A pioneering study led by IBEC in collaboration with ICFO has unveiled a method to control brain activity in living organisms using drugs activated by infrared light. This cutting-edge technique activates a specific neurotransmitter receptor using light that can penetrate deep into tissue and offers unparalleled pharmacological and spatiotemporal precision in three dimensions. The findings open new frontiers for neurobiology research and the development of light-based noninvasive neuromodulation therapies.
A scientific team coordinated by José Antonio del Río from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) observed the mechanical signals and traction forces involved in the migration of Cajal-Retzius cells, a group of neurons that play an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex. The study, conducted on rodents, has been published in the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.
A study led by researchers from IBEC and IDIBAPS achieves, for the first time, the control of brain state transitions using a molecule responsive to light, named PAI. The results not only pave the way to act on the brain patterns activity, but they also could lead to the development of photomodulated drugs for the treatment of brain lesions or diseases such as depression, bipolar disorders or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases.
An international team led by the SPECS Laboratory at the IBEC has identified, for the first time in humans, the physiological mechanism responsible for the effectiveness of learning processes based on self-motivation and freedom of choice. The protagonists of this mechanism are theta-type brain waves, which regulate the ability of the human hippocampus to fix and retrieve information.
An international group of researchers from the University of Maryland (United States) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) led by ICREA Research Professor Silvia Muro, has identified a new way of transporting drugs to the brain, one of the major challenges of the pharmaceutical science today, that could help to come up with new treatments for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
To find this out, the experts linked an antibody capable of recognizing the ICAM-1 protein -a molecule expressed on the surface of blood vessels- to a series of polymeric nanoparticles that can transport drugs and inject them intravenously.