“Pioneers” Award for research and potential application of biorobots

On December 20th, the winners of the CERCA 2021 Pioneer Awards were announced, these awards recognize recent doctoral theses from CERCA Centers that have shown a clear potential for transfer. In the 2021 edition, the Jury considered that the thesis of the scientist Rafael Mestre, carried out by the Smart Nano-Bio-Devices Group led by Samuel Sánchez at IBEC, could have a great impact on various sectors and applications. The doctoral thesis of Dr. Mestre deals with the development and application of bioactuators and biorobots based on muscle tissue and the improvement of their manufacture using 3D printing technologies. 

More specifically, this thesis presents a new method for making fine, individual and functional muscle fibres that do not fuse with each other, based on a 3D co-axial printing system, mimicking the native structure of human muscle tissue and with potential industrial interest in the field of regenerative medicine (muscle tissue transplants for patients with degenerative diseases or serious accidents), as well as in biomedical research to understand the development of human muscle tissue. 

The doctoral thesis of Dr. Mestre also presents the design, manufacture and application of a muscle strength measurement platform with numerous applications in pharmacology and cosmetics, very close to the market. 

The jury was made up of Melba Navarro, an expert in technology transfer at CIMNE Tecnologia; Nadia Pons, Director of Health Entrepreneurship Programal Official College of Physicians of Barcelona; Núria Martí, director of Innovation at Biocat; Manuel Palacín, director of The Collider program at Mobile World Capital Barcelona; Julià Manzanas, RBDM Southern European AREOPA Group International and Chairman of the Committee on the Economics of Knowledge and Innovation of the College of Economists of Catalonia; and Joan Sansaloni, head of the Industrial and Intellectual Property Unit of ACCIÓ. 

Research group of Professor ICREA at IBEC, Samuel Sánchez.