Unraveling the cell’s sweet spot from nature

In a recent Nature chemical biology paper, a team of researchers from ICMS/TUE and IBEC, together with researchers from Leiden University unravel the interactions of individual sugar molecules with cells using super-resolution microscopy. The paper appeared on the cover of the November issue of the journal.

New chemical lego blocks for health solutions

IBEC researchers develop new multi-responsive molecules able to self-assemble in water forming fiber-like structures. The so-called discotic molecules show responsiveness to temperature, light, pH, and ionic strength and they might show great potential for medical applications such as drug delivery systems, diagnosis or tissue engineering.

Edgar Fuentes is a PhD student in the Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine Group led by Lorenzo Albertazzi at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Within this group, Edgar and his colleagues focus on the synthesis of novel smart supramolecular materials for drug delivery.

ERC President visits IBEC

The President of the European Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, visited last May 15th the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).

The event was inaugurated by IBEC’s Director, Josep Samitier, who presented an overview on the cutting-edge research carried out at the institute in the fields of bioengineering and nanomedicine.

Afterwards, ERC Grantees working at IBEC had the opportunity to explain the impact of ERC grants on their professional careers and established a dialogue with ERC President on the past, present and future of the European Research Council.

Two more juniors consolidate as full group leaders

Lorenzo Albertazzi and Nuria Montserrat, IBEC’s Junior Group Leaders selected in the 2014 Tenure Track programme, have been successfully consolidated as Group Leader as of 1st January 2019, following a positive evaluation by the ISC.

IBEC’s tenure track programme aims to support career development by helping young researchers establish their own independent research lines. Other factors considered included the added value offered by their projects to the current IBEC research programme, and the ability of the selected candidates to carry out efficient group leadership and management.

The first four junior group leaders selected by the programme in 2012 – Eduard Torrents, Elisabeth Engel, Pere Roca-Cusachs and Xavier Fernández-Busquets – were all successfully consolidated as Senior Group Leaders as of 1st January 2017.

Super-resolution imaging guides the design of biocompatible microswimmers

Two IBEC groups have clubbed together to combine their expertise and reveal new knowledge that could advance the design of micro- and nanomotors for applications in health.

By harnessing the unprecedented resolution of Lorenzo Albertazzi’s group’s STORM microscope, Samuel Sánchez’s group – in collaboration with Erik Schäffer’s group at the University of Tübingen – have been able to reveal new information about how their enzyme-powered nanomotors achieve motion.

Synthetic enzymes for controlled drug delivery in cells

The Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine group has studied Single-Chain Polymeric Nanoparticles (SCPNs) mimicking enzymes as possible drug activators in biological environments, like the living cell.

The bio-inspired nanoparticles could be used to spatially control drug delivery in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Through their study, published in JACS, the researchers have optimized the delivery strategies of dynamic SCPNs so that they retain their catalytic activity at the cellular environment. This paves the way towards the rational design of nanosystems that can perform effective catalysis in vivo.