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Posts Taged nucleic-acids

New fluorescent nanovesicles for intracellular biomarker detection

A new work by researchers from the CIBER-BBN at the Barcelona Institute of Materials Science ICMAB-CSIC, together with a team from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, presents new nanovesicles capable of crossing biological barriers such as cell membranes, maintaining their sensory capacity, making them attractive probes for intracellular biomarker detection.

“The development of probes capable of detecting the biological environment and signaling the presence of a specific target molecule is a challenge with relevance in a variety of biomedical applications, from drug administration to diagnostic tools” says Mariana Köber, one of those responsible of the investigation together with Nora Ventosa and Alessandro Porchetta from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

In this work, which has been published in Advanced Functional Materials, the design of functionalized fluorescent nanovesicles with biomimetic DNA capable of translating their binding with a target molecule into an optical output is presented, through a change in the transfer of resonance energy. Förster (FRET) and fluorescent emission. These Quatsomes (QS) nanovesicles are an emerging class of highly stable small unilamellar vesicles ≈50–100 nm in diameter, formed by the self-assembly of ionic surfactants and sterols in aqueous media. Their high stability, also in body fluids, unilaminarity and particle-to-particle homogeneity make them an attractive soft material for detection applications. “QS nanovesicles are loaded with fluorescent waves based on amphiphilic nucleic acids to produce programmable FRET active nanovesicles that function as highly sensitive signal transducers,” she explains.

The CIBER-BBN researchers have participated in the characterization of the photophysical properties of these nanovesicles and the highly selective detection of clinically relevant microRNAs with sensitivity in the nanomolar range has been demonstrated. This production of nanovesicles and their physicochemical characterization has been carried out thanks to the services of ICTS NANBIOSIS, through its unit 6 of Biomaterials Processing and Nanostructuring at the ICMAB-CSIC.

According to the authors, the proposed strategy could easily be adapted to the detection of different biomarkers: “we hope to achieve a bioimaging platform for the detection of a wide range of nucleic acids and other clinically relevant molecules in body fluids or directly in cells, thanks to the ability of Quatsomes for intracellular delivery. “

  • Figure: Schematic representation of the DNA-grafted QS nanovesicles. Adv Funct Materials, Volume: 31, Issue: 46, First published: 11 August 2021, DOI: (10.1002 / adfm.202103511)

Article of reference

Marianna Rossetti, Lorenzo Stella, Judit Morlà-Folch, Sara Bobone, Ariadna Boloix, Lorena Baranda, Danila Moscone, Mònica Roldán, Jaume Veciana, Miguel F. Segura, Mariana Köber… Engineering DNA-Grafted Quatsomes as Stable Nucleic Acid-Responsive Fluorescent Nanovesicles . https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202103511

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Nucleic Acids Chemistry, new book release by Ramon Eritja

Ramón Eritja, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) has just published a new book “Nucleic Acids Chemistry, modifications and conjugates for Biomedicine and Nanotechnology“, Anna Avinó, Scientific Coordinator of NANBIOSIS Unit 29 is also a writer of the book.

The book “Nucleic Acids Chemistry” takes the most important aspects of the methodology of oligonucleotides synthesis, that is currently expanding by the endorsement of a dozen of new medicines, such as the first medicine based on interfering RNA for the control of LDL and cholesterol in blood that will facilitate the decrease of cardiovascular illnesses.

The writing of the book has been directed by Dr. Ramon Eritja, of Centro de Investigación en Red de Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN) and is Research Professor at Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), being its director between 2012-2017. The co-authors are Carme Fàbrega, Anna Aviñó, Santiago Grijalvo, Andreia F. Jorge, from IQAC-CSICCarlos González from Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano (IQFR-CSIC) and Raimundo Gargallo from University de Barcelona  The book began to be written in mid-2019, although most of the book was written during the lockdown.

In the last five years, an expansion of technologies based on DNA and RNA in diagnosis and therapeutic use has been produced, and it has been very important in the research of quick solutions to avoid the COVID pandemic and, predictably, the research group’s environment has led the development of several solutions, like biosensors for the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2.

A former PhD student of Ramon Eritja group, Dr. Ramón Güimil García, Head of Synthetic Oligonucleotides bei BioNTech, has participated in the development of the BioNTech-Pfizer mRNA vaccine. Another doctor, Brendan Manning, formed member of the group, has participated in the development of a diagnosis kit named Sherlock, which uses the CRISPR-Caspasa system for the detection of the virus that causes COVID.

Dr Erija completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Barcelona directed by Dr. Ernest Giralt on the subject of peptide synthesis. In 1984 he carried out his first postdoc with Dr. Itakura at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Los Angeles where the production of the first synthetic genes was carried out, highlighting the production of synthetic insulin that, with the name of humulin, solved the problems generated from the use of swine insulin. In 1986 she completed the second postdoc with Dr. Caruthers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In this laboratory, phosphoramidites were developed, which are the reagents used today for the production of synthetic DNA and RNA. Upon his return to Barcelona, ​​he joined the CSIC Research and Development Center where he organized the first research group in our country focused on oligonucleotide synthesis. In 1984 he moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg (Germany) to direct for 5 years one of the most prestigious groups in DNA and RNA Chemistry in Europe. Upon his return to Barcelona, ​​he was part of the Barcelona Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona) and was recognized as a group of excellence by the CIBER-BBN. In 2012 he moved to the IQAC-CSIC to occupy the direction of the institute until 2017.

Refernce:

Nucleic Acids Chemistry – Modifications and Conjugates for Biomedicine and Nanotechnology Edited by: Ramon Eritja. De Gruyter | 2021 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110639537

The book can be purchased here: link

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