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Friday, 17 April 2015

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.

The Associació Ambit B30 gathered on April 16 a delegation of Hospitals and biomedical initiatives to discuss biomedical nanotechnology opportunities with biomedical members of the Association and ICN2 researchers and representatives. The visitors represented entities such as Hospital General de Granollers, Mutua de Terrassa, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Corporació sanitaria Parc Tauli (Sabadell) or the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

The workshop, organised as part of the Biosensors B30 project, explored the opportunities of establishing shared biosensor projects. Boaz Kogon, ICN2 strategy Manager, presented the potential of nanotechnology and ICN2 in the field of biomedicine with a special emphasis on biosensors. Jordi Reverter, ICN2 Technology Transfer Manager, CSIC Dr Ana Belen Gonzalez, from the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, Nadia Pons, from the ICN2 Technology Transfer Department, and Àlex Argemí, ICN2 Communication Manager, also participated in the event. Some other researchers presented their recent work.

Dr. Fernando Novio, from the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials (Nanosfun) Group, talked about nanoparticles for biodetection, therapy, bioimaging or tissue regeneration. He presented different techniques such as Coordination Polymer Particles or Nanoencapsulation which allow them to functionalize materials with biomedical applications. The resulting materials can react in front of stimuli like PH to, for instance, change their shape and liberate an antitumor drug. The functionalization process makes possible the design of nanoparticles with a high specificity. Dr. Novio presented some collaboration with researchers from Hospital Vall d’Hebrón (Barcelona), UAB or Hospital del Nino Jesus (Madrid), which share samples from their Biobanks.

Dr Neus Gómez Bastus, from the ICN2 Inorganic Nanoparticles Group, talked about how they are able to change the interface of nanoparticles and targeted cells/molecules. They are able to handcraft physic-chemical properties of complex hybrid materials. By modifying the nanoparticle’s surface chemistry they direct it towards a unique target, change the biodistribution of molecules affecting the secondary effects of a drug or change the way the particles are eliminated by the patient. She mentioned applications such as modulating the immune response or dissolving organic aggregates like ?–amyloid or the ones leading to atherosclerosis. The NanoTargeting spin off is developing, among others, applications of gold nanoparticles loaded with a platinum-based chemotherapeutic drug.

Another team that was mentioned during the meeting is the ICN2 Supramolecular NanoChemistry & Materials Group, led by ICREA Prof Daniel Maspoch, which works on the synthesis and application of novel supramolecular materials and the development of surface chemistry by Nanolithography. Other teams with a more basic approach can also bring light to biomedical challenges, such as the Oxide Nanoelectronics Group, led by the ICREA Prof Gustau Catalan, which studies and manipulates the properties of oxide smart materials at the nanoscale. The Flexible Printing Platform led by Dr Nikos Kehagias can also be of interest for applications in nanobiosensors.

The visit ended with a route through different laboratories. The Nanobiolectronics and Biosensors Group, led by ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci, explained how they focus on the design and fabrication of nanomaterial-based sensors and biosensors for diverse areas of life. Finally, the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by CSIC Prof Laura M. Lechuga, explained their work in the design, fabrication and clinical applications of nanobiosensor devices and lab-on-a-chip platforms.