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U12. Nanostructured liquid characterization unit

Ciber bbn

U12. Nanostructured liquid characterization unit

    • Scientific Director: Prof. Carlos Rodríguez cranqb@cid.csic.es
    • Scientific Coordinator: Jordi Esquena jemqci@iqac.csic.es
    • Entities: Colloid and Interfacial Chemistry Group (QCI) at the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC) & Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
    • Address: Jordi Girona, 18-26, 088034, Barcelona, Spain
    • Phone: +34 934 006 159
    • Web: QCI – IQAC- CSIC


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The unit is located at the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), in Barcelona and it is coordinated by the Colloidal and Interfacial Chemistry Group, led by Dr. Carlos Rodríguez. The unit is focused on the characterization of nanostructures in liquids and liquid/liquid interfaces, such as micelles, liposomes, micro- and nano-emulsions, and nanoparticles. The unit features state-of-the-art instrumentation for the determination of various parameters such as size distribution and zeta potential (surface charge), critical micelle concentration (CMC), solubilization capacity, osmolarity, surface and interfacial tension, wettability, refractive index, turbidity, colloidal stability, density, viscosity and other rheological parameters (shear and elastic moduli, critical yield stress, etc.)

The Unit 12 has implemented and mantein the ISO9001 certification for standard quality control system.

IQNet ISO 9001:2015 Certification 

AENOR ISO 9001:2015 Certification 

U12. Services & Rates

Active projects

Title Fundin: Organism Call: Funding source Role
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 Partner
PICCOLO-732111 Multimodal highly-sensitive PhotonICs endoscope for improve in vivo COLOn Cancer diagnosis and clinical decision support European Commission-H2020 H2020-ICT-2016-1 Partner
0624_2IQBIONEURO_6_E Promotion of an R&I network in biological chemistry for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases European Union Interreg : European Territorial Co-operation POCTEP Interreg España-Portugal Partner

Other projects

Ref Title Funding Organism Unit Role
CTQ2014-52687-C3-1-P Design and applications of new biocompatible micro / nanogels obtained by advanced condensation methods (MICRONANOGELES) MINECO Participant
2014SGR1655 Grants for consolidated Research Groups of Catalonia Generalitat de Catalunya Participant
FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN - 606713 Biopolymer Based FOOd Delivery Systems (BIBAFOODS) Unión Europea Participant
Plan de Actuación 2015 Agreement of ACC1Ó with the UAB, the PRUAB, the CSIC and the CVC for the promotion of the technological transfer Generalitat de Catalunya Participant
TECSPR14-2-0033 Theranostic Magnetic Nanoparticles For Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Magnetic Properties and Controlled Release of Anticancer Drugs (TheraMagNano) Unión Europea Participant
TECSPR14-2-0044 Novel antimicrobial hydrogels for contact lenses (HYDROLENSES) Unión Europea Participant
Acción COST CM1101 Joint Meeting of WG 3 and WG 4. Workshop "Nano-biocolloidal materials and non-equilibrium self-assembly" Unión europea Participant



  • Fornaguera C., Caldero G., Solans C.. Electrolytes as a tuning parameter to control nano-emulsion and nanoparticle size. RSC Advances. 2016;6(63):58203-58211.
  • Caldero G., Montes R., Llinas M., Garcia-Celma M.J., Porras M., Solans C.. Studies on the formation of polymeric nano-emulsions obtained via low-energy emulsification and their use as templates for drug delivery nanoparticle dispersions. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 2016;145:922-931.
  • Fornaguera C., Feiner-Gracia N., Caldero G., Garcia-Celma M.J., Solans C.. PLGA nanoparticles from nano-emulsion templating as imaging agents: Versatile technology to obtain nanoparticles loaded with fluorescent dyes. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 2016;147:201-209.
  • Magana J.R., Kolen’Ko Y.V., Deepak F.L., Solans C., Shrestha R.G., Hill J.P. et al. From Chromonic Self-Assembly to Hollow Carbon Nanofibers: Efficient Materials in Supercapacitor and Vapor-Sensing Applications. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 2016;8(45):31231-31238.
  • Perez-Carrillo L.A., Vilchez S., Mosa J., Aparicio M., Castro Y., Duran A. et al. Synthesis and properties of TiO2-P2O5 and SiO2-TiO2-P2O5 porous hybrids obtained by templating in highly concentrated emulsions. Ceramics International. 2016;42(16):18965-18973.

News U12

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[...]

25 Sep

Carlos Rodriguez-Abreu (NANBIOSIS U12) keynote speaker at the European Colloid and Interface Society ECIS 2023

Carlos Rodriguez-Abreu, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U12 Nanostructured liquid characterization unit  gave a Keynote presentation entitled “Chromonic liquid crystal emulsions” at the European Colloid and Interface Society ECIS 2023 conference held in Naples, Italy (September 3-8, 2023) . Chromonic liquid crystals (CLC) can be used as templates for material synthesis and, since some CLC are nontoxic and water-based, they are also interesting for biological and medical applications. The presentation included a summary of experimental results on internally structured emulsions made of CLC encapsulated in droplets, that feature various complex morphologies. Photothermal, sensing and imaging applications are envisaged.[...]

15 Nov

Happy Day of Chemistry! The role of Chemistry in a sustainable research in health

Today, November 15 is a day of celebration for us, the Day of the Chemistry in Spain! Chemistry is the science that studies matter, how it is composed, its properties and how its structures are transformed and, as matter is everything, including living beings and ourselves, we can say that chemistry is omnipresent and transversal in all areas surrounding us. Chemistry is everywhere, we ourselves are chemistry and our health and our life is chemistry. “Everything around us is chemistry in the environment, foods, what we use and what we touch every day. Our own body is a sophisticated complex[...]

27 Jul

1st Nanomedicine Forum of CIBER-BBN/NANBIOSIS and CSIC Nanomed Conection

During the days 30 of June and 1st of July took place in Barcelona, in the auditorium of the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), the 1st Forum on Nanomedicine gathering scientists from the CSIC net Nanomed Conection and from the CIBER-BBN and its ICTS NANBIOSIS. This forum brought toguether researchers from the most eminent national research centers in nanomedicine, that during the two days meeting presented their works and findings and discussed the impact of nanomedicine in the fields of drug delivery, diagnosis and therapy. The workshop was open by the Director of IQAC-CSIC,  Jesús Joglar, the  Scientific Coordinator[...]

03 May


Dr. Ramon Eritja, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 29 of Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) and Dr. Santiago Grijalvo researcher at NANBIOSIS unit 12 of Nanostructured liquid characterization, from CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC, together with Dr. Andreia F. Jorge, from Coimbra Chemistry Centre (CQC), acting as guest editors of journal Pharmaceutics, of MDPI Publisher, welcome authors to submit their articles on special issues on Recent Trends in Oligonucleotide Based Therapies. In the past few decades, significant efforts have been made towards the clinical application of oligonucleotides. However, the potential of the therapeutic applications of RNA-based strategies have recently been spotlighted after the first approval of mRNA vaccines in response to COVID-19[...]

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[...]

31 Mar

Colloidal phenomena in COVID-19

Transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases https://www.niaid.nih.gov) The special volume (No. 55) of the journal Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science reviews the implications of colloidal science in the phenomenology of COVID-19, for which the techniques available in NANBIOSIS U12, “Nanostructured liquid characterization unit” , are relevant. Two articles to highlight in this special volume: Airborne transmission of the virus through droplets, and the effect of evaporation and sedimentation. Airborne transmission is determined by the settling time, that is, the time it takes for droplets to be in the air before settling.[...]

18 Oct

ISO 9001-2015 Quallity Management Certification for NANBIOSIS U12

NANBIOSIS U12 “Nanostructured liquid characterization unit” of IQAC-CSIC and CIBER-BBN, led by Dr. Carlos Rodriguez Abreu and D. Jordi Esquena, has implemented a Quality Management System for the scope of Technological service for characterization of colloidal dispersions, which fulfills the requirements of the standard ISO 9001:2015. An IQNet recognized certificate has been issued by AENOR last week. This certification will expand and consolidate the service  that Unit 12 of NANBIOSIS is giving to companies and public sector researchers and facilitate their integration in cooperative international projects. The ISO 9001 Standard is the most widespread Quality Management tool worldwide, with over[...]

U12-Nanostructured liquid characterization unit
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