The Centro Andaluz de Nanomedicina y Biotecnología (BIONAND - Andalusian Centre for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology) is a mixed centre in which the Consejería de Salud y Bienestar Social, the Consejería de Economía, Innovación, Ciencia and Uso, and the Universidad de Málaga participate, developed as a space for research of excellence in nanomedicine.
BIONAND has been designed as a multidisciplinary centre where the interaction among different professionals from the health sectors, universities and companies will allow generating new systems for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases based on the creation and development of devices, materials and approaches at the nanometric scale.
BIONAND has 6,500 m2 distributed in three levels which will house up to a maximum of 20 research groups. It has an open structure with laboratories and work rooms reflecting its multidisciplinary nature.
Its interior design corresponds to the vision of creating bright open spaces in order to favour interrelation among the different groups of researchers and thus facilitate new ways of working, based on complementarity and collaboration among the different scientific disciplines operating from BIONAND.
At full capacity, BIONAND will be able to fit more than 150 professionals where about 85% of them will be directly involved in the research areas. The remaining 15% will be made up of support services, such as administration, scientific management or IT, among others.
The scientific activity of BIONAND will comprise three main areas:
- Nanodiagnosis Area: The objective of this area is to implement devices for more efficient diagnosis and prognosis both in vivo and in vitro for the purpose of optimizing the identification of diseases or the predisposition to same, as well as their progression at the cellular or molecular level by means of using nanodevices.
- Therapeutic Nanosystems Area: This area focuses on the research and development of nanosystems protecting, transporting and releasing drugs or therapeutic agents in a controlled manner, making them easier to administer, more selective and effective, and therefore, less toxic. Within this area, enhancement will be sought in the development of effective nanosystems for hard-to-cure diseases with high incidence, such as, among others: cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
- Nanobiotechnology Area: This area will focus both on research oriented in the interface between nanoscience and biological systems, and on applied research, leading to the development of new approaches that can be used by the research lines developed in the other two Bionand subject areas.
The research groups of the different areas will be assisted by research support units which will provide services both to these groups and to groups of other institutions and companies. The scientific coordinators of each of the areas will in turn be the Principal Investigators of the centre.
- NanoImaging Unit: This unit is made up of different equipment for taking images, both in vitro and in vivo. Among them, the following stand out: fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
- Cell Culture Unit: This unit is provided with the equipment (chambers, liquid nitrogen containers, inverted microscopes, etc.) and the technical staff necessary for maintaining the cell cultures necessary in the different lines of the centre.
- Chemistry Unit: This unit is equipped with different absorption spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy instruments for characterising and analysing the physicochemical properties of the studied nanomaterials , as well as with different equipment for the development of different molecular biology techniques such as q-PCR, PCR, DNA and protein gel analysis, FPLC purification, etc.
- Histology Unit: This unit is equipped with cytometers and FACS used for analysing cells as well as nano- and microparticles.
- Vivarium: This unit will house the laboratory animals necessary for carrying out preclinical testing on the technologies and products developed in the centre.