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U18. Nanotoxicology Unit

Ciber bbn

U18. Nanotoxicology Unit

    • Scientific Director: Prof. Ramón Mangues rmangues@santpau.cat
    • Scientific Coordinator: Dra.Isolda Casanova ICasanova@santpau.cat
    • Entities: Institut de Recerca. Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau 
    • Address: Hospital Santa Pau. c/Sant Antoni M. Claret, 167, 08025, Barcelona
    • Phone: +34 935 537 918
    • Web: WEB
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This Unit is located in the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, in Barcelona, and is coordinated by Dr. Ramón Mangues, PI of the Oncogenesis and Antitumor Drug Group. The main objective of the Nanotoxicology Unit is to assess the toxicity of new drugs, nanoparticles or nanotechnology-based biomaterials in in vitro and in vivo systems, with the goal of optimizing lead compounds and identifying those with the highest probability of success in the preclinical programme due to their greater safety and tolerability or reduced toxicity. The Unit has rooms equipped for cell culture, for cryopreservation of samples and cell lines, and for sample preparation and analysis and animal facilities for in vivo experimentation.

Equipment: The Unit has access to flow cytometers, sorters, confocal microscope and other equipment of the Platforms available at the Hospital Research Institute as well as housing facilities for small rodents (rat and mouse).

Active projects

TitleFundin: OrganismCall: Funding source Role
ICTS-2017-10-CIBER-2Acquisition and istallation of infrastrucuture to complemntUnis 3-Synthesis of Peptides, U18-Nanotoxicology y U20-In vivoExperimentMinisterio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)Programa Operativo FEDER de Crecimiento Inteligente 2014-2020 (POCInt)Coordinator
SAF2017-90810-REDIStrategic Promotion and coordinated management of Nanbiosis: Pronanbiosis IIAgencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI)Acciones de dinamización «REDES DE EXCELENCIA» -ICTS 2017Coordinator

Other projects

RefTitleFunding OrganismUnit Role
PI15/00378Intelligent nanoconjugates for targeted therapy of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC)Instituto de Salud Carlos IIIWorking package
PIE15/00028Targeted nanocongugates for the selective elimination of stem cells in disseminated cancerInstituto de Salud Carlos IIIWorking package
PI15/00272Design of intelligent nanoconjugates for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.Instituto de Salud Carlos IIIParticipant
CP15/00163Maria Virtudes Céspedes Navarro Contracts Miguel Servet Type IInstituto de Salud Carlos IIIWorking package
CD14/00055Contract SARA BORRELLInstituto de Salud Carlos IIIWorking package
Marato 416/C/2030TV32013-132031Genotoxic nanoparticles targeting colorectal cancer stem cellsMarato TV3Participant



  • Cespedes M.V., Guillen M.J., Lopez-Casas P.P., Sarno F., Gallardo A., Alamo P. et al. Lurbinectedin induces depletion of tumor-associated macrophages, an essential component of its in vivo synergism with gem;citabine, in pancreatic adenocarcinoma mouse models. DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms. 2016;9(12):1461-1471.
  • Rueda F., Cespedes M.V., Sanchez-Chardi A., Seras-Franzoso J., Pesarrodona M., Ferrer-Miralles N. et al. Structural and functional features of self-assembling protein nanoparticles produced in endotoxin-free Escherichia coli. Microbial Cell Factories. 2016;15(1):-.
  • Céspedes MV, Unzueta U, Álamo P, Gallardo A, Sala R, Casanova I et al. Cancer-specific uptake of a liganded protein nanocarrier targeting aggressive CXCR4+ colorectal cancer models.Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine. 2016;12(7):-.
  • Cespedes M.V., Fernandez Y., Unzueta U., Mendoza R., Seras-Franzoso J., Sanchez-Chardi A. et al. Bacterial mimetics of endocrine secretory granules as immobilized in vivo depots for functional protein drugs. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:-.
  • Vazquez E., Mangues R., Villaverde A.. Functional recruitment for drug delivery through protein-based nanotechnologies. Nanomedicine. 2016;11(11):1333-1336.
  • Serna N., Cespedes M.V., Saccardo P., Xu Z., Unzueta U., Alamo P. et al. Rational engineering of single-chain polypeptides into protein-only, BBB-targeted nanoparticles. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine. 2016;12(5):1241-1251.
  • Cano-Garrido O, Céspedes MV, Unzueta U, Saccardo P, Roldán M, Sánchez-Chardi A et al. CXCR4(+)-targeted protein nanoparticles produced in the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis.Nanomedicine (London, England). 2016;11(18):-.
  • Rueda F., Gasser B., Sanchez-Chardi A., Roldan M., Villegas S., Puxbaum V. et al. Functional inclusion bodies produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Microbial Cell Factories. 2016;15(1):-.
  • Pesarrodona M., Fernandez Y., Foradada L., Sanchez-Chardi A., Conchillo-Sole O., Unzueta U. et al. Conformational and functional variants of CD44-targeted protein nanoparticles bio-produced in bacteria. Biofabrication. 2016;8(2):-.

News U18

04 Apr

Protein-only Materials offer a new hope in colorectal cancer treatment

Breakthrough colorectal cancer treatment unveiled by NANBIOSIS Units promises enhanced precision & efficacy in targeted cancer therapies. March 2024, UAB/Institut de Recerca Sant Pau/CIBER-BBN (Barcelona) As we leave World Colorectal Cancer Day 2024 behind, marked on March 31st, there have been significant highlights in cancer treatment, a field in which targeted therapies are playing a crucial role. In this context, researchers from the Nanobiotechnology team, at the Institut de Biotecnologia i de Biomedicina from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, led by Prof. Antonio Villaverde, in collaboration with the Oncogenesis and Antitumor Drugs team led by Prof. Ramón Mangues at Institut d[...]

05 Mar

New immunization research for SARS-CoV-2 with the collaboration of NANBIOSIS

This novel immunization platform, recently published in ACS, triggers potent antivirus response, promising efficient and cost-effective vaccination. March 2024, UAB/Vall d’Hebron Research Institute/CIBER-BBN (Barcelona) The battle against infectious diseases demands innovative solutions. The world is especially aware of this fact after facing threats such as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In a very recent publication in ACS Materials Letters, researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Hospital de Sant Pau, both within the CIBER-BBN, have achieved a significant milestone in vaccine development. Their study, conducted in partnership with international teams as well as NANBIOSIS, has introduced a novel immunization approac[...]

06 Feb

‘Magic Bullets’ Against Cancer: Unveiling the Potential of DNA Nanoparticles

DNA nanoparticles to selectively target tumor tissues through precise control of the synergies between transported drugs. February 2024, IQAC-CSIC/CIBER-BBN, Barcelona. The team led by Drs. Carme Fàbrega and Ramón Eritja, in close collaboration with 3 units of the NANBIOSIS ICTS, has developed a new strategy to improve the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of anticancer drugs. They have chemically linked several cytotoxic drugs, currently used in the treatment of various types of tumors, to DNA nanostructures. These structures selectively target cancerous tissues through folate receptors. This tactic allows precise control of drug concentration and exploits their combined effect. The results[...]

20 Dec

Good News! Protein Nanoparticles with a New Ligand Select and Destroy Tumor-associated Fibroblasts”

With the participation of two units of NANBIOSIS ICTS and the expertise of the scientists managing these units The study, fruit of the collaboration between the Nanotechnology group of the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB-UAB), led by Prof. Antonio Villaverde, and the Oncogenesis and Antitumor Drugs group of the Sant Pau Research Institute, led by Dr. Ramon Mangues, both members of CIBER-BBN, has made significant progress by identifying the natural ligand PDGFD as an effective tool to target protein nanoparticles to tumor-associated fibroblasts that overexpress the PDGFR-β receptor. Given the relevance of the discovery, this technology has been intellectually[...]

08 Nov

Impactful research with NANBIOSIS participation in the Poster Tour of CIBER-BBN & CIBEREHD Annual Conference.

2023 CIBER-BBN Annual meeting has taken place at Santemar Hotel, in Santander during November 6-7. This year the format of our annual conferences has been changed towards a collective event scheme between the CIBER-BBN and CIBEREHD thematic areas. On Monday 6 the scientific sessions werecommon for EHD and BBN, with appealing contents for the mixed audience. On Tuesday 7 EHD and BBN sessions will specific for each area in separate rooms (with common coffee break). Posters of both areas were on display in the exhibit hall throughout the entirety of the Annual Meeting. Moreover, at the “Posters & beers” session (Monday[...]

28 Sep

Nanoligent raised €2.8 M and completed Seed round financing with support of i&i Biotech Fund

September 27th 2022 – Nanoligent SL, a Spanish biotech company specialized in the development of cancer treatments based on unique protein conjugates, today announces the completion of a Seed financing round of total € 2.8 M. The final closing of the Seed round consists of € 1 M investment by i&i Biotech Fund I (i&i Bio), an early-stage Life Science fund with teams in Luxemburg and Prague which is backed by the European Investment Fund. i&i Bio joined previous Nanoligent investors, Italian Angels for Growth, the largest network of business angels in Italy, and AVANTECA Partners, a Swiss privately held[...]

02 May

Wide representation of NANBIOSIS research in NALS 2022 and best Oral Presentation to Eloi Parladé

During the last 27-29 April, the 3rd International Conference on Nanomaterials Applied to Life Sciences 2022 (NALS 2022) has taken place in the Excellence Campus of Universidad de Cantabria in Santander (Spain), organized by the University of Cantabria and Institute Valdecilla-IDIVAL. NALS 2022 has been a multidisciplinary conference series sharing new results and ideas in the fields of biosensors, lab on a chip, drug delivery nanopharmacy. nanobiotechnology, intelligent nanomaterials, magnetic materials, nanotoxicity, antimicrobials, novel applications of 3d bioprinting and nanoimaging. NANBIOSIS has been represented at this edition by members of several of its units, among them we must highlight the set of four ora[...]

03 Feb

Nanoligent, whoes founders are leaders of NANBIOSIS units, raises €1M in Series Seed financing

Barcelona, Spain – Milan, Italy, February 3rd, 2022 – Nanoligent SL, a biotech company specialized in the development of nanotechnology-based cancer treatments, today announces the completion of the first closing of a Seed financing round of €1M. The round has been led by members of Italian Angels for Growth, the largest network of business angels in Italy, through the investment vehicle Nanolinvest, and AVANTECA Partners, a Swiss privately held asset management firm, both specialized in supporting innovative early-stage life-science companies primarily in Europe. An equity campaign, is still ongoing on Doorway, an online investment platform, thus promising to provide additional funding[...]