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Women in the fight against breast cancer: Ibane Ibasolo

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers.

We want to take this day to congratulate all the women scientists, especially our scientists at NANBIOSIS ICTS. Some of them take an active role in the dissemination of research results and reseach contribution to the society, as Dr. Ibane Abasolo who last week participated in different events to explain her team work in the figth against breast cancer.

Ibane Abasolo is the Scientific Coordinator of NANBIOSIS U20 and also the leader of the Drug Delivery & Targeting group of the CIBER-BBN at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) which coordinates the unit 20 of NANBIOSIS, a team composed mainly by women.

The group cooworks to improve cancer treatment through the development of nanoparticles specially directed towards breast cancer stem cells. These cells are the ones that, despite dividing slowly, give rise to the differentiation of the rest of the tumor cells and are also the most resistant to conventional antitumor treatments.

That is why the group seeks to attack these cells in three ways:

i) selected drugs that induce the differentiation of tumor stem cells into more differentiated cells (and easier to treat),

2) using mechanisms to evade the efflux pumps of drugs and

3) targeting the nanoparticles specifically towards tumor stem cells by using targeting agents (ie antibodies) against antigens on the surface of tumor stem cells.

Dr. Abasolo has illustrated these three approaches by citing papers published in her group during 2021, in which the ICTS Nanbiosis U20 has also directly participated:

Gustavo Carreño, Alfredo Pereira, Fabián Ávila-Salas, Adolfo Marican, Fernanda Andrade, Maria Mercé Roca-Melendres, Oscar Valdés, Sekar Vijayakumar, Simó Schwartz, Ibane Abasolo, Diana Rafael, Esteban F. Durán-Lara, Development of “on-demand” thermo-responsive hydrogels for anti-cancer drugs sustained release: Rational design, in silico prediction and in vitro validation in colon cancer models, Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 131, 2021, 112483, ISSN 0928-4931, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112483.

Yolanda Fernández, Julie Movellan,Laia Foradada, Vanessa Giménez, Natalia García-Aranda, Sandra Mancilla, Ana Armiñán, Sven Even Borgos, Astrid Hyldbakk, Anna Bogdanska, Oliviero L. Gobbo, Adriele Prina-Mello, Jessica Ponti, Luigi Calzolai, Oleksandr Zagorodko, Elena Gallon, Amaya Niño-Pariente, Alison Paul, Simó Schwartz Jr, Ibane Abasolo, María J. Vicent In Vivo Antitumor and Antimetastatic Efficacy of a Polyacetal-Based Paclitaxel Conjugate for Prostate Cancer Therapy. Adv Healthc Mater. 2021 Oct 27;e2101544. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202101544.

Diana Rafael, Maria Mercè Roca Melendres, Fernanda Andrade, Sara Montero, Francesc Martinez-Trucharte, Mireia Vilar-Hernandez, Esteban Francisco Durán-Lara, Simó Schwartz Jr, Ibane Abasolo,
Thermo-responsive hydrogels for cancer local therapy: Challenges and state-of-art, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 606, 2021,
120954, ISSN 0378-5173, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120954.

Marwa M Abu-Serie , Fernanda Andrade, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Diana Rafael, Zamira V Díaz-Riascos, Petra Gener, Ibane Abasolo, Simó Schwartz Jr Pluronic F127 micelles improve the stability and enhance the anticancer stem cell efficacy of citral in breast cancer. Nanomedicine VOL. 16, NO. 17. 2021 Jul;16(17):1471-1485. doi: 10.2217/nnm-2021-0013.

Eva Espinosa-Cano, Miguel Huerta-Madroñal, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Simo Schwartz, Ibane Abasolo, Julio San Román, Maria Rosa Aguilar, Hyaluronic acid (HA)-coated naproxen-nanoparticles selectively target breast cancer stem cells through COX-independent pathways, Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 124, 2021, 112024, ISSN 0928-4931, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112024.

Fernanda Andrade, Diana Rafael, Mireia Vilar-Hernández, Sara Montero, Francesc Martínez-Trucharte, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Zamira V. Díaz-Riascos, Ana Boullosa, Natalia García-Aranda, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Diego Arango, Marika Nestor, Ibane Abasolo, Bruno Sarmento, Simó Schwartz, Polymeric micelles targeted against CD44v6 receptor increase niclosamide efficacy against colorectal cancer stem cells and reduce circulating tumor cells in vivo, Journal of Controlled Release, Volume 331, 2021, 198-212, ISSN 0168-3659, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.01.022.

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Stem cells and COVID-19 research.

The Malaga Academy of Sciences has published an interesting review by Dr. José Becerra Ratia on Spanish biomedical research in relation to COVID-19 virus and, in particular, with two therapeutic novelties that have stem cells as protagonists, in one case the mesenchymal cells and in the other case the embryonic ones.

Professor Becerra is Professor of Cellular Biology at the University of Malaga and Vice President of the Malaga Academy of Sciences, as well as Researcher in charge of the Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory that belongs to BIONAND, IBIMA CIBER-BBN and TerCel (unit 28 of NANBIOSIS U28 Nanoimaging Unit)

Dr Becerra, enfasizes how the development of Biology in recent decades as well as the powerful tools provided by molecular biology and artificial intelligence, will be very useful now to combat Covid-19 Pandemia.

Here you can read the article in Spanish, Science, a well-founded hope against COVID19

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New book by NANBIOSIS U14: Basic research procedures in the cell therapy laboratory

Researchers of NANIOSIS Unit 14 at JUMISC have published a new book titled Basic research procedures in the cell therapy laboratory, in which some basic techniques and general principles for adult stem cell research are explained.

Stem cells are cells capable of differentiating into a wide variety of cell types and can be isolated from different tissues such as. They have regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the secretion of paracrine factors. Currently, these cells are being widely used in clinical trials for the treatment of different diseases such as Crohn disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or myocardial infarction.
In this book, some basic techniques and general principles for working in a research laboratory in Cellular Therapy are explained in a simplified manner. In the same way, a series of basic knowledge are exposed that must be taken into account for the correct handling of the cells and their environment.
This book is not intended to be a detailed manual of laboratory procedures or a book on cell management for clinical use, but its purpose is to describe part of the protocols developed by the Cell Therapy Unit of NANBIOSIS at the Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Center and which have the objective of evaluating the effectiveness and safety of these cells in the preclinical setting.

Book: Basic research procedures in the cell therapy laboratory. Álvarez Pérez, Verónica, García Casado, Javier, Sánchez-Margallo, Francisco.
ISBN 13: 978-84-17959-64-7

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Scientific breakthrough against the problems of advanced age in fertility.

Researchers of CCMIJU. led by Javier G. Casado, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U14 Cell Therapy, are coauthors of the article “Extracellular vesicles derived from endometrial human mesenchymal stem cells enhance embryo yield and quality in an aged murine model” published by. Biology of Reproduction,

The study of the beneficial effect of endometrial stem cell exosomes on embryonic quality has been developed in NANBIOSIS U14 and in collaboration with U22 and U23

Advanced age is a risk factor undermining women’s fertility. Hence, the optimization of assisted reproduction techniques is an interdisciplinary challenge that requires the improvement of in vitro culture systems. Here, we hypothesize that supplementation of embryo culture medium with extracellular vesicles from endometrial-derived mesenchymal stem cells (EV-endMSCs) may have a positive impact on the embryo competence of aged oocytes. In this work, 24 weeks old B6D2 female mice were used as egg donors and in vitro fertilization assays were performed using males from the same strain (8–12 weeks); the presumptive zygotes were incubated in the presence of 0, 10, 20, 40, or 80 μg/ml of EV-endMSCs. The results from the proteomic analysis of EV-endMSCs.

In summary, the supplementation of embryo culture medium with extracellular vesicles from endometrialderived mesenchymal stem cells increases the quality of aged embryos.

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Stem cells for improving the biocompatibility of surgical meshes

JUMISC carried out an in vitro and in vivo study focused in the use of MSCs -coated surgical meshes to counteract the inflammatory response commonly observed after implantation.
Surgical meshes are medical devices traditionally used to solve hernias and prolapsed organs pathologies that may cause inflammation and foreign body reactions, causing pain and discomfort to the patient.
According to this, the JUMISC financed a R&D project to evaluate if MSCs may provide an anti-inflammatory environment after surgical implantation.
Magnetic resonance imaging, laparoscopic evaluation and histological studies were performed to evaluate safety aspects and its future clinical application as a bioactive material. The in vivo results demonstrated that they fulfill safety aspects and non-adverse effects.
The results have been published in Acta Biomaterialia, the second best journal in its area, whose authors are Rebeca Blázquez, Francisco Miguel Sánchez-Margallo, Verónica Álvarez, Alejandra Usón y Javier G. Casado. Moreover, according to the philosophy of JUMISC to promote the innovation and the quality of the patient life, from these results emerged an invention which is protected as a patent.
Finally, this project will continue and future experiments will be developed in a clinically relevant animal model for the extrapolation of the results to a clinical scenario.

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Images of the MSC-s coated surgical meshes obtained by microscopy

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