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News U7

News U7

STRYKER & NANBIOSIS start a promising line of biomedical research collaboration

On January 23-24th a two-day meeting between NANBIOSIS and Stryker Trauma GmbH, took place at the Carlos III Health Institute, in Madrid, to explore synergies and potential joint initiatives.  

Nils Reimers and Robin Buescher from Stryker, presented some of their research and upcoming projects in the field of trauma medical devices, and representatives from NANBIOSIS’ units -Marisa González from U16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit, Teresa Galán from U7, Nanotechnology Unit, Gemma Pascual from U17 Confocal Microscopy Service, from CIBER-BBN, Marisa García from U28 (Bionand) and José Francisco Guillén and Francisco Sanchez Margallo from the units of the Jesús Usón Minimum Invasive Surgery Center (CCMIJU) , together with Jesús, Izco Executive Director of NANBIOSIS and Ramon Martínez, Scientific Director of CIBER-BBN- explained their technologies.

The second day, the meeting location was moved to the CCMIJU in Cáceres, to visit the Center facilities and continue conversations.

All attendees expressed their satisfaction with the development of the meeting and agreed to continue with the explorations in forthcoming meetings.

Photo caption: From left to right: José Francisco Guillén (Quality Guarantee Manager of CCMIJU),  Jesús Izco (NANBIOSIS Executive Director), Francisco Sanchez Margallo (Scientific Director of CCMIJU), Nils Reimers (Senior Manager R&D – Stryker Trauma GmbH), Robin Buescher (Director R&D Stryker Trauma GmbH), Margarita Casado (Management Staff of NANBIOSIS)”

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Nanopatterns of Surface-Bound EphrinB1 Produce Multivalent Ligand–Receptor Interactions That Tune EphB2 Receptor Clustering

Researchers  of NANBIOSIS U7. Nanotechnology Unit, are coauthors of the article “Nanopatterns of Surface-Bound EphrinB1 Produce Multivalent Ligand–Receptor Interactions That Tune EphB2 Receptor Clustering” published by NanoLetters, ACC Publications.

The authors present a nanostructured surface able to produce multivalent interactions between surface-bound ephrinB1 ligands and membrane EphB2 receptors. They have created ephrinB1 nanopatterns of regular size (<30 nm in diameter) by using self-assembled diblock copolymers. Next, they have used a statistically enhanced version of the Number and Brightness technique, which can discriminate—with molecular sensitivity—the oligomeric states of diffusive species to quantitatively track the EphB2 receptor oligomerization process in real time. The results indicate that a stimulation using randomly distributed surface-bound ligands was not sufficient to fully induce receptor aggregation. Conversely, when nanopatterned onto our substrates, the ligands effectively induced a strong receptor oligomerization. This presentation of ligands improved the clustering efficiency of conventional ligand delivery systems, as it required a 9-fold lower ligand surface coverage and included faster receptor clustering kinetics compared to traditional cross-linked ligands.

In conclusion, nanostructured diblock copolymers constitute a novel strategy to induce multivalent ligand–receptor interactions leading to a stronger, faster, and more efficient receptor activation, thus providing a useful strategy to precisely tune and potentiate receptor responses. The efficiency of these materials at inducing cell responses can benefit applications such as the design of new bioactive materials and drug-delivery systems


Nanopatterns of Surface-Bound EphrinB1 Produce Multivalent Ligand–Receptor Interactions That Tune EphB2 Receptor Clustering. Verónica Hortigüela, Enara Larrañaga, Francesco Cutrale, Anna Seriola, María García-Díaz, Anna Lagunas, Jordi Andilla, Pablo Loza-Alvarez, Josep Samitier, Samuel Ojosnegros, and Elena Martínez. Nano Letters 2018 18 (1), 629-637 DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04904


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Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 7, Panelist in a round table about the current situation of biomedical research

Last month NANBIOSIS Unit 7 Nanotechnology Unit Scientific Director Josep Samitier was one of the panelists in a round table organised by the Cercle de Salut, an association devoted to improving the health system so that it may respond adequately to the challenges posed by society.

In the discussion at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB) entitled ‘L’excel·lència en la recerca, reptes immediats’, Josep and the other participants – ISGlobal director Antoni Plasencia and IrsiCaixa director Bonaventura Clotet – discussed the current situation of biomedical research in Catalonia. In particular, the hot topic under discussion was the impact that recent regulatory and administrative changes may have on its competitiveness.

Samitier is a key figure of influence in this area, not only as president of ACER (the Associació Catalana d’Entitats de Recerca, but also with IBEC being a member of SOMMa, the alliance of the country’s 41 Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu units. One of SOMMa’s first actions was the document ‘Informe SOMMa: Acciones necesarias para salvaguardar la competitividad de la ciencia’ to attract the attention of politicians to address some of the problems currently hampering research in the country, such as VAT deduction, public contracting, and the hiring of personnel.

The proceedings began with a presentation of the document on behalf of SOMMa by Bruna Vives, managing director of the CRG, and the round table moderator was Jordi Camí, director general of the PRBB and the Fundació Pasqual Maragall. The session was closed by Cercle de Salut vicepresident Lluis Bohigas.

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«The combination of nanotechnology with bioengineering and biomedicine allows us to act on the human body on a molecular scale»

Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 7 Nanotechnology Unit, has been highlighted in ‘Dominical’ supplement of the Diari de Girona last week.

More information here 

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NANBIOSIS U7 Scientific Director, J Samitier and his vision on technology as a source of eternal youth

Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of U7 of NANBIOSIS, Nanotechnology Unit, has been recently featured in an article in the Jornal “El Mundo”

Following the publication of the book “The Death of Death” by Jose Luis Cordeiro and David Wood, which says that by 2045 death will optional thanks to new technologies finding a way to cure aging, the article interviewed Josep Samitier, to have a more realistic point of view.

The book ‘Death of death’ assures that in 2045 die will be something optional thanks to the new technologies will find a way to cure aging based on success examples of regenerative medicine, stem cell treatments, therapies genetics, 3D printing of organs or bioengineering, that in approximately 30 years aging will be a curable disease, that young indefinite longevity will be achieved, or, in other words, the possibility of being young indefinitely and that death will be, defect, something optional.

José Luis Cordeiro, co-author of the book goes back to 1950 to remember that it was there when it was discovered that the problem of cancer is that it is biologically immortal. They are, in the same way, germ cells or some stem cells, present in all organisms. “What we did not have before is the technology we have today, which allows us to detect the genetics of these cells, when the body dies, the germ cells, the mother and the cancer die, because the food ends, but if they are isolated and they are kept in the right environment, these cells are kept alive permanently”. So, his proposal is to investigate what determines that these are immortal cells and try to imitate the process to find the way that this affect our aging until it stops.

Dr. Angel Raya, Principal Investigator of the CIBER-BBN in the Center of Regenerafiva medicine of Barcelona clarifies that “the diseases that affect us in relation with aging are diseases in which the symptom is produced by the failure of one of the parts of the system, the idea is that if we recover the function of that part in a functioning system, the patient will not have that disease, but that does not mean that he will have more life”.

According to Josep Samitier, “there are fundamental problems associated with aging, such as the loss of muscle mass, the loss of certain capacities …, the human being has cells that are born, develop, die and they are replaced by others, but as we gain years, the replacement stops occurring, understanding. Well this, that does not happen and is maintainance is much more complicated”. In short, the experts consulted affirm that the human body is not reduced to the parts or organs that make it up, and that fixing its mechanical failures will not result in lengthen life indefinitely. “A house made of billets can crumble, but the materials that constituted it, the iron and silicon atoms that form the sand and the iron beams will remain there even if the house disappears,” continues Samitier, “In the same way, we are made up of water, carbohydrates, fats …, the atoms of these substances endure and are quite immortal, but we have to think about the organization of this system, and what we see is that it is something difficult to maintain in a functional way for many years. Advances in bioengineering will help us to live longer and with better quality of life, we will solve some issues and we will have options to fix hearts after heart attacks and things like that, but the problem is not that one thing fails, it is that several fail”.


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Two Units of NANBIOSIS participates in the CIBERONC – CIBER-BBN collaboratives projects

Scientists from two NANBIOSIS units participate in two of the three projects selected in the Call CIBER-BBN / CIBERONC.

On April 13, the 1st CIBERONC – CIBER-BBN Collaborative Projects Forum took place at the National School of Health (Carlos III Health Institute). The purpose of the event was to carry out the resolution of the call for collaborative seed projects between the two areas.

During the forum, 12 proposals for collaborative projects were presented, encompassed in four thematic sessions: new nano-devices, new strategies for 3D culture, phototherapy and drug release. All the proposals included the application of some of the latest innovations in the fields of bioengineering, biomaterials and nanomedicine to try to respond to a clinical oncological need.


Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 7 , together with Rosa Noguera of CIBERONC, coordinates the project “3D models in vitro for the studies of mechanotherapy in neuroblastoma“. This project addresses a very novel topic of undoubted scientific interest: the effect of the physical properties that the extracellular matrix contributes to the progression and treatment of tumors. In addition, the project has a high translational value and could be applicable not only to neuroblastoma but to other types of tumors and the general metastatic process.

The groups led by Jaime Veciana, Scientific Director NANBIOSIS and of NANBIOSIS unit 6, toguether with Joaquín Arribas of CIBERONC, will develop the project  “Artificial lymphatic nodes for the immunotherapy of cancer (ALYCIA)” coordinated by the researchers Cristina Bernadó (CIBERONC) and Judit Guasch ( CIBER-BBN). This project offers the possibility of studying the role of immune cells with a more efficient system for obtaining T cells, controlling the possible immune response that can be generated by inoculating artificial lymph nodes. It is an innovative project, with great potential and many expectations

Further information

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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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3D bioprinting applied to cancer diagnostics

Mateu Pla Roca, Scientific Coordinator of Unit 7 of NANBIOSIS /IBEC Core Facilities has won CaixaImpulse funding for his project “3D bioprinted array tissue-like cores: tissue-like controls for cancer diagnostics” (3DBIOcores), which will be carried out in collaboration with Antoni Martinez, head of the histopathology service at Hospital Clinic. CaixaImpulse programme aims to promote technology transfer in science.

The project 3DBIOcores will take advantage of 3D bioprinting to create quality control samples that assure and improve cancer diagnostics. Usually, diagnosis is done by histopathology – the microscopic examination of tissues – and then the biomarkers that are found are quantified. However, histological techniques face some degree of variability that can lead to misinterpretation, and for this reason, such tests require quality control samples to be processed side-by-side with patient samples to verify the final diagnosis.

Currently, hospitals use surplus human tissue which is known to express the required biomarkers as quality control samples, but these are scarce and non-homogeneous, and their use raises ethical issues. Mateu’s project proposes 3DBIOcores as a new source of these essential controls. Taking advantage of 3D bioprinting technology, tissue-like structures containing cell lines with relevant cancer biomarkers will be produced and used as a new source of control samples.

“3DBIOcores will be a real innovation in histopathology analysis, with the potential to have an enormous impact on cancer diagnosis based on the histopathological analysis of biopsies, improving precision in cancer treatment and reducing diagnostic errors,” says Mateu.

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NANBIOSIS in three projects funded by CaixaIMPULSE

La Caixa has just presented the twenty projects selected by CaixaImpulse in a call with more than 70 proposals from different research centres, hospitals and universities. CaixaImpulse is an initiative unique in Spain that aims to boost research in biotechnology and life sciences to develop projects that generate value in society.

Among the selected projects there are two coordinated by NANBIOSIS researchers: Pseudomonas aeruginosa diagnosis led by Miriam Corredor Sánchez (Unit 2 of NANBIOSIS) and ISCHEMSURG, led by Monica Mir (Unit 7 of NANBIOSIS). In addition, the project ExoLiver, in which participates Rosa Villa and the research group coordinating Unit 8 of NANBIOSIS, has been also granted.

NANBIOSIS in three projects funded by CaixaIMPULSE.
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Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of Unit 7 of NANBIOSIS, was named new president of the Associació Catalana d’Entitats de Recerca (ACER).

Associació Catalana d’Entitats de Recerca (ACER) is an independent association of more than 40 institutions in Catalonia – including CRG, IRB, ICFO, IBEC, VHIR and IDIBAPS – which conduct research as their principal mission. The collective vocation of the associated organisations is to contribute to defining the scientific and research priorities and policies in Catalonia, and to optimise their management and implementation in their respective areas  by representing its associated centres, encouraging collaboration and the coordinated exchange of information, promoting synergies with similar agencies related to local, national or international research, and contributing to the improvement of scientific understanding in society.

The Director’s Board, (in the picture) is the chartered body that rules, manages, administrates and represents the association, and its members are chosen by the General Assembly. The President and Secretary of ACER are also those of the Board, and are chosen by the General Assembly from among its members.

Josep Samitier, Scientific Director of Unit 7 of NANBIOSIS_named new president of ACER
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