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Molecular Bionics

About

We are chemists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers, biologists who work alongside to design bionic units that mimic specific biological functions and/or introduce operations that do not exist in Nature. We apply a constructionist approach where we mimic biological complexity in the form of design principles to produce functional units from simple building blocks and their interactions.​ We called such an approach:  Molecular Bionics.

We are engaged in several activities involving the synthesis and characterisation of novel hierarchal materials whose properties are the result of the holistic combination of its components:

Molecular Engineering

We combine synthetic and supramolecular chemistry to tune inter/intramolecular interactions and self-assembly processes to form dynamic soft materials whose molecular, supramolecular and mesoscale structures are tuned and fit for the final application (pictured right: molecular engineering of nanoscopic structures starting from molecule passing to polymers and finally to supra molecular structures).

Physical Biology

Our materials are designed to interact with living systems and thus its biological activity is studied in high detail. We have developed and established new methodologies to study living systems and how synthetic materials interact with them combining holistically physical and life sciences (Physical Biology).

Synthetic Biology

Both know-hows are applied to study biological organisation and complexity creating synthetic surrogates that act as models, as well as to engineer novel sophisticated ways to interact with living organisms.

Somanautics

In analogy to medical bionics, where engineering and physical science converge to the design of replacement and/or enhancement of malfunctioning body parts, we take inspiration from viruses, trafficking vesicles and exosomes to apply molecular engineering to create nanoscopic carriers that can navigate the human body (Somanautics) with the final aim to improve drug delivery or create new diagnostic tools.


Visit our external website to find out more.

Staff

Projects

INTERNATIONAL GRANTSFINANCERPI
CheSSTag · Chemotactic Super-Selective Targeting of Gliomas (2020-2023)European Comission / ERC-CoGG. Battaglia
NATIONAL PROJECTSFINANCERPI
BrainPePN · Nanomedicinas de precisión que penetran el cerebro (2021-2024)MICIU / Retos investigación: Proyectos I+DG. Battaglia
FUNDRAISING PROJECTSFINANCERPI
A por la COVID-19 (2021-2022)IBEC / Faster Future 2020G. Battaglia

Publications

Equipment

  • State-of-the-art facilities for cell culture including 5 class A cell cabinets: one dedicated for LPS and RNAse free cell culture and one dedicated for infected tissues
  • Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS)
  • Confocal microscope to perform live cell 4D imaging
  • Thermocycler
  • Real-time PCR
  • Automated Western Blot
  • Gel Permeation Chromatography
  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography equipped with fluorescence, UV/Vis and Infrared and light scattering detectors
  • Dynamic light scattering unit
  • Nanoparticle tracking analysis
  • UV and Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Automated liquid handling units
  • Nanoparticle production units

Collaborations

  • Xavier Salvatella
    IRB Barcelona
  • Francesca Peiro
    Physics-University of Barcelona
  • Kostas Kostarellos
    Life Science- University of Manchester/ICN2
  • Giorgio Volpe
    Chemistry-UCL
  • Simona Parrinello
    Cancer Institute -UCL
  • Finn Werner
    Structural Biology -UCL
  • Nick Lane
    Evolutionary Biology -UCL
  • Darren Hargraves
    Pediatric Neuro-Oncology -UCL
  • Timothy McHugh
    Clinical Microbiology =UCL
  • Sebastian Brander
    Neurology -UCL
  • Joan Abbott
    Physiology -King’s College London
  • Molly Stevens
    Bioengineering -Imperial College London
  • Stefano Angioletti-Uberti
    Materials Science -Imperial College London
  • Ricardo Sapienza
    Physics -Imperial College London
  • Daan Frenkel
    Chemisty-University of Cambridge
  • Charlotte Williams
    Chemistry -University of Oxford
  • Francesco Gervasio
    Pharmacology -University of Geneve/UCL, UK
  • Francesco Stellacci
    Bionegineering -EPFL Switzerland
  • Tambet Tessalu
    Cancer Biology -University of Tartu (Estonia)/ Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
  • Darrel Irvine
    Bioengineering -MIT
  • Xiaohe Tian
    Life Sciences University of Anhui
  • Yupeng Tian
    Chemistry University of Anhui
  • Lei Luo
    Pharmacy -Southwest University, China
  • Kai Luo
    HuaXi hospital Sichuan University
  • Darren Hargrave
    Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCLH London
  • Sebastian Brander
    Queen Square National Centre for Neurology, UCLH London

News

Application Deadline: 30/06/2022Ref: LT_GB The Molecular Bionics group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) led by Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is looking for a laboratory technician to support the animal research lines of the biology section of the team, as well as to contribute to the general lab maintenance.

Animal Lab technician

Application Deadline: 30/06/2022Ref: LT_GB The Molecular Bionics group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) led by Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is looking for a laboratory technician to support the animal research lines of the biology section of the team, as well as to contribute to the general lab maintenance.

Veronika Magdanz, of the Nano Intelligent Devices Group led by Samuel Sánchez, as well as Iris Batalha and Mohit Kumar of the Molecular Bionics group led by Giuseppe Battaglia, have … Read more

Three IBEC researchers granted with “La Caixa Foundation” fellowships for young scientific leaders

Veronika Magdanz, of the Nano Intelligent Devices Group led by Samuel Sánchez, as well as Iris Batalha and Mohit Kumar of the Molecular Bionics group led by Giuseppe Battaglia, have … Read more

Last Friday, September 24, the “European Researchers’ Night” took place, an event that is held on a European scale in more than 300 cities in 30 different countries. The objective of this event is to publicize the diversity of science and its impact on the daily lives of citizens in a close and inspiring way. For yet another year, IBEC has not wanted to miss it and has been present at various activities.

IBEC researchers participate in the “European Researchers’ Night”

Last Friday, September 24, the “European Researchers’ Night” took place, an event that is held on a European scale in more than 300 cities in 30 different countries. The objective of this event is to publicize the diversity of science and its impact on the daily lives of citizens in a close and inspiring way. For yet another year, IBEC has not wanted to miss it and has been present at various activities.

Giuseppe Battaglia, leader of the IBEC “Molecular Bionics” group and ICREA Research Professor appears in various media for his recent study describing a mechanism and conditions that allow molecules to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, the protective layer of the brain.

A mechanism to cross the blood-brain bareer has been discovered

Giuseppe Battaglia, leader of the IBEC “Molecular Bionics” group and ICREA Research Professor appears in various media for his recent study describing a mechanism and conditions that allow molecules to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, the protective layer of the brain.

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) launches the Faster Future “A por la COVID19” campaign, with the aim of raising the 100.000€ needed to accelerate three research projects in collaboration with hospitals and patients associations.

IBEC calls society to action to accelerate research against COVID19 

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) launches the Faster Future “A por la COVID19” campaign, with the aim of raising the 100.000€ needed to accelerate three research projects in collaboration with hospitals and patients associations.

An international study led by IBEC researcher Giuseppe Battaglia identifies a mechanism and conditions that allow molecules to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, the protective layer of the brain. This study describes the role of protein LRP1, bringing light to safe and efficient entrance of drugs to the brain.

Researchers discover a mechanism to cross the protective barrier of the brain

An international study led by IBEC researcher Giuseppe Battaglia identifies a mechanism and conditions that allow molecules to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, the protective layer of the brain. This study describes the role of protein LRP1, bringing light to safe and efficient entrance of drugs to the brain.

In a new study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, researchers describe a new concept called “range selectivity”, explaining why biomimetic nanoparticles only bind to receptors when their density is within a precise range. This finding could pave the way for the development of highly targeted therapies against a number of diseases.

Range selectivity, a new concept that could lead to more efficient nanoparticle drug delivery 

In a new study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, researchers describe a new concept called “range selectivity”, explaining why biomimetic nanoparticles only bind to receptors when their density is within a precise range. This finding could pave the way for the development of highly targeted therapies against a number of diseases.

An international team, led by Profs Giuseppe Battaglia and Loris Rizzello from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), carried out out a study that opens the door to a new therapy capable of quickly and effectively eliminating infections caused by intracellular bacteria, the most resistant to immune defenses. This therapy, based on synthetic vesicles, could considerably reduce the dose and duration of antimicrobial treatments, thus reducing the danger of generating resistance to antibiotics of pathogens such as those leading to tuberculosis.

Bioengineering against the most resistant and deadly bacterial infections

An international team, led by Profs Giuseppe Battaglia and Loris Rizzello from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), carried out out a study that opens the door to a new therapy capable of quickly and effectively eliminating infections caused by intracellular bacteria, the most resistant to immune defenses. This therapy, based on synthetic vesicles, could considerably reduce the dose and duration of antimicrobial treatments, thus reducing the danger of generating resistance to antibiotics of pathogens such as those leading to tuberculosis.

A team of international scientists led by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) has developed a “faster, more effective and safer” therapy to eliminate infections of intracellular bacteria that cause diseases such as tuberculosis. Scientists participating in the study include Group Leader Giuseppe Battaglia and the researcher Loris Rizzello of IBEC.

A “faster and safer” therapy against tuberculosis

A team of international scientists led by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) has developed a “faster, more effective and safer” therapy to eliminate infections of intracellular bacteria that cause diseases such as tuberculosis. Scientists participating in the study include Group Leader Giuseppe Battaglia and the researcher Loris Rizzello of IBEC.

Jobs

Application Deadline: 17/10/2021Ref: PhD_IB The Molecular Bionics group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is looking for PhD student to work on the development of targeted nanotherapeutics for drug delivery with a focus on infectious diseases and cancer. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. Iris L. Batalha (La Caixa Junior Leader Fellow) and Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia. We are looking for a Chemistry/ Bioengineering/ Biotechnology graduate to work on an interdisciplinary project at the interface of chemistry and biology. The project will include the synthesis and functionalisation of polymers and assembly into nanoparticle delivery systems, protein expression and purification, generation of peptide ligands by phage display, and evaluation of targeted nanoparticles in vitro for applications in the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.

PhD Student at the Molecular Bionics Research Group

Application Deadline: 17/10/2021Ref: PhD_IB The Molecular Bionics group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is looking for PhD student to work on the development of targeted nanotherapeutics for drug delivery with a focus on infectious diseases and cancer. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. Iris L. Batalha (La Caixa Junior Leader Fellow) and Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia. We are looking for a Chemistry/ Bioengineering/ Biotechnology graduate to work on an interdisciplinary project at the interface of chemistry and biology. The project will include the synthesis and functionalisation of polymers and assembly into nanoparticle delivery systems, protein expression and purification, generation of peptide ligands by phage display, and evaluation of targeted nanoparticles in vitro for applications in the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.