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Posts Taged covid-19


The XXXVII Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (CASEIB) is taking place between November 25 and 27. This new edition of CASEIB, in virtual format is organized by the CIBER-BBN group of Biomedical Engineering at Valladolid Universitiy, led by Prof. Roberto Sánchez Hornero.

Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit, member of the advisoty committee of scientific experts (Multidisciplinary Working Group) to the Ministry of Science and Innovation in COVID-19 and coordinator of the European project CONVAT shall participate in the Roundtable I: Biomedical Engineering and COVID-19 November 26, 12:00 h

Researchers of BSICoS Group from CIBER-BBN and I3A-UZ, running NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing, led by Prof. Pablo Laguna, will participate defending their last works:

  • “Delay between QT and RR in stress test records as an indicator of the heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization”. Cristina Pérez, Esther Pueyo, Juan Pablo Martínez, Jari Viik, Pablo Laguna.
  • “Prediction of sudden death in patients with chronic heart failure by studying the periodic dynamics of repolarization”. Saúl Palacios, Iwona Cygankiewicz, Antoni Bayés-de-Luna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Esther Pueyo.
  • “Electrodermal response analysis for the identification of patients with depression”. Marta Martínez, Jesús Lázaro, Spyridon Kontaxis, Pablo Laguna, Eduardo Gil, María Luisa Bernal Ruíz, Sara Siddi, Concepción de la Cámara, Jordi Aguiló, Esther García, Josep María Haro, Raquel Bailón.
  • “In silico characterization of the duration of repolarization and its variability in Type 1 Long QT syndrome under β adrenergic stimulation”. David Adolfo Sampedro-Puente, Fabien Raphel, Jesús Fernández-Bes, Pablo Laguna, Damiano Lombardi, Esther Pueyo
  • “Monitoring of Blood Potassium Concentration in dialysis through changes in the multi-lead morphology of the T wave: Comparison between using the transformation in Periodic and Principal Components”. Flavio Palmieri, Pedro Gomis, José Esteban Ruiz, Dina Ferreira, Alba Martin, Esther Pueyo, Pablo Laguna, Juan Pablo Martínez, Julia Ramírez.

Further information on BSICoS website

On the other hand researcher of NANBIOSIS at JUMISC will present:

  • Study of the influence of the diameter and temperature of the nozzle on the thickness of the filament for bioprinting“. Enrique Mancha, Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, Alfonso Carlos Marcos Romero, Manuel Matamoros Pacheco, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo, José Blas Pagador Carrasco.
  • Influence of voluntary contractions on the basal sEMG activity of the pelvic floor muscles. M. Albaladejo-Belmonte, M. Tarazona, F.J. Nohales, J. Alberola-Rubio, J. Garcia-Casado
  • 3D Printing Mold Making: Soluble Male Viability for Hollow Artificial Organs Juan Carlos Gómez Blanco, José Blas Pagador Carrasco, Antonio Jesús Rodríguez Fuentes, Alfonso González González, Mara Olivares Marín, Jesús Usón Gargallo, Francisco Miguel Sánchez Margallo

Further information on JUMISC website

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CIBER-BBN´s XIV Annual Conference

CIBER-BBN´s Annual Conference will take place from Monday, November 16, 2020 to Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

This year´s edition includes presentations of internal collaborative projects, three plenary talks given by acknowledged experts in the fields of Biosignal Analysis, Hybrid Nanomaterials and Drug Delivery, a session dedicated to COVID-19 and the most recent advances in the fight against it as for detection, prevention and therapy and a session about the ICTS NANBIOSIS.

Due to this year´s exceptional circumstances, XIV CIBER-BBN Conference will be held on-line. Access to broadcasted talks and subsequent debate is free following registration to the event https://jornadasanuales.ciber-bbn.es.

Registration deadline: 8 November 2020

Program and registration

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Prof. Pilar Marco, in the program “Meridiano Turing” of RTVE explains the COVID-19 tests.

The last edition of the program “Meridiano Turing” of RTVE interviews Maria Pilar Marco Head of CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC group Nb4D and NANBIOSIS-ICTS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), Cesar Fernández (Head of the Chemical Transducers Group at IMB-CNM, CSIC) and María Cruz Minguillón (EGAR group at IDAEA)

Pilar Marco y César Fernández, the authors of the block of the CSIC’s report entitled “Containment and diagnosis“, explain wich is the best way to diagnose COVID and how reliable are the tests in this moment.

What is needed is to detect an infection -says Pilar Marco- is viral material and we have two types of tests to detect viral material:
– Those that detect the viral RMA, which is the genetic material of the virus. These test known as “PCR”, were the first to be used and are quite reliable PCR is a technology that expands the genetic material, making many copies what makes it possible to detect the viral material with very low viral load
– And during the month of September have became famous what are known as the “antigen tests” (they also came out at the beginning, but they were of low quality). These tests do not detect the genetic material but the structural proteins of the virus.

Serological tests should not be used to diagnose an infection because they do not detect the virus, what they detect is the reaction that the host has in the presence of an infection, that is, the antibodies that our body produces to defend itself against the infection and this occurs from the first moment but is not detectable until practically seven days after being infected. Therefore serological tests have limited utility to diagnose the infection, they serve to monitor the evolution and immunological status of the patient, if he is producing antibodies against the virus and how it evolves The virus remains elevated for months, but it does not mean that if you have had the disease and the rsults fo serological tests are negative, you are not prepared to face the virus, since we have memory cells that will surely produce antibodies again.

Cesar Fernández explains that the sample is the same in PCR and antigen tests, but the time it takes to obtain an answer is different. Both type of tests are recommended depending on the situation and the environment in which they are used, PCR tests have been used more massively and are more reliable in the sense that they let out much fewer positives, the number of false negatives they provide is very low, but they are also more expensive tests and need more time from the moment the sample is taken until the result is obtained (minimum 24 hours) since they are carried out in clinical analysis laboratories. The antigen tests can be carried out in 15-30 minutes in the place where the sample is taken and their cost is very low compared to that of the PCR, which is why they are very useful for screening studies of the levels infection that may exist in a community. Currently, work is being done on carrying out the antigen tests in saliva, this would facilitate the taking of samples and would not generate practically social rejection. Studies are also being done on the use of nasal smears in which the sample is taken at the beginning of the nasal cavity, resulting in much less annoying. Antigen tests due to their low cost and ease use open the possibility of performing in a very repetitive way.

Regarding the measurement of viral load, it is given by the PCR, while in the antigen tests the detection is visual, a colored line appears, similar to the pregnancy tests, with greater or lesser intensity, with which the information they give on viral load is semi-quantitative, that is, the interpretation is quite subjective.
The viral load of the disease appears a few days before sinthoms are shown (the peak is two days before) and can be spread to other people. This also occurs with asymptomatic infected people, with the only difference that, after this peak, the viral load falls very quickly and the disease does not appear.

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Researchers of NANBIOSIS U3 working in a project to develop molecules with neutralizing properties of SARS-CoV-2

The research group of Chemical Multivalent Systems for Nanomedicine and NANBIOSIS U3 Sinthesys of Peptides Unit, of IQAC-CSIC and CIBER-BBN, participates in a new project that seeks to develop molecules with neutralizing properties of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 disease, for the treatment of patients requiring hospitalization and clinical supervision due to the severity of the infection.

The project, led by the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) and Navarrabiomed, counts with the participation of researchers from institute of advanced chemistry of catalonia (Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia), IRB Barcelona (Institute for Biomedical Research), CIBER-BBN (Center for Networked Biomedical Research in the thematic area of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine) and the IRTA (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology).

With an expected duration of twelve months, the project brings together a multidisciplinary team: chemical synthesis, protein engineering, structural analysis, cell biology, as well as specialists in BSL3 biosafety conditions (the third level of biosafety for laboratories of a scale of four) to be able to test the potential of these molecules.

These molecules with neutralizing properties of SARS-CoV-2 are based on specific peptides of the ACE-2 receptor capable of reducing or nullifying the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. The chemical part of the project will be carried out by Miriam Royo and Daniel Pulido (NANBIOSIS Unit 3), with the design and performance of the synthesis of ligands based on the ACE-2 receptor.

The consortium partners hope that “the availability of molecules with high inhibitory efficacy will help substantially to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, due to the persistence and / or future outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 or other potentially dangerous coronaviruses and routes of similar entry ”, in the words of Jacinto López Sagaseta (Navarrabiomed).

The project has been granted in the “Overcome Covid-19 Fund”. This inicitative was created by Crue Spanish Universities, CSIC and Banco Santander with 8.5 million to bust three strategic axes against covid-19: applied research on the virus and its prevention, social impact and strengthening the technological capacity of the universities, and reducing the digital gap. euros. 35 proposals were have been selected out of the 700 submitted.

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New updated version of the CSIC report on COVID-19

The report by Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) summarizng the most relevant scientific results on the Covid-19 pandemic.  “A global vision of the Covid-19 pandemic: What we know and what we are investigating from CSIC”, has just published its version number 4.

This report is structured in five blocks: prevention, disease, containment and diagnosis, treatment and vaccines, and global impact.

The containment and diagnosis block describes how the virus is transmitted in the air indoors and the analysis of wastewater as a system for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 is explained. In addition, the importance of diagnosis in the face of the pandemic is underlined and the different types of detection tests available and the diagnostic strategies to control the spread of the infection are detailed. The CIBER-BBN/IQAC-CSIC Nb4D research group and its research platform NANBIOSIS-ICTS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) takes and important role in this block.

Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of CAbS is co-author, toguether with Cesar Fernandez (IBM-CNM-CSIC) of the chapter 3.4 “The role of the Diagnosis in the face of pandemic” wich provides information on the types of tests, how to perform and how to use them for the different purposes for which  diagnosis is an indispensable tool. “From a broad perspective, we can  distinguish between two types of tests: A. Viral tests: they detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, include the well-known PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) or molecular tests, which detect the genetic material virus B. Test that detect the response of the human body to infection. They include so-called “serological tests, which detect antibodies produced by the patient’s immune system, although other types of biomarkers can also be detected.”

For further information and access to report: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/218312 

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COVID-19 detection system: a fast, cheap and easy to use alternative to PCR.

PCR (acronym in English for “Polymeric Chain Reaction”), is a type of diagnostic test for the detection of infectious diseases. The PCR diagnosis of COVID-19 used since the outbreak of the pandemic offers a high level of specificity and sensitivity but presents a certain degree of complexity, requiring specialized personnel and is expensive.

Researchers from Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community (FISABIO), the La Fe Health Research Institute (IIS La Fe) and the consortium Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Bioengineering, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN) has been working, during the pandemic. Within the framework of the Diacovid project, different tests have been carried out with a first prototype of a rapid point-of-care (POC) test, based on nanosystems with molecular gates, that would detect quickly, reliably and easily, SARS-CoV-2.

Ramón Martínez Máñez, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U26 NMR: Biomedical Applications II explains the advantages of POC techniques as their ability to diagnose in sites with limited infrastructure, without specially qualified staf and without the requirement to transport the sample to a centralized facility. In addition, POC technologies are global detection tools for surveillance against possible new outbreaks in the future. Its use would allow the rapid implementation of containment measures, reduction of therapeutic response times, in situ detection and the use of a low sample volume.

Further information and News in UPV TV

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How Nanophotonic Label-Free Biosensors Can Contribute to Rapid and Massive Diagnostics of Respiratory Virus Infections: COVID-19 Case

An accurate and explanatory review recently published in ACS Sensors. led by Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit from CIBER-BBN and ICN2, discusses current diagnostic techniques for COVID-19 and possible future developments in this field. In particular, after highlighting the advantages and limitations of the methods available at present, the article introduces optical biosensors and illustrates how nanophotonic label-free devices can contribute to meet the emerging needs in this context.

For further information at ICN2 website

Reference article:

Maria Soler, Maria Carmen Estevez, Maria Cardenosa-Rubio, Alejandro Astua, and Laura M. Lechuga, How Nanophotonic Label-Free Biosensors Can Contribute to Rapid and Massive Diagnostics of Respiratory Virus Infections: COVID-19 Case; ACS Sensors, August 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.0c01180

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NANBIOSIS Expertise in the IQAC-CSIC Symposium dedicated to the fight against Covid-19 Pandemic

The 4th Annual IQAC Symposium will take place on September 23, 2020. This year will be dedicated to the research projects on COVID-19 that are being carried out in the IQAC-CSIC. It will be a dissemination day aiming to inform the general public about some of the lines of research that are currently being developed in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will be live streamed in Facebook: facebook.com/iqac.csic.es/

Three of the speakers, members of CIBER-BBN NANBIOSIS units at IQAC-CSIC, will explain their work. Pilar Marco and Roger Galve (NANBIOSIS U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) will talk about “Wearable Devices for Detection rapid SARS-CoV-2” and Miriam Royo (NANBIOSIS U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit shall inform about “Peptide-based chemical tools as diagnostic and therapeutic agents of COVID-19″

Further information and program: http://bit.ly/2ZLVT0o

The Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC) is one of the research centers of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The Institute is located in Barcelona and it was created in 2007 with the mission to perform research of excellence in Chemical Sciences with the broad goal of improving the quality of life. The research developed at IQAC is organized around two main nodes: Biological Chemistry and Nanobiotechnology, many of the investigations carried out by the Research Groups at IQAC lie at the intersection between nodes.

Since 2007 CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC have created four Units of equipment and resources for research wich are part of NANBIOSIS and have been recognized by Spanish Goverment as ICTS (scientific and technical infrastructures, unique in its kind, that are dedicated to high quality research and technological development). The other two units Besides U2 an U3 are: U12 Nanostructured liquid characterization unit, led by Prof. Carlos Rodriguez Abreu and Unir29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP), led by Prof. Ramón Eritja.

One on the projects in which NANBIOSIS units at CSIC are working in the fight against COVID-19 is CSIC POC4CoV project to develop diagnostic technologies for SARS-COV-2 in which participate 3 of our Units.

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SAFE-N-MEDTECH OITB project in which CIBER-BBN is a partner througth its ICTS NANBIOSIS, gathers expertise from 28 partners around the World focused in enabling the safe translation of nano-enabled medical technologies from Proof of Concept to markets and clinical practice. The sudden COVID-19 outbreak has meant an unforeseen challenge that requires rapid answers from the Science, Technology and Innovation Community. These is a framework where SafeNMT could deploy all its potential: first, because nanotechnology is a Key Enabling Technology that can contribute to innovative approaches to fight COVID 19 and/or other viral pandemics. Second, because the integration of capabilities in SafeNMT should be a key driver to integrate, accelerate and translate nanotechnology innovations from TRLs 4-5 to TRLs 6-7.

In this context, and in the frame of the Joint OITBs Open Call to fight COVID 19, we aim in opening our services, at no cost, for selected proposals which accomplish the following conditions:

  • Innovations for prevention, diagnostic and/or therapy for COVID 19 based on the use of nanotechnology applied to Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostic
  • The expressions of interest should present a solid S&T background and a sufficient technological maturity (starting TRLs 4-5)
  • A clear development pathway, with an initial identification of product needs is encouraged

What we offer (non-exhaustive list, to be agreed with the selected expressions of interest – Consult the services in our catalogue):

  • First evaluation of the project/product based on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Healthcare system needs provided by our pool of experts
  • Technology scanning to identify redundancies/synergies
  • Nanomaterial characterization
  • In vitro preclinical research
  • Access to clinical samples and Biobanks
  • Assistance in prototyping and qualification of manufacturing facilities
  • Regulatory advice and support in the adapted European regulation for COVID 19 medical technologies
  • Links to clinical networks
  • Business development coaching, links with business angels, investors, capital risk, etc.

Typically, the project will cover costs related to activities mentioned above, according to the budget limits available. If outstanding expenses beyond the available budget are needed, these will need to be covered by the user. The project won’t be able to cover formal regulatory costs, production costs, clinical development costs or any external costs that might be needed for the testing and production of the nano-enabled Medical Technology/ies.
Please note that all information provided will be treated confidential and is stored only for the purpose of this call.

Submission deadline: October 2nd, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CET.

Applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application in mid October. Activities are envisaged to start beginning of November.

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NANBIOSIS scientists in Aragón, explain on TV their research againts coronavirus

The special program on the coronavirus pandemic  by “En Ruta con la Ciencia” of Aragón Televisión, analyzes different aspects of the disease with special attention to the work of Aragonese scientists. Among them, two  research groups that coordinate NANBIOSIS units 9 and 27.

Starting at minute 44’45 ‘of the program, Doctor Jesús Lázaro, researcher of the BSICoS group of I3A-UZ and CIBER-BBN, led by Pablo Laguna, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing Unit, explains his research. For almost 3 years, Jesús Lázaro had been working on a European project to develop a respiratory and heart rate monitoring system for patients with EPOC to control and predict episodes of worsening disease, but the current situation has led him to redirect his goal to try to provide solutions in this crisis and have creates an application for the mobile phone to detect from our home, if we have a viral infection: – “The parameters measured by this application have to do with the nervous system Autonomous, – explains Jesús Lázaro – they are the heart rate, its variability and the respiratory rate, these three parameters would allow observing a response through SARS-COV-2. The application works based on a technology that uses the flash of the mobile phone camera as a receiver to obtain a signal that is proportional to the blood volume of the finger put on the flash light, what allows detecting both, the number of beats per minute and the morphology of the arterial pulse, to obtain the respiratory rate. At the moment this application has been tested by the research staff and the next phase is to assess it with the general public. As the application is based on detecting autonomic markers, a very high sensitivity is expected, as well as a very low specificity, which would allow detecting not only SARS-COV-2 but analyzing these parameters in other contexts and in other diseases, even detecting other eventual viruses of other eventual pandemics ”.

Further information on the research project here

Starting at 28’14 ’’ One of the problems of the coronavirus test is what is known as false negatives, people who have passed the disease, but are not detected and could continue to spread it. A research group is developing early diagnostic tests to try to reduce this error rate. Pilar Martín Duque, at the IACS Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences, is a researcher of the NFP group of the INA and the CIBER-BBN, led by Jesús Santamaría, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit : – “All techniques have a detection limit and a sensitivity, it is necessary to have a minimum amount of virus in the body for the virus being detected, if the viral load is low it may not be detected at that time, it is possible that some patients with a low viral load recover, but in other cases the virus begins to grow and after two weeks they can be positives”- explains Pilar Martín. Her project makes PCRs more effective by concentrating the viral load before testing. – “There is a curious case, – continues Pilar -, of an American navy ship, moored in China, in which five sailors were detected to be infected by coronavirus, so they were quarantined during fourteen days and, after new tests with negative results, they were allowed to return to the United States on the ship. However halfway through the journey, the same five sailors suffered an outbreak of the disease. Therefore, our study would be useful for detecting patients with the virus tested for the first time or for not discharging patients who had been already diagnosed if they really are not yet negative”.  It is estimated that 10% of the population has infected 80%, these 10% are the so-called “superspreaders”, they are infected with a high viral load, but they feel well and do not know about it. For example, there have been several cases in choirs, such as the Choir of Zarzuela in Madrid, where 53 members were contagious out of the 80 members form the choir, this is because when singing or speaking very loudly, more drops are produced that carry the virus”. But why do some people become infected before others? Pilar explains that this is related to some, already known, receptors for entry of viruses, the AC2 receptors, and there are people who has more of these receptors than others.

Further information on the research here:

If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is the importance of health and research, a robust research system has the knowledge, tools, and human talent to respond to any situation. If we want to be prepared for the next pandemic, it is important and essential to continue betting on research.

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