Area 2: Materials for biomedicine (BIO)

Area description

Development of advanced materials for biomedicine where nanodiagnosis, drug delivery, tissue engineering and antimicrobial and oncological therapies play a fundamental role. The research carried out ranges from basic research to applied translational research.


Valeria Grazú

Deputy - coordinator

Scott Mitchell

  • DESCRIPTION: Development of methodology and devices for rapid and effective monitoring of parameters of interest in health and nutrition. Search for new biomarkers for the diagnosis and monitoring of treatments against cancer and other pathologies, the search for new transduction systems using nanoparticles and development of contrast agents for medical imaging.
  • Development of analytical methodologies for the determination of compounds of medical or food interest through the use of nanobiosensors.
  • Determination by AFM of enzymatic mechanisms, recognition pathways and studies of forces at the single molecule level.
  • Integration of biomolecules and nanoparticles in sensors for the development of nanodevices.
  • Translational research, culminating in 2010 with the creation of the spin-off company “Nanoimmunotech, S.L.“. The company is nowadays already established in the Nanobiotechnology sector, with a multitude of its own projects, among which the SME Instrument project stands out.
  • Extensive experience in the synthesis of nanomaterials as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Development of materials such as contrast agents for optoacoustic imaging, ultrasound, PET, SPECT, CT, etc
DESCRIPTION: Nanoparticulate systems for the controlled transport and delivery of drugs, genes, therapeutically active molecules and of biological interest from various nanoparticulate matrices (magnetic, plasmonic, polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes, exosomes, dendrimers, self-assemblies based on DNA, etc.) to be applied mainly in antimicrobial and oncological therapies. Nanovectors and nanoconjugates based on magnetic and plasmonic and hybrid nanoparticles.
  • Synthesis of particles of various natures as carrier vectors for molecules of therapeutic interest with an accumulated experience of more than 17 years.
  • Synthesis of metallic nanoparticles and use of the heat generated by these nanoparticles under the application of an alternating magnetic field or light in oncological and antimicrobial therapy, and / or as a local heating agent that produces other effects (drug release, activation of production of proteins, remote control of the biophysical properties of cell membranes, transfection, cell activation, etc.).
  • Development of devices and tests for determining intracellular temperature for the instantaneous observation of intracellular thermal phenomena.
  • Development of on-demand drug delivery systems in response to an exogenous or endogenous stimulus (one ERC project completed and another ERC project ongoing).

DESCRIPTION: INMA works in the detection, prophylaxis and treatment of bacterial infections, as well as diseases generated by parasites. It is also working on the development of new classes of antimicrobial nanomaterials (bactericides and fungicides). Within this line are also included those projects and publications whose objective is to conserve heritage affected by microbial contamination.

  • Development and use of in vitro and in vivo models of bacterial infection to validate its developments, including models of intracellular pathogens or with part of their intracellular life cycle.
  • Experience in the study of antimicrobial mechanisms at the molecular level.
  • Development of antimicrobial materials for the food and environmental fields.

DESCRIPTION: This line includes several levels of development: i) The development of bioortogonal catalysis systems that favor the selective and remote formation of compounds of antitumor activity generated in situ in a localized manner; ii) Search for advanced nanomaterials with catalytic properties that mimic the action of natural enzymes present at the intracellular level, increasing their performance and performance in adverse microtumor environments; iii) The use of localized heat in the microenvironment of enzyme-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles for the optimization of multienzymatic processes in biotechnology and for in situ generation of drugs.

  • This line is recently started at the Institute (2015) and has been supported by obtaining funding through an ERC Advanced Grant and a FET-OPEN project.

DESCRIPTION:  The activity in this line focuses on the manufacture of scaffolds for tissue regeneration made up of nanofibers and nanoparticles containing bioactive molecules (proteins, growth factors, antibiotics) that accelerate the regenerative process. Use of mechanostrasduction through magnetic particles.

  • Synthesis of various scaffolds using manufacturing techniques based on electrospining and wet chemistry, as well as 3D printing.
  • Validation of scaffolds in in vitro and in vivo models.
  • Recently, a new sub-line has been opened that addresses the development of tools based on magnetic nanoparticles to activate and control intracellular signaling pathways related to mechanotransduction (ERC StG M. Moros, 2020-2025). In this case, it is intended to activate magnetic nanoparticles attached to the cell membrane through the use of external magnets, to trigger a cascade of biochemical signals that accelerate tissue regeneration.
  • There is an exceptional invertebrate model to validate regeneration, Hydra vulgaris, ours being the only centre in Spain that uses it.
DESCRIPTION: We work on studying the interaction of nanomaterials with cells and living organisms, dealing with aspects of cellular internalization, biodistribution and biodegradation of nanomaterials. The toxicity of nanomaterials is also evaluated, from their in vitro study to their in vivo study in C. elegans, Hydra vulgaris, Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus.
  • Extensive experience in Occupational Safety to work safely with nanomaterials.
  • Collaboration and advice on nanosafety and handling of nanostructured materials that has resulted in multiple private contracts, including contracts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • A patent has been generated and transferred based on the development of a highly versatile nanoparticle aerosol generator with a wide potential of applications.
  • Experience in various safety projects in laser processing for the ceramic industry.
  • Personnel of the line offers the research support service through the Nanotoxicology and Experimental Immunotoxicology Unit (UNATI) IIS Aragón.

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