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.
Researchers from IBEC, in collaboration with an international team, describe the first molecules capable of regulate glycine receptors with light: Glyght and Azo-NZ1. The new molecules are a promising way to study neuronal circuits, to develop drug-based phototherapies non-invasively, and to understand neurological disorders related with the incorrect functioning of glycine receptors, as hyperekplexia, epilepsy and autism.
Pau Gorostiza and his team at IBEC participates in the DEEPER project which aims at creating new tools for accessing the deep brain with unprecedented precision for the study and treatment of neurological diseases. The project involves 12 partners in 8 countries, and it has been funded by the European Union with approximately 5.7 million euros for the next 4 years.
A study led by researchers from the ‘Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches’ Group of the Institute for Bioingeniería of Catalunya (IBEC) shows, for the first time, that the receptor proteins that control processes such as the pupil reaction can be regulated by light and new chemical compounds called “Adrenoswitches”.
IBEC’s research group “Nanoprobes and nanoswitches” creates a system based on light to inhibit the endocytocis and control its spatio-temporal dynamics. The newly developed light-sensitive small-molecule inhibitors of endocytosis (called dynazos) are water-soluble, cell permeable, photostable, and enable fast photoswitchable inhibition of endocytosis. This technology will allow more accurate and controlled studies were endocytosis is crucial, as in cellular grow, differentiation and motility.
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.