NanoBioelectronics and Biosensors Group

Group Leader: Arben Merkoçi


Graphene Week brings ICN2 innovation to San Sebastián

Graphene Week is the Graphene Flagship International Conference. It kicked off on 10 September in San Sebastian. The program includes some ICN2 researchers and their innovations are being exhibited at the Flagship’s booth.

BIST holds its annual conference at CosmoCaixa

BIST Director General says modernising research facilities and providing training to boost the social impact of science are the top priorities of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. The event, held at CosmoCaixa, offers an overview about several transversal research issues being tackled by the BIST institutions.

New review of nanomaterials for point-of-care devices

Daniel Quesada-González and group leader ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi are the authors of this comprehensive and accessible review of nanomaterials for point-of-care diagnostics. Published in Chemical Society Reviews, it runs through the pros and cons of their application in different device types.

Micromotors made easy

Researchers of the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group led by Prof. Arben Merkoçi have devised a simple manufacturing method for versatile graphene oxide-based micromotors. Requiring no specialist equipment, it can be used to produce a range of micromotors that can be further tuned for different purposes. Luis Baptista-Pires explains the process in the paper published in Small.

Conclusions of the FLEXOFABRIC Project

Project FLEXOFABRIC has studied the viability of PVDF fabrics for flexoelectric smart textiles. A flexoelectric material is one that generates electricity when bent. Polivinilidene di-fluoride (PVDF) is a well-known flexoelectric and piezoelectric polymer; films of this material have been reported to have large piezoelectric and flexoelectric coefficients and therefore a large capacity to generate electricity under mechanical stress. Our purpose was to see whether such good electromechanical properties could be transferred to a textile form for smart wearables.

The spinoff Paperdrop Diagnostics designs biomedical devices

The detection of drug-induced injuries can be carried out using a simple paper sensor and a drop of blood. The company Paperdrop Diagnostics S.L. will develop a low-cost and easy-to-use tool for this purpose. Promoted by ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, leader of the ICN2 Nanobioelectrics and Biosensors Group and innovation expert Dr. Marc Gallegos, Paperdrop Diagnostics S.L. is the latest example of successful transfer of ICN2 technology.

ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi in Nanotechweb

A new paper signed by ICREA professor Arben Merkoçi and published in IOPScience's 2D Materials is featured in Nanotechweb. It outlines an inexpensive process for the synthesis of biocompatible 2D materials for use in the biomedical context.

NyNA 2017 brings together the analytical nanotechnology community

The VIII International Congress on Analytical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NyNA 2017) was held in Barcelona on 3-5 July. Its Organising Committee was formed by the ICN2 Group Leaders ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, Prof. Laura Lechuga and ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol. The event was a unique opportunity to create enduring links and discuss the advancements in areas such as diagnostics, safety and security, environmental monitoring and other industrial applications.

Paper-based biosensor with smartphone readout

Researchers from the Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group at the ICN2 have published details of their new biosensor system in Scientific Reports by Nature. Paper embedded with a graphene structure is used together with a 3D-printable mini “darkroom” and smartphone technology to screen for different compounds found in food and environmental samples. The innovative system provides a low-cost portable alternative to lab testing for qualitative and quantitative pollutant detection and monitoring.

ICN2 at the MWC: Graphene based retina prostheses and pollution detectors

For the second consecutive year, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is offering a selection of the most promising applications based on such 2D materials as graphene in the Graphene Flagship’s Graphene Experience Zone. ICN2 is there to present two technologies: innovative electronic retina prostheses for patients that have lost their sight but still have a functional optic nerve and a patented sensor, fitted to a mobile phone, with oenology and pollution detection applications, the results of which can be read immediately. ICN2 and ICFO are already working together so that, after the MWC, they can once again put Barcelona at the forefront of innovation with 2D materials at the Graphene Conference 2017 (28-31 March 2017).

Mad for Science: Over 200 students start their first scientific adventure

Mad for Science is a consolidated Program organised by Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and devoted to bring High School sudents closer to research. ICN2, IFAE and UAB lead the second edition of Mad for Physics. It is a great opportunity for 25 brilliant young students to have a first contact with real research. The Program offers an overview of different research lines, including the participation of researchers from ICMAB, ICFO and Alba Synchrotron.

State of the art on graphene-based biosensors

Biosensing is growing on importance. Nanomaterials and, more specifically, graphene-based platforms have excellent properties for biosensing. In addition, flexible, abundant, low-cost and green materials, such as plastic and paper, can enhance this technology. Graphene-based biosensors will lead to breakthrough solutions for the real world, although their commercialization will imply diverse technical, production and market issues.

ICN2 creates new opportunities at GrapChina 2016

The ICN2 delegation included the Director and a nourished representation of Group leaders involved in different approaches to graphene research and applications. After a series of contacts with Chinese representations, GrapChina becomes a strategic event to develop new contacts with key players such as the China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry (CGIA).

ICN2 is involved in the new H2020 project INTCATCH

The project will design efficient, user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems based on innovative technologies that will provide real time data for important parameters, moving towards SMART Rivers. ICN2 is one of the partners of the Project through the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group, led by ICREA Prof Arben Merkoçi.

Visual detection of volatile compounds in a piece of plasmonic nanopaper

ICN2 researchers from Nanobioelectronics and Bisoensors Group, led by ICREA Professor Arben Merkoçi in collaboration with researchers in Canada and Iran, report a novel sensing technology for the visual detection of volatile compounds in a piece of plasmonic nanopaper. Their results have been just published in Nanoscale.

Graphene sensors interacting with the brain and a method for low-cost printing of graphene-based devices at the Mobile World Congress

The technologies presented at the Graphene Pavilion of the Mobile World Congress take advantage of the unique combination of graphene’s properties, such as high mechanical flexibility, biocompatibility, and ability to transport electricity. The Pavilion curated by ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, in collaboration with the Graphene Flaghship, includes two technologies developed by researchers from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2).

ICN2 hosts one coffee meeting organised by FCRi

Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRi) organised, together with ICN2 and sponsored by Ibercaja, a visit to the ICN2 facilities. The visit included a guided tour and interaction with scientists who presented samples of technology.

Mad for Science 2016 was launched in a massive event

Over 200 students, together with their families and teachers, participated in the launch event of Mad for Science 2016 (Bojos per la Ciència), an initiative to bring High School students closer to real research. ICN2 co-coordinates the Mad for Physics Program, together with IFAE. Àlex Argemí, ICN2 Head of Marketing and Communication, presented the initiative.

Label-free real-time plasmonic sensing allows quantification of alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms

Deregulated alternative splicing patterns could be considered as a hallmark of cancer. A recent paper in Biosensors and Bioelectronics reports a simple and robust technology using a Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) biosensor for label-free monitoring of alternative splicing events in real-time. The work was led by the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group in collaboration with the CRG.

ICN2 in the Media: Nanoparticles simplify DNA identification and quantification

This news item had a broad impact in different media and websites, including Diario Médico In an article published in Small, researchers from ICN2 and Vetgenomics successfully applied a new qualitative and quantitative method for the detection of a DNA sequence characteristic of Leishmania infantum kinetoplast.

Nanoparticles simplify DNA identification and quantification

In an article published in Small, researchers successfully applied a new qualitative and quantitative method for the detection of a DNA sequence characteristic of Leishmania infantum kinetoplast, a frequent parasite in veterinary that affects humans too. The work was led from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and the Spin Off company Vetgenomics.

A pregnancy test-like method allows the quick and cheap quantification of Parathyroid Hormone-like Hormone

Parathyroid Hormone-like Hormone is a relevant protein in the biology and treatment of several malignancies. A work in Nanomedicine, headed by Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group led by Prof. Arben Merkoci from the Institut Catala de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) and by Dr. Carmen de Torres Gomez-Pallete group from the Fundació and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, describes for the first time the application of lateral-flow immunoassays for the detection of this protein taking advantage of paper based nanobiosensors properties.

ICN2 in the Media: Paper-based nanobiosensors in RAC1

ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci’s team led an article recently published in ACS Nano reporting new sensing platforms based on bacterial cellulose nanopaper. RAC1, an influential Catalan Radio station, covered today those simple, low cost and easy to produce platforms in its news bulletin.

ICN2 in the media: paper-based nanobiosensors

ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci’s team led an article recently published in ACS Nano reporting new sensing platforms based on bacterial cellulose nanopaper. El Mundo Innovadores presented those simple, low cost and easy to produce platforms in a detailes article.

ICN2 in the Media: the research about nanopaper has been widely covered by the press

The recent article about using nanopaper as an optical sensor platform published in ACS Nano has attracted the attention of the press. Some of the most relevant newspapers and radio stations of the country have covered, or will do, the research led by ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci where the potential and the outstanding properties of nanocellulose for sensing applications are highlighted.

Nanopaper as an optical sensing platform

An international team led by the ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci has just developed new sensing platforms based on bacterial cellulose nanopaper. These novel platforms are simple, low cost and easy to produce and present outstanding properties that make them ideal for optical (bio)sensing applications. The results have been reported in ACS Nano.

ICN2 hosts Joves i Ciencia Program one more year

Eight students have developed their 2015 Joves i Ciencia Program projects at the ICN2 with the collaboration of eight of our researchers. In a two-week program, funded by the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, the pre-university students got in touch with real nanoscience and nanotechnology research.

The properties of graphene improve nanobiosensors for biomedical, environmental and security applications

Casa Convalescencia in Barcelona hosted the ICREA Workshop on Graphene Nanobiosensors on May 25th-26th, where international experts of the state-of-the-art in graphene nanobiosensors applications will meet. The integration of graphene in biosensor systems will lead to high sensitive, more selective and cost-effective devices. Prof Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, was among the participants of the meeting and will offer an ICN2 seminar in the UAB Campus on Wednesday May the 27th.

1st Scientific Meeting of BNC-b Students

The UAB Campus hosts the First Scientific Meeting of Students organized by the Barcelona Nanotechnology Cluster – Bellaterra. Over one hundred students participate in the meeting and have the opportunity to share experience and research from different nanoscience areas.

Dutch University students visit the ICN2

Students of the Radboud University, from the Netherlands, visited the ICN2 during a trip around the main Spanish research centres related with Physics. They had the opportunity to visit some of the laboratories and speak with the researchers about their work at the Institute.

The Associació Ambit B30 organizes with ICN2 a meeting about nanobiosensors

Hospitals and biomedical related initiatives gathered at ICN2 to discuss about the potential of nanotechnology in the field of biomedicine, with a special emphasis on biosensors. The workshop, organised as part of the Biosensors B30 project, explored the opportunities of establishing shared biosensor projects.

In situ production of biofunctionalised few-layer defect-free microsheets of graphene

This potentially scalable graphene production method has just been published in Advanced Functional Materials by the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group, led by ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci, in collaboration with the Department of Chemical Sciences from University of Naples “Federico II”, led by Prof. Paola Giardina. The method consists in the exfoliation of low cost graphite using ultrasonic waves in synergy with a surface active and self-assembling protein extracted from an edible fungus

Luigi Colombo, from Texas Instruments, has visited ICN2

Within the framework of Manuel Cardona Conferences, Luigi Colombo recently came to the ICN2 to offer a talk about 2D materials growth, invited by Prof Stephan Roche. He also visited some of the laboratories of the institute and he talked to us in an exclusive interview conducted by Sebastian Grinschpun.

SMS promotes the development of novel sensing devices for seawater real-time monitoring

ICN2 holds a Meeting of the European Project SMS on November 27-28. The project will deliver a novel automated networked system to monitor seawater chemical and ecological status.

The Consortium, coordinated from the Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), consists of six University and Research Institutes and four SMEs from 8 countries. SMS results will be tested in different marine areas of Europe and are expected to have a major impact on tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture

Graphene oxide reveals the presence of pathogens

Reported in Angewandte, a novel optical biosensing system for the analysis of bacteria has been designed, fabricated, and then evaluated by ICN2 researchers.

The system consists of quantum dots–antibody microspots that are quenched by a coating of graphene oxide (GO) platelets as long as the pathogen is absent. In the presence of the pathogen, the quenching of the probes is minimum since their interaction with the coating of GO platelets is limited. This new approach exhibits a highly sensitive qualitative behaviour.

A paper-based sensor for monitoring cadmium contamination in water

ICREA Research Professor Arben Merkoci and colleagues report a paper-based sensor for detection of cadmium (Cd2+) in water at record levels of sensitivity, in latest issue of Analytical Chemistry.

The sensor is cheap, portable and easy-to-use, making it a potentially ideal replacement for the costly, large time-consuming and complicated equipment traditionally employed for metal detection in water, and enabling water analysis in remote locations with limited resources

ICN researchers publish review of paper-based nanobiosensors

ICREA Research Professor Arben Merkoci and doctoral student Claudio Parolo have just published a review of paper-based nanobiosensors for diagnostics, in Chemical Society Reviews

Paper-based nanobiosensors offer great promise to meet the World Health Organisation’s ASSURED guidelines for diagnostics technologies in developing countries.

ICN researchers and colleagues create new cancer cell assay

Reporting in Nano Letters, ICREA Research Professor and ICN Group Leader Arben Merkoci, UAB Group Leader Dr Carme Nogues, and colleagues describe a new method to quantify circulating tumour cells.

The assay is based on tandem use of antibody-coated magnetic beads, which selectively bind to the cancer cells for subsequent magnetic isolation, and antibody-coated gold nanoparticles, to selectively bind to the cancer cells for subsequent electrochemical detection.

ICN researchers publish review on graphene oxide and biosensors

Prof Arben Merkoci and Eden Morales-Narvaez, of ICN’s Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group, review the state-of-the-art in graphene oxide (GO) for optical biosensors in Advanced Materials.

According to the authors, graphene oxide (GO) offers numerous advantages over other materials for use in optical sensing systems for biological analytes.

ICN Group Leader co-edits special issue of Lab on a Chip

Prof Arben Merkoci of ICN and Prof Jörg P. Kutter of DTU co-edit Themed Issue of journal Lab on Chip, entitled “NANO-technologies and -materials for miniaturisation”

The issue, showcasing recent developments in nanotechnology for miniaturised biological diagnostics and other analytical applications, is centred on work to that will be presented at the Third International Workshop on Analytical Miniaturization and Nanotechnologies (WAM-NANO 2012), to be held in Barcelona on 11 and 12 June.

Nanomachines to clean up oil spills in water

ICN Group Leader Arben Merkoci, Prof Joseph Wang at UCSD, and co-workers report in ACS Nano the development and testing of “microsubmarines” that remove oil from contaminated water.

The Lilliputian cargo vehicles run on hydrogen peroxide, reach speeds of up to 26 micrometres per second and can carry up to ten times their volume in oil.

Graphene oxide efficiently quenches quantum dots via FRET

Team including ICN researchers reports in Carbon that compared to other carbon-based materials, graphene oxide absorbs a far greater fraction of photons from quantum dots by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET).

“Simple Förster resonance energy transfer evidence for the ultrahigh quantum dot quenching efficiency by graphene oxide compared to other carbon structures” (Morales-Narvaéz E et al., Carbon, 2012, doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2012.02.081)

Novel glucose biosensor based on bimetallic nanowires, CHEM. COMM. (2011)

A new detection system for clinical analysis and biotechnological applications.

A novel nanowire based biosensor for glucose detection was recently described in Chemical Communications by researchers led by ICREA and UAB Prof. Arben Merkoci, Group Leader of the Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), in collaboration with researchers from UNT and CONICET in Argentina.

IAAM Medal 2011 awarded to ICN and ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoci

IAAM Medal 2011 awarded in recognition of Prof. Merkoci´s contributions in the fields of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology.

The Academic Council of the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) has decided to honour ICREA and UAB Prof. Arben Merkoci, Group Leader of the Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN) in Barcelona, Spain, with the IAAM Medal of year 2011.

Cancer detection using nanoparticle-based sensors

As reported in Chemical Society Reviews, a team of scientists led by ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoci from the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN )in collaboration with Prof. Anthony Turner from Cranfield University, UK and Linköping University and Maelle Perfézou from Cranfield University, UK have reviewed the latest nanotechnology based cancer diagnostics which are increasingly offering relevant alternatives to traditional techniques.

New Technology - Nanochannel/Nanoparticle Based Device for Cancer Biomarker Detection

ICN researchers demonstrate a novel nanochannel/nanoparticle-based filtering and sensing platform for direct detection of a cancer biomarker in blood

Researchers of the Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), Barcelona have demonstrated the efficiency of a device based on nanochannels that through the use of gold nanoparticles as channel blockers can be useful for the detection of cancer biomarkers in whole blood samples.

Programa Joves i Ciencia 2011 - Caixa de Catalunya

Gemma Aragay, estudiant del Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group de l’ICN avaluadora dels articles dels participants al programa d’enguany

Gemma Aragay, estudiant del nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group de l’ICN participa per segona vegada com avaluadora dels articles cientifics dels nois i noies participants al programa d’enguany.