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Ethylcellulose nanoparticles as new “in vitro” tool for cell transfection

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U12 Nanostructured liquid characterization unit and U29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) of CIBER-BBN at IQAC-CSIC have obtained successfully ethylcellulose nanoparticles with positive zeta potential formed from nano-emulsion complexation with an antisense oligonucleotide which result very promising complexes for “in vitro” cell transfection.

A new non-viral gene delivery vector has been developed, based on ethylcellulose, an easily available and low cost carbohydrate polymer, “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA. Although ethylcellulose is nonionic, positively charged nanoparticle dispersions have been obtained using nano-emulsion templates in cationic:non-ionic surfactant-based systems. The nanoparticles have been successfully complexed with negatively charged phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides. These short nucleic acid chains are advantageous as they show improved cell penetration ability and higher resistance to degradation by nucleases. The nanoparticle:oligonucleotide complexes obtained show suitable transfection efficiency and are promising for “in vitro” gene transfection purposes.

This research has been developed through the close collaboration between the Colloidal and Interfacial Chemistry group led by Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Abreu, and the Nucleic Acids Chemistry group led by Dr. Ramon Eritja as well as the NANBIOSIS U12 and U29 Units. Both groups belong to the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) and the CIBER-BBN.

Article of reference: Leitner, S.; Grijalvo, S.; Solans, C.; Eritja, R.; Garcia-Celma, M. J.; Caldero, G., Ethylcellulose nanoparticles as a new “in vitro” transfection tool for antisense oligonucleotide delivery CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS 229,1, 115451, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.115451

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We are pleased to inform that the new book of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) has been published by the Spanish Ministery of Innovation, Science and Universities with the collaborations of the ICTS.

The Spanish Map of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS), goups biomedical technologies, cleanrooms, supercomputers, advanced lasers, telescopes, underground laboratories, synchrotrons, particle accelerators, biological reserves, solar, oceanic and hydraulic platforms, oceanographic research ships, and polar bases in Antarctica. A total of 29 ICTS, made up of 62 nodes, allow for ambitious research projects that attract first-rate talent and enhance the technological and innovative industry capacities.

“Through a one-stop system, NANBIOSIS provides comprehensive solutions that are tailored to the challenges thaat researchers face in biomedicine… its configuration means pioneering multidisciplinary studies can be conducted. Some examples are outlined below.”


Among these examples, several results combining the expertise of several Units of NANBIOSIS: an original method to prepare smaller nanoparticles of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) functionalised with cell-penetrating peptides (CPP), which penetrate the cell membrane and release controlled drug doses into the cells; an innovative medication administration system based on emerging bionanotechnology with protein nanoparticles that selectively deliver lead the therapeutic agent to the tumour cells or a bioactive surgical mesh, covered with adult stem cells, to reduce the inflammatory process associated with implanting this type of material that proved a beneficial effect on the biocompatibility in animal models.

As Pedro Duque, Spanish Minister of Innovation, Science and Universities says in its prelude “The Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures described in this book are crucial for Spain and its science, technology, and innovation. I encourage you to browse the pages of this book and discover the state-of-the-art infrastructures that represent the scientific and technological capacity that exists in Spain today. You won’t regret it

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