NanoBiomedicine Initiative

We have coordinated the Nanobiomedicine Initiative to give greater visibility within the CSIC and UAM + CSIC Campus of Excellence to the nanotechnology research carried out by several groups at the CNB.

This initiative will articulate a space in the CNB that enhances interaction/collaboration between research groups to develop nanotechnology-based biomedical applications.  Supported by their experience in their respective fields, each participating group has already launched projects on nanotechnology-related issues.  The initiative aims to share experience, protocols and technology to harness the tremendous potential of the CNB groups in nanotechnology and to coordinate requests for joint projects, fund-raising, acquiring necessary infrastructure, and so on.

Among other applications, this initiative will emphasize NanoBiomedicine, that is, nanotechnology solutions (nanoparticles, nanocells, nanoviruses, nanovaccines) for biomedical applications, especially in the field of controlled and localized release of drugs or biomolecules (antibodies, cytokines, chemokines, peptides, DNA, RNA) to specific cell types and tissues.  The goal is to analyze the therapeutic efficacy of these nanotechnological solutions in animal models of disease, including cancer types (especially for those presenting surgical difficult, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma), as well as autoimmune, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases and rare disease.  The CNB has proven experience using these models, and could also carry out pre-clinical trials. Other biomedical applications based on nanotechnology, including detection and manipulation systems, bioimaging, and hyperthermia, are also included in this initiative.

The initiative will form the backbone of research in nanobiomedicine at the UAM + CSIC Campus of Excellence, gradually integrating associated groups with interest in nanobiomedice in CSIC institutes or departments, the UAM + CSIC Campus (ICMM, CBMSO).

The NanoBiomedicine Initiative currently involves the following groups:

Coordinator: Domingo F Barber Castaño



Domingo F. Barber group

- Development and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles for transport and controlled release of drugs or localized biomolecules (antibodies, cytokines, chemokines, peptides, DNA, RNA) to specific cell types and tissues

- In vitro analysis of toxicity and functional capacity of surface-modified magnetic nanoparticles

- Biodistribution and toxicity studies of functionalized nanoparticles in animal models

- Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of functionalized nanoparticles in animal models of disease


José Ruiz Castón group

- Development of functionalized nanovehicles derived from viral capsids

- Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of viral capsid-derived nanovehicles


Luis Ángel Fernández group

- Technologies for selection, engineering and expression of small single-domain antibodies (nanobodies) for nanoparticle targeting to a specific cell type or tissue

- Development of functionalized nanovehicles derived from bacterial cells

- Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of bacterial cell-derived nanovehicles in mouse models of disease


Leonor Kremer group

- Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies to functionalize and route nanoparticles to specific cell types and tissues

- Generation of monoclonal antibodies to polyethylene glycol; development of immunoassays to detect pegylated molecules, liposomes and nanoparticles; quantification in biological fluids, pharmacokinetic studies in animal models

-  Surface plasmon resonance study of interactions between monoclonal antibodies and target molecules; determination of kinetic constants and affinity


Fernando Moreno Herrero group

- Manipulation and visualization of proteins and nucleic acids using single-molecule techniques

- Use of single-molecule techniques to study interactions between nucleic acids and proteins

- Use of atomic force microscopy to view protein complexes with nanometer precision; optical and magnetic tweezers to analyze real-time dynamics of the translocation of molecular motors


José María Valpuesta group

- Structural and functional characterization of macromolecular complexes, including molecular chaperone proteins involved in the folding and degradation of other proteins

- Characterization of the forces involved in the function of certain proteins and in the manipulation of cellular organelles, using single-molecule techniques such as optical and magnetic tweezers


CNB Animal Facility, Angel Naranjo

- The CNB Animal Facility supports groups working in experimental animal models necessary to validate in vivo the nanobiomedical therapies developed by the NanoBiomedicine Initiative

- Collaboration with various groups in the development of toxicological, efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic testing, and of experimental models for in vivo study of nanobiomedical applications


CNB-IMDEA Nanoscience Associated Unit

  1. Ricardo Arias-Gonzalez

- Study of elastic behavior of nucleic acids in the mechanochemistry of molecular motors and the centrosome; strategies for mechanical handling within the cell

- Design and characterization of complex biological and synthetic nanostructures; generation of nanostructures as compatible tools in biomedical applications of biosensor technology or molecular biophysics

- Theory and experiments based on the manipulation of individual particles using optical and magnetic fields (magnetic and optical tweezers)


Borja Ibarra

- Manipulation and real time detection using optical tweezers of the activity of individual molecular motors

- Dynamics and mechanochemical processes governing the operation of molecular motors, especially those involved in viral and mitochondrial DNA replication and prokaryotic DNA conjugation

- Single-molecule studies of the dynamics of protein-DNA interactions


Álvaro Somoza

- Functionalization of magnetic and gold nanoparticles to improve transport and release of biomolecules (siRNA, peptides) and other therapeutic agents

- Development of sensors based on gold nanoparticles

- Preparation and modification of oligonucleotides (DNA, RNA) to study biological processes such as RNA interference


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