prof. Laura M. Lechuga Gomez, Full Professor of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), head of the NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit  and the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group (of CIBER-BBN and the ICN2), has received the New Technologies Award.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga received her PhD in Chemistry from the University Complutense of Madrid (Spain) in 1992. The principal focus of her research is the development of novel nanobiosensor devices based on nanoplasmonics and silicon-based photonics principles, including surface biofunctionalization, microfluidics for automatic fluid delivery and complete lab-on-a-chip integration for point-of-care devices. The use of nanobiosensor devices for a wide range of challenging clinical and environmental applications is one of her main objectives.

She has published over 270 articles, book chapters and proceedings, has 8 families of patents, and has presented her work worldwide in more than 350 invited talks. She has co-founded two spin-offs companies. has been Adjunct Professor at The Artic University of Norway (2012-2016) and Distinguished Visiting professor at University of Campinas (Brazil) (2013-2017). Prof. Lechuga is Associate Editor of Analyst (RSC) and has been Associate Editor in other two Physics and Engineering Journals. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of several high-level research Centres around the world and has taken part in numerous international evaluation panels. Prof. Lechuga has also participated in many EU funded projects (some of them as Coordinator) and has been part of various EU Evaluation Panels in the 6th, 7th and H2020 Framework Programmes (including Adv. ERC panels).

The other awardees of this year’s edition are: 

  • In Basic Research: Francisco José García Vidal 
  • in Economy: Diego Puga Pequeño 
  • in Medical Research: Miguel Beato del Rosal
  • in Environment Protection: Fernando Maestre Gil
  • in Entrepreneur: Verónica Pascual Boé

Each of the six categories is awarded with 100,000 euros to be used mainly for research and innovation activities, a gold medal and diploma.

The prizes are aimed to recognize people whose work is highly significant and has significantly contributed to the advancement of their research field having been developed for the most part in Spain. Prof. Laura M. Lechuga Gomez receives the New Technologies Award for her long innovative career in the field of nanobiosensors.

The gury has specifically recognized hes important contributions to the design and development of new essential biosensors for early and rapid clinical diagnosis, hes outstanding groundbreaking research in silicon photonics and nanoplasmic results in ultrasensitive tagless detection, the microfluidics and lab integration on a chip, what enabled real devices at the point of care with many bioanalytical applications, as well as the creation of spin-off companies that impact our society and its economy.

Prof. Lechuga has previously received several prizes and recognitions along her career, such as the Prize of Physics, Innovation and Technology from the Spanish Royal Society of Physics and BBVA Foundation in 2016, the Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) award in 2014,  the Ada Byron Prize for Technological Women in 2020 among others.

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Women Technologist Ada Byron Award to Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4.

The organizing committee and jury of the seventh edition of the Ada Byron Prize for Technological Women, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Deusto, have awarded the 2020 award to Prof. Laura Lechuga Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit of ICN2-CSIC and CIBER-BBN.

Laura Lechuga has a degree in Chemical Sciences and is currently a research professor at the CSIC of Barcelona, Head of the Group of Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications. Her research area focuses on Nanomedicine, Nanodiagnosis and the technological development of nanophotonic biosensors and their integration into portable Point-of-Care (POC) platforms, as well as their application in decentralized clinical and environmental diagnosis.

The award is aimed at women with a degree or a career in technological areas, engineering and other scientific fields that are closely related to technology.

This award aims to:

  • Give visibility to women in the world of technology recognising their outstanding work, still not widely known for society at large.
  • Enrich society with technological outreach events, providing female models to new generations.
  • Promote technological vocations by bringing technology closer to female young people, highlighting the positive aspects, especially on female vocations.
  • Make the importance of technology for economic growth and as a future value for society more socially visible.

Further information

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How Nanophotonic Label-Free Biosensors Can Contribute to Rapid and Massive Diagnostics of Respiratory Virus Infections: COVID-19 Case

An accurate and explanatory review recently published in ACS Sensors. led by Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit from CIBER-BBN and ICN2, discusses current diagnostic techniques for COVID-19 and possible future developments in this field. In particular, after highlighting the advantages and limitations of the methods available at present, the article introduces optical biosensors and illustrates how nanophotonic label-free devices can contribute to meet the emerging needs in this context.

For further information at ICN2 website

Reference article:

Maria Soler, Maria Carmen Estevez, Maria Cardenosa-Rubio, Alejandro Astua, and Laura M. Lechuga, How Nanophotonic Label-Free Biosensors Can Contribute to Rapid and Massive Diagnostics of Respiratory Virus Infections: COVID-19 Case; ACS Sensors, August 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.0c01180

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NANBIOSIS U4 expands its capabilities with a upgrades

NANBIOSIS, U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit has expanded its capabilities with two upgrades:

Upgrade of UV / Ozone cleaner for NanoeNabler and

Upgrade of the optics and the microfluidic components of the Biodetection Unit (SPR biosensor)

This upgrade and new equipment have been confinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Plurirregional Operational Program of Spain (POPE)2014-2020

European Regional Development Fund
Upgrade of UV / Ozone cleaner for NanoeNabler
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The European Commission releases a video showing the European project against coronavirus led by prof Laura Lechuga

The European Commission Representation in Barcelona has published the five-minute video “The EU fights the Covid-19 from Catalonia” in which four researchers explain the projects they are working on.

The researchers appearing in the video are  Laura Lechuga Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 4 from CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC and Group Leader of CIBER-BBN at the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group), who works on a sensor to detect the coronavirus in a faster, easier and cheaper way than with current PCRs, Núria Montserrat (IBEC), who works on micro-kidneys made from stem cells to test a drug able to block the virus, Alfonso Valencia (BSC), who explains the huge computation power that the BSC can bring into play to find already existent drugs that may be suitable to treat Covid-19,  and Gabriel Anzaladi (Eurecat), who studies the presence of the virus in wastewater to estimate the people infected in a given zone or the probability of a new outbreak.

The European Commission is present in all Member States through a network of offices, called “representations”, which aim to report on the Commission’s activity and to bring the policies of the European Union closer to citizens. They are also in charge of capturing the social reality and the climate of opinion at street level and transferring this information to the European institutions in Brussels so that their policies better respond to the needs of citizens. In Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, this work is carried out by the “Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona”.

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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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