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U20. In Vivo Experimental Platform

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U20. In Vivo Experimental Platform

U20. logo FVPP CIBBIM-Nanomedicina Vall d'HebronVall d´Hebrón_U20,U18

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Located at the Valld’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) in Barcelona, U20 In vivo Experimental Platform has three different sections, a Molecular Imaging section for in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro imaging studies (fluorescence, bioluminescence and X-rays), a preclinical animal model section and a preclinical histology section. All three sections are included within the Functional Validation & Preclinical Research (FVPR) of CIBBIM-Nanomedicine.

This unit is leadedby Dr. Ibane Abasolo (Head of FVPR) and supervised by the directorof CIBBIM-Nanomedicine, Dr. Simó Schwartz Jr. Its mission is to offer products and services for the preclinical proof-of-concept validation of therapeutic compounds and biomarkers with potential clinical applications. One of the distinguishing features of this unit is that basic preclinical studies including toxicology, histopathology and efficacy treatments are complemented with non-invasive optical imaging technologies. In vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging allows monitoring of living mice longitudinally, offering real time insight into treatment efficacy, whole-body biodistribution and target mechanisms. Although in Spain there are other institutions with similar equipment, this is the only case in which imaging services can be combined with specifically devoted animal models.

U20. Services & Rates

Active projects

Title Fundin: Organism Call: Funding source Role
ICTS-2017-10-CIBER-2 Acquisition and istallation of infrastrucuture to complemnt Unis 3-Synthesis of Peptides, U18-Nanotoxicology y U20-In vivo Experiment Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO) Programa Operativo FEDER de Crecimiento Inteligente 2014-2020 (POCInt) Coordinator
GA: 720942 SMART FUNCTIONAL GLA-NANOFORMULATION FOR FABRY DISEASE – Smart-4-Fabry Unión Europea (Comisión Europea) H2020-NMBP-2016-2017 Coordinator
SAF2017-90810-REDI Strategic Promotion and coordinated
management of Nanbiosis: Pronanbiosis II
Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) Acciones de dinamización «REDES DE EXCELENCIA»
-ICTS 2017

Other projects

Ref Title Funding Organism Unit Role
RTC-2014-2207-1 TERARMET: Development of therapies for the treatment of rare congenital metabolic diseases MINECO Participant



  • Giannotti M.I., Abasolo I., Oliva M., Andrade F., Garcia-Aranda N., Melgarejo M. et al. Highly Versatile Polyelectrolyte Complexes for Improving the Enzyme Replacement Therapy of Lysosomal Storage Disorders. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 2016;8(39):25741-25752.
  • 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):-.
  • Cabrera I., Abasolo I., Corchero J.L., Elizondo E., Gil P.R., Moreno E. et al. α-Galactosidase-A Loaded-Nanoliposomes with Enhanced Enzymatic Activity and Intracellular Penetration. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2016;5(7):829-840.
  • 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:-.

News U20

29 Nov

New therapeutic strategies for the treatment of advanced breast and colon cancer

Sara Montero, researcher of the “Drug Delivery and Targeting” of CIBER-BBN and VHIR, presented her thesis work on November 22 “Nanotecnnology mediated extrategies targeting cancer stem cells for advanced cancer tratment”, directed by Dr. Simó Schwrtz and Dr Diana Rafael. In vivo experiments where carried out through the Unit 20 of the ICTS NANBIOSIS. The work presented by Sara Montero shows two different types of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of advanced breast and colon cancer. Both strategies focus on blocking proteins essential for the survival and proliferation of cancer stem cells (CMC), known to be the main responsible for current therapeutic failures, tumor[...]

28 Nov

Extracellular vesicles secreted by cancer stem cells promote angiogenesis and disease progression

Patricia González, researcher of the “Drug Delivery and Targeting” of CIBER-BBN and VHIR, presented her thesis work on November 19 where she lays the foundations to understand the role of different subpopulations of extracellular vesicles (VEs) secreted by tumor models in the regulation of tumor plasticity, as well as its effect on the tumor microenvironment and disease progression. In the project, it has been described for the first time how the VEs secreted by the cancer stem cell subpopulation are responsible for activating fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment and promoting angiogenesis, thus facilitating disease progression. Furthermore, it has been possib[...]

04 Aug

New strategies with nanoparticles to fight the most aggressive breast cancer

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 20 and 59, and despite the fact that its diagnosis and treatment have improved greatly in recent years, relapses and resistance to treatment leave some young patients without a therapeutic option. . Tumor stem cells, from which the rest of cancer cells derive and are the cause of the most aggressive cancers, are especially resistant to conventional cancer treatments. In this line, researchers from the CIBER-BBN of the Drug Delivery & Targeting group and NANBIOSIS U20 at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR),, have developed a[...]

07 Jul

Ibane Abasolo new Scientific Director of unit 20 of NANBIOSIS

Ibane Abasolo, the Scientific Coordinator of NANBIOSIS U20 of the CIBER-BBN at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), has been appointed new Scientific Director, replacing Simó Schwartz, who has recently assumed the Directorate of the Blood and Tissue Bank of Catalonia. With her, there are 11 women who are Scientific Directors of NANBIOSIS units (46%), with the incorporation of Nora Ventosa and Rosa Villa during the past year 2020. Ibane Abasolo has also been appointed IP of the CIBER group that coordinates unit 20 of NANBIOSIS. The female replacement in the leadership of the CIBER groups is one of t[...]

18 Apr

Collaboration of two NANBIOSIS units in the Valorisation Project “ADVERT”

The Project ADVERT (Advanced Extracellular Vesicles for Enzyme Replacement Therapy) is a research valorisation project recently granted by CIBER. The project pursues to advance the development of extracellular vesicles as treatments for lysosomal diseases, specially to bring new therapies to treat FABRY disease. The ADVERT Project will count on the active particpation of two NANBIOSIS units of CIBER-BBN: Unit 20 of the ICTS NANBIOSIS at Vall d’Ebrón Hospital, led by Ibane Abasolo, who coordinates the project. Unit 1 Protein Production Platform (PPP), at the IBB-UAB, led by Neus Ferrer, throught the coordination in the project of José Luis Corchero. T[...]

20 Mar

Extracellular vesicles as vehicles for therapeutic enzymes in lysosomal deposition diseases

Researchers of two CIBER-BBN units of the ICTS (Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures) NANBIOSIS, led by Ibane Abasolo the U20 located in the VHIR and the U6 in ICMAB-CSIC have participated in a study to improve the treatment of lysosomal disorders. In recent years, enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) based on the systemic administration of a functional version of the defective enzyme have gained clinical relevance as a treatment for lysosomal storage disorders (LSD). However, the systemic administration of these recombinant enzymes has negative aspects, such as their low stability and inadequate distribution to the affected organs that result in a[...]

10 Mar

Simo Schwartz: new General Director of the Bank of Blood and Tissues of Catalonia.

Simó Schwartz Jr., Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 20 In Vivo Experimental Platform has been appointed as the new general director of the Bank of Blood and Tissues of Catalonia, replacing Enric Argelagués, who is leaving his post after 17 years as director. Argelagués was the promoter of the unification of blood banks that began in the eighties and culminated in the current Bank of Blood and Tissues of Catalonia. Simó Schwartz now assumes the executive management of the organization, which currently has more than 800 workers and its mission is to ensure that all people in Catalonia have t[...]

26 Feb

A more effective nanomedicine has been developed for the treatment of Fabry rare disease.

28 February: International Rare Disease Day This is one of the major achievements of the European Smart4Fabry project, which is now coming to an end after four years of work.The results have been made possible by nanotechnology and the approach developed could be applied to other drugs in the future.The new drug improves on current treatments and helps reduce costs and improve patients’ quality of life. Barcelona, 26 February 2021.- The advance of nanomedicine opens up new possibilities in the development of drugs, such as the one recently developed for the rare disease Fabry, with improved efficacy compared to existing[...]