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Posts Taged covid-19

A project by NANBIOSIS researchers, focused on COVID-19 detection and therapy, selected in ‘La Marató’ research program

The Scientific Commission of ‘La Marató TV3’ has seleced the project entitled “Diagnosis and treatment of Sars-Cov-2 by triplex formation”, led by Ramon Eritja, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) from CIBER-BBN and IQAC_CSIC to be financed with € 398,750.00. Verónica Noé from the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera Universitat de Barcelona, ​​the CIBERESP researcher Enrique Calderón Sandubete, from the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital and María Valeria Grazú Bonavía, from the Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragón, INMA (CSIC- UNIZE) also participate in this project.

The edition of this solidarity initiative promoted by the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals, raised more than twelve million euros to finance research against COVID-19. The project was selected, among the 229 submitted, to receive funding for its development.
Our project wants to solve two important problems in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: the first is how to quickly and specifically detect people infected by this virus; and the second is that right now we do not have a effective therapy specifically designed to be used against the virus that causes COVID-19 “explains Dr. Eritja.

The project will try to solve both problems using synthetic oligonucleotides with high and specific affinity for viral RNA. “In recent years, a dozen oligonucleotides have been approved by Health agencies (EMA and FDA) for the treatment of genetic diseases such as Duchene muscular dystrophy as well as metabolic diseases such as familial hypercholesterolemia. In the project we will use specific oligonucleotides, procuced at NANBIOSIS U29, to bind viral RNA that could be used in vitro for the selective capture and diagnosis of the SARS-.COV-2 virus, but also in vivo to inhibit the replication of viral RNA “adds Ramón Eritja.

The call for grants from ‘La Marató’ was carried out, exceptionally, between the months of December and January. Until May, the 229 candidate projects have been reviewed electronically, following a process of proven rigor and transparency, coordinated by the Catalan Agency for Quality and Health Evaluation, in which 95 international evaluators have participated. The assessment, among other aspects, of the quality, the methodology, the scientific, health and social relevance, the innovative value and the viability of the candidate works has determined which projects have been financed with the resources of La Marató 2020.

With this new edition from La Marató, the solidarity project of the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation and the Foundation since 1992 an amount of € 216 million have been awarded and a total of 949 research projects hve been promoted, with participation of 9,350 researchers have participated.

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Five experts explain the results of the CSIC Global Health Platform after a year of research on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

Margarita del Val, Pilar Marco, Mario Mellado, Diego Ramiro and Iñaki Comas will disseminate, in a webinar through YouTube, the works on the disease, diagnosis and social impact
– The platform investigates the new coronavirus in six areas: prevention, disease, containment and diagnosis, treatment and vaccines, social impact and communication

Five experts from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will explain in a webinar broadcast on YouTube, on Wednesday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m., the results of a year of research at the CSIC on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus carried out by the Global Health Platform. In the session, titled El CSIC y la covid-19. A year later, five coordinators of the platform will participate: the virologist and immunologist Margarita del Val, from the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center (CBMSO-CSIC-UAM), who will moderate the debate; the nanobiotechnologist Pilar Marco, who leads the group Nb4D of CIBER-BBN/IQAC-CSIC and Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 2Custom Antibody Service (CAbS); the demographer Diego Ramiro, from the Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography (IEGD-CSIC), the immunologist Mario Mellado, director of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), and the biologist Iñaki Comas, from the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia (IBV -CSIC). Interested parties may ask questions via email webinar@csic.es or live through the chat on the CSIC Comunicación YouTube channel.
The CSIC Global Health Platform, launched in March 2020, coordinates more than 100 projects to unravel the new coronavirus and seek medium and long-term solutions. The platform has mobilized and coordinates more than 300 research groups from more than 90 CSIC centers, out of a total of 120, in six work topics, which try to cover all aspects of the pandemic with an interdisciplinary approach: prevention, prevention, disease, containment and diagnosis, treatment and vaccines, social impact, and communication.
The platform has coordinated 100 research projects and actions, ranging from the development of antivirals and anti-inflammatory treatments, the monitoring of transmission, the study of the virus genome and the impact of mutations, the genetics of patients, their immune response to infection and vaccination, up to the launch of systems for diagnosis and containment of the virus.
The platform has also included studies carried out on the social perception of the measures, especially on the impact on nursing homes.

The Global Health platform has become a stable structure for scientific cooperation, as well as for the generation of patented technologies. Its consolidation, reinforcing its structure and coordination mechanisms, in particular the link with the clinical sector, prepares the body to face new challenges and opportunities, and for the development of initiatives with companies in Spain, necessary to configure a response to this and future pandemics.


The speakers
Margarita del Val (CBM-CSIC-UAM) is a virologist and immunologist. She coordinates the CSIC Global Health Platform, where she directs a project to characterize the immune response to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to vaccination.
Pilar Marco (IQAC-CSIC) is a nanobiotechnologist. She runs a project (POC4COV) to develop rapid detection tests for the coronavirus. The objective is to obtain low-cost tests to detect biomarkers of the virus using electrochemical technology and nanostructures.
Mario Mellado (CNB-CSIC) is an immunologist and directs the CSIC’s National Center for Biotechnology, which has become the agency’s center on research into treatments for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. At the CNB-CSIC, two vaccine prototypes for covid-19 and treatments with monoclonal antibodies are being developed, and drugs with possible efficacy to treat the new coronavirus are being screened.
Diego Ramiro (IEGD-CSIC) is a demographer and directs three projects to assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on residences for the elderly.
Iñaki Comas (IBV-CSIC) is a biologist and an expert in genomics. He co-leads a genomic epidemiology project on the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain. His team has observed that there were multiple introductions of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain, but that only a few caused a large number of infections.

Source of information: CSIC

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New COVID-19 Diagnostic System Ready for Trials in Clinical Samples

The new system for the rapid, economic and efficient diagnosis of COVID-19 devised by the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), the IIS La Fe and the CIBER-BBN is now ready for trials on clinical samples. Since the pandemic broke out, the group of Professor Ramón Martínez Máñez, a researcher at the IDM Institute of the UPV and scientific director of the CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS U26 RNM for Biomedical Applications I, has been working on an alternative for the diagnosis of COVID-19, based on nanoporous films. These materials are capable of storing an indicator that is released only in the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus thanks to a system of molecular gates. And they do it very quickly, reliably and easily.

The material has already demonstrated its ability to detect the Spike protein present in SARS-CoV-2 and also its function for the detection of a model virus that expresses the aforementioned protein and that has been implemented by the Viral Biology group of the I2SysBio, center mixed of the University of Valencia and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), led by Dr. Ron Geller.

“These advances represent another step towards obtaining the final device and confirming that the system is capable of recognizing virus particles”, highlights Ramón Martínez Máñez, director of NANBIOSIS U26 NMR for Biomedical Applications I.

The UPV team of researchers will carry out the clinical validation of the device in collaboration with Dr. Javier Pemán and Dr. Mª Ángeles Tormo, from the Serious Infection Research Group at IIS La Fe, by Dr. María Dolores Gómez, Head of the Molecular Microbiology Unit of the Microbiology Service of the Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe and by Drs. Miguel Salavert and Eva Calabuig, of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the aforementioned hospital.

Once its sensitivity for the diagnosis of COVID-19 has been verified, it is planned to develop a final kit and obtain the CE marking, which will allow its commercialization. “We hope that this process will be carried out as quickly as possible and that it may be on the market to provide a new tool in the face of the pandemic that we are suffering,” says Dr. Elena Aznar, a researcher at CIBER-BBN.

Among the advantages of the device devised by the researchers of the UPV, UV, CSIC, IIS La Fe and CIBER-BBN, I would highlight its ease of use, being able to be used for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in places with limited infrastructure. Furthermore, it does not require highly qualified personnel and the sample does not have to be analyzed in specialized laboratories.

“In addition, the POC technologies on which it is based are global detection tools to monitor for possible new outbreaks in the future, so that once it is ready for use, it will contribute to the rapid implementation of containment measures”, he highlights Ramón Martínez Máñez.

The development of this project is financed by funds from the Covid-19 Donations of the Generalitat Valenciana, made by people and companies during 2020 to contribute to the fight against the pandemic. The solidarity of the Valencian citizenship materialized in donations of about 1 million euros, destined entirely to research projects of excellence against the virus such as the one led by Professor Martínez Máñez, managed by the Ministry of Innovation, Universities, Science and Society Digital.

The project also has the support of the Supera COVID-19 Fund, promoted by Crue Universidades Españolas, Banco Santander -through Santander Universidades- and the CSIC. In addition, the I2SysBio Viral Biology group (UV-CSIC) received funding from the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI) for the implementation of the model virus.

Related news:

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

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NANBIOSIS participation in the Technology and business Forum “Technological challenges derived from COVID-19”

The pandemic has led companies and researchers to reorient their plans and projects to meet the demands of society.

Different examples of these new challenges will be seen at the next Technology and Business Forum on Thursday, December 10, covering from new tissues, better masks, diagnostic tests, epidemiological models and clinical equipment … All this, from an analysis both from the perspective industrial and research.

The Technological and Business Forum is organized by the Aragón Engineering Research Institute (I3A), the SAMCA Chair of Technological Development, CEOE-Aragón and the Zaragoza Chamber. On this occasion, it will be held online and it will be an opportunity to talk about technologies and COVID-19, to consider the future after this pandemic, given the impact it has had on society and the economy.

At 12:00 the session on “Contributions from research to different COVID challenges· is scheduled, in which, M. Pilar Lobera. researcher at NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit (from CIBER-BBN and- Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragon -INMA- talks on “Challenges for respiratory protection: types of membranes“·
Moderator: Pablo Laguna, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing and Director of the SAMCA Chair of Technological Development and I3A

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NANBIOSIS-ICTS AT CASEIB 2020

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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