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News U6

News U6

Two new equipment items at the U6 of Nanbiosis with cofinancing from FEDER funds

The U6 of NANBIOSIS (Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit) has expanded its capabilities with 2 new equipment items for the characterization unit. Both equipment items will allow the characterization of some physico-chemical properties of different nanomaterials.

The Zetasizer ULTRA is used to measure the particle size of dispersed systems from sub-nanometer to several micrometers in diameter, using the technique of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Zetasizer systems are also used to analyze particle mobility and charge (Zeta potential) using the technique of Electrophoretic Light Scattering (ELS), and the molecular weight of particles in solution using Static Light Scattering (SLS).

The Green laser module for the NanoSight NS300 equipment. The NS300 allows analysis of the size distribution and concentration of all types of nanoparticles from 0.01 – 1 µm in diameter. This new laser module will allow NTA to measure a range of fluorescent particles, avoiding interferences during the measurements due to sample (auto)fluorescence and absorption.  This is done by detecting the fluorescence signal, which is emitted naturally by particles or as a result of fluorescence labeling or tagging


This 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
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Third edition of the course on “Characterization techniques for Particulate Materials” with Amable Bernabé

The Soft Matrials Lab at ICMAB-CSIC, run by Amable Bernabé (NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit, hosted from Monday, 5 October, to Wednesday, 7 October a course on “Characterization techniques for particulate materials”.

The course was an introduction to different techniques to characterize nanoparticles and other particulate matter, including the basic fundamentals, sample preparation, practical examples and results interpretation. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the participants of the course were less than in previous years, and during the practical sessions the group was divided, so less people was at the same time inside the lab, and the safety measures could be kept. 

Theory:

  • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) with Zetasizer Nano ZS (Malvern Instruments)
    • Size distribution
    • Z Potential 
  • Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) with Nanosight NS300 (Malvern Instruments)
    • Size distribution
    • Particle concentration
    • Fluorescence
  • Light Scattering (LS) with Mastersizer 2000 (Malvern Instruments)
    • Size distribution

Practice:

  • Sample analysis and practical cases of Dynamic Light Scattering with the Zetasizer Nano ZS (Malvern Instruments) equipment.
  • Samples analysis and practical cases of the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) technique with the Nanosight NS300 (Malvern Instruments) equipment.
  • Sample analysis and practical cases of the Light Scattering (LS) technique with the Mastersizer 2000 (Malvern Instruments) instrument.

Source of information ICMAB-CSIC

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Novel Quatsome nanovesicles, prepared using compressed CO2, for the development of advanced nanomedicines

Guillem Vargas Nadal, researcher at Nanomol Group – NANBIOSIS U6 (ICMAB-CSIC and CIBER-BBN) and Nanomol Technologies will defend his PhD thesis on Friday, 23 October 2020, at 11 am in an online session. The PhD Thesis Defense will be held by videoconference from the ICMAB Meeting Room. 

Further information and Registration to attend the PhD Thesis defense via Zoom nanoparticles at ICMAB-website.

Supervisors:

  • Nora Ventosa (Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit and leader of Nanomol Group of CIBER-BBN
  • Lidia Ferrer (Nanomol Technologies S.L.)

Abstract: The nanovesicles are being developed and investigated to be used in the pharmaceutical world to deliver drug and detect diseases. However, there are some drawbacks related to the nanovesicles that must be considered, like their stability and their applicability. Concerning that, in this Thesis we have developed a new type of stable nanovesicles called MKC-Quatsomes to be used as intravenous drug delivery systems. Their production, physicochemical characteristics, and stability are strongly related to the dispersant medium. Furthermore, the MKC-Quatsomes were labeled with fluorescent organic dyes, which present FRET phenomenon in order to overcome the drawbacks of the single-dye-loaded nanoparticles.


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Workshop “Translational issues in nanomedicine” with NANBIOSIS U6 researchers at ETPN2020

ETPN2020, the 15th annual event of ETPN, European Technology Platform on Nanomedicine will take place, fully virtual on Oct. 14-15 to share the latest trends and success stories in Nanomedicine and emerging Medtech.

In the frame of ETPN2020, on thursday Oct, 15, 12:00 will tak place the Workshop “Translational issues in nanomedicine” the workshop “Translational issues in nanomedicine” organized jointly by ETPN2020 and NMBP projects. Nora Ventosa, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit, will participate as coordinator of the european project Smart 4 Fabry

The workshop chairs will be Fabrice Navarro (Head of Laboratory at CEA LETI, France) and Alan Boyd (CEO & Founder of Boyds) (NEW DEAL H2020 project)

Registration deadline: Monday 12th October 2020 16:00 CET

Registration for free for the workshop for the NMBP projects, here:

To follow the complete ETPN event (ETPN members are free), click here

The latest version of the agenda is now to be found on: http://www.etpn2020.eu/e-program/

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Impact of Extracellular Vesicle Isolation Methods on Downstream miRNA Analysis in Semen

An article by Sara Larriba of the Human Molecular Genetics Group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), recently published by the International Journal of Molecular Science. entitled “Impact of Extracellular Vesicle Isolation Methods on Downstream miRNA Analysis in Semen: A Comparative Study“, acknowledges NANBIOSIS ICTS for its participation in the research results. The nanoparticle tracking analysis was performed by the ICTS NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit.

Abstract:

Seminal plasma (SP) contains a unique concentration of miRNA, mostly contained in small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) such as exosomes, some of which could be clinically useful for diagnosis and/or prognosis of urogenital diseases such as prostate cancer (PCa). We optimized several exosome-EV isolation technologies for their use in semen, evaluating EV purifying effectiveness and impact on the downstream analysis of miRNAs against results from the standard ultracentrifugation (UC) method to implement the use of SP sEV_miRNAs as noninvasive biomarkers for PCa. Our results evidenced that commercial kits designed to isolate exosomes/EVs from blood or urine are mostly applicable to SP, but showed quantitative and qualitative variability between them. ExoGAG 3500× g and the miRCURY Cell/Urine/CSF 1500× g methods resulted as equivalent alternative procedures to UC for isolating exosomes/sEVs from semen for nanoparticle characteristics and quality of RNA contained in vesicles. Additionally, the expression profile of the altered semen sEV-miRNAs in PCa varies depending on the EV isolation method applied. This is possibly due to different extraction techniques yielding different proportions of sEV subtypes. This is evidence that the exosome-EV isolation method has a significant impact on the analysis of the miRNAs contained within, with important consequences for their use as clinical biomarkers. Therefore, miRNA analysis results for EVs cannot be directly extrapolated between different EV isolation methods until clear markers for delineation between microvesicles and exosomes are established. However, EV extraction methodology affects combined models (semen exosome miRNA signatures plus blood Prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentration for PCa diagnosis) less; specifically our previously described (miR-142-3p + miR-142-5p + miR-223-3p + PSA) model functions as molecular marker from EVs from any of the three isolation methods, potentially improving the efficiency of PSA PCa diagnosis..

Article:

Impact of Extracellular Vesicle Isolation Methods on Downstream miRNA Analysis in Semen: A Comparative Study. Marina Mercadal, Carolina Herrero, Olga López-Rodrigo, Manel Castells, Alexandre de la Fuente, Francesc Vigués, Lluís Bassas and Sara Larriba. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5949; doi:10.3390/ijms21175949

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Nanoprobes for the next generation of Optical Imaging

Judit Morlà Folch, CIBER-BBN Researcher in Nanomol Group and NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit at ICMAB-CSIC is giving the seminar “Nanoprobes for the next generation of Optical Imaging“, today Monday, 5 October 2020 at 12 pm, Hosted by Nora Ventosa, Nanomol Group in the cycle of Online ICMAB PostDoc Talk.

Online Invited Seminar by Zoom. Register here to attend.

About the Seminar: Molecular imaging plays a vital role in the healthcare sector, since abnormal conditions and diseases are often diagnosed through imaging, while therapeutics methods used for the treatment of the abnormalities are often guided by imaging. Optical imaging is a highly sensitive technique and low-cost procedure in comparison to tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or ultrasounds among the other forms of imaging currently employed.  Among the imaging agents, fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) are emerging as an attractive alternative to the well-established fluorescent inorganic nanoparticles or small organic dyes. Their proper design allows one to obtain biocompatible probes with superior brightness and high photostability, although usually affected by low colloidal stability

Judit Morlà Folch began her postdoc in 2008 at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT, EEUU) under the Marie Curie Tecniospring and Postdoctoral Programme in collaboration with ICMAB-CSIC (Nanomol Group), where she is nowadays working on the development of fluorescent organic nanoparticles for bioimaging

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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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Expoquimia hosts the INDUSTRIAL DIALOGUES Webinars with Nora Ventosa

The International Meeting for Chemistry Expoquimia is hosting the INDUSTRIAL DIALOGUES Webinars, a total of 4 seminars discussing different topics related to the cores of the triennial meeting: circular economy, digitalization, and technology transference. This last topic will be covered by Nora Ventosa, Scientific Coordinator of NANBIOIS Unit 6Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit

On 4 June, Nora Ventosa, Nora Ventosa will be moderating the round table on the topic of technology transference both as a researcher of the Nanomol group, from CIBER-BBN and ICMAB-CSIC, and as part of the Expoquimia Organizing Comitée. The discussion will be focused on the topic Creating tools to make innovation a reality. Science and Industry in Action.

You can register to this webinars on the Expoquimia website and follow Expoquimia on Twitter for more updates on the event!

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New fluorescent organic nanoparticles to see the invisible

A new nanomaterial for bioimaging has been developed by researchers at NANBIOSIS Unit 6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit from the Nanomol group from ICMAB-CSIC and CIBER-BBN . The researchars are also members of the TECNIO technology transfer network ACCIÓ-Generalitat de Catalunya, together with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT, USA) and the University of Parma (UNIPR, Italy). The results of the study are the result of the TECNIOspring PLUS project co-financed by ACCIÓ and the European Commission.

It is true that it is very difficult to understand what happens in our bodies if we are unable to visualise it. For example, we currently know that tumour cells have the capacity to grow without control thanks to various microscopic techniques that have allowed us to enlarge them to such an extent that we have been able to see each cell perfectly. The design of microscopes and the optical and electronic engineering behind them has advanced very rapidly in recent years. In fact, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to researchers Eric Betzig, William E. Moerner and Stefan Hell, for the development of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. These advances have made it possible to see even what is inside cells, reaching the nanometer scale with high resolution.

Now, what happens when we are not able to see what we are looking for? This is where fluorescent probes come into play, molecules that provide a signal: they emit light at a certain wavelength once they are excited. These probes must meet a series of requirements, among which are: they must have a high luminosity or brightness, be totally biocompatible, and have high photo-stability and high dispersibility in physiological media.

The Nanomol group has developed new fluorescent probes, specifically fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs). These new FONs are based on Quatsomes (QSs), nanovesicules produced by the same group through a green technology (Delos-susp, Nanomol Technologies SL), which are charged with fluorophores or fluorescent molecules – specifically two types of carbocyanins. The nanoparticles have an average diameter of 120 nm and have demonstrated good biocompatibility and high stability, both over time and once exposed to high power laser irradiation.

Characterization of nanovesicles was made at the ICTS “NANBIOSIS”, more specifically by the Unit 6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit of CIBER-BBN.

“The brightness achieved is especially relevant: these new fluorescent nanoparticles are about 100 times brighter than other commercial fluorescent nanoparticles, such as Quantum Dots, thus allowing the acquisition of high quality images” explains Judit Morla-Folch, postdoctoral researcher of the Nanomol group at the ICMAB and first author of the study, published in the journal ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces.

In addition, these nanoparticles have another singularity, and that is that they experience Förster resonance energy transfer, usually abbreviated as FRET. This phenomenon allows for improved image acquisition as it significantly reduces self-absorption and therefore background noise during bioimage acquisition. In addition, the FRET effect allows the integrity of the nanoparticle to be monitored, a great advantage for biomedical applications where it is necessary to know when the nanovesicle remains as a whole or it disintegrates.

In summary, the fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) developed by the Nanomol group of the ICMAB-CSIC in collaboration with the NJIT (USA) and the UNIPR (Italy) constitute a promising platform for bioimaging and for the design of medical diagnostic kits.

Cover Figure: The new fluorescent organic nanoparticles allow to improve the visualization of cells and tissues under the microscope.

Reference article:

Dye-Loaded Quatsomes Exhibiting FRET as Nanoprobes for Bioimaging
Judit Morla-Folch, Guillem Vargas-Nadal, Tinghan Zhao, Cristina Sissa, Antonio Ardizzone, Siarhei Kurhuzenkau, Mariana Köber, Mehrun Uddin, Anna Painelli, Jaume Veciana, Kevin D. Belfield, and Nora Ventosa
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 18, 20253–20262
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c03040

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Scientists from NANBIOSIS selected by Barcelona Activa “Preacceleration” Program

Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia, (Scientific Director and Coordinator of NANBIOSIS U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit from CIBER-BBN and ICMAB_CSIC), have been selected as part of the NARTIC Project team for an incubation program by Barcelona Activa. NARTIC is a biotech project for the development of molecular therapy based on Quatsomes for diseases such as cancer.

The NARTIC project has recently been selected for the 6th edition of the Preacceleration Program, an incubation program developed by Barcelona Activa for starting ventures with a high technological impact.

The project team includes two researchers from the Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials (NANOMOL) group (from CIBER-BBN and ICMAB-CSIC): Nora Ventosa, as scientific advisor, and Nathaly Segovia, as scientific consultant for technology transfer. The rest of the team is formed by Ariadna Boloix, PhD fellow between the ICMAB and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), as entrepreneur, Miquel Segura, researcher at VHIR, as scientific advisor, and Martí Archs, Innovation & Tech Transfer Project Manager at VHIR, as innovation and tech transfer consultant.

The project has already developed a laboratory scale proof of concept for their nanomedicine, which uses RNA molecules conjugated to Quatsomes to design a biocompatible lipidic nanoparticle that transports RNA molecules, like microRNAs or siRNAs, and releases them within cancerous cells to induce an anti-tumoral activity. This has been achieved through collaboration between the Recerca Translacional del Càncer Infantil i de l’Adolescència group at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the NANOMOL team at ICMAB.

This program will allow to further define the business model for the project, as well as kickstart their access to the market, through workshops with experts in the field, covering topics like product discovery, lean start ups, and intelectual property, amongst others. They will also get access to the MediaTIC incubator and the possibility of a 5.000€ prize at the end of the process.

For further information: here

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