Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación


Strategic research lines

NM 1. Nanodiagnosis:

  • The development of biosensor devices based on micro / nanotechnologies to detect specific biomarkers of disease.
  • Evaluation and validation of new biomarkers of disease through new strategies and devices based on micro / nanotechnologies
  • The development of new contrast agents

Nanodiagnosis consists on developing systems and image analysis techniques both in vivo and in vitro for the early detection of disease, at cellular or molecular level.

One of the detection systems developed to date is based on diagnosis with nanoparticles (semiconductor, or magnetic metal) such as quantum dots that are used as cell labelling, identification of tumours or diseased areas. Another line of action within this field is the diagnosis with nanobiosensors..

These integrated nanoscale devices for a biological receptor (proteins, DNA, cells) are prepared to specifically detect a substance and a transducer or sensor, capable of measuring biomolecular recognition reaction and translate it into a measurable signal.

The use of these techniques would allow diagnosis with a more solid biological base and more reliable results, which would translate into greater precision in the diagnosis of different pathologies.

The SCIENTIFIC GOALS of this line are:

  • The development of easy-to-handle Point-of-Care (PoC) devices for clinical diagnosis (including patient stratification, prognosis and disease follow-up)
  • Obtaining strategies, tools and devices for the simultaneous single-step detection of multiple biomarkers. The simultaneous analysis of biomarkers of a different chemical nature (proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, small molecules) has different concentration ranges in a clinical sample.
  • Software for data analysis and clinical interpretation of results obtained with multiplexed technologies (correction of cross-reactivity and cooperative phenomena, matrix effect of the sample, etc.)
  • Obtaining tools and devices for efficient clinical validation of disease biomarkers.
  • Robust and reliable devices that help a rapid response to the presence of a specific biomarker with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

NM 2. Therapeutic Nanosystems

  • - Study and development of new agents (enzymes, proteins, nucleic acids…) and nanostructures with therapeutic properties
  • The development of nanosystems to improve pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapy of therapeutic agents

This line will concentrate on the development of new pharmacological therapies based on the intelligent design of guided nanoconjugates.

Therapeutic nanosystems research line includes both the development of pharmacological release systems optimised to traverse the blood-brain barrier, and the specific release of enzymes, proteins or gene inhibition strategies by means of siRNA.

The line must assure that toxicological and therapeutic activity data are obtained in all the newly designed nanoconjugates. The basic objective is to obtain suitable proofs of concept for therapy.

The development of therapeutic nanoconjugates and of local and controlled release systems for these nanoconjugates, would allow guiding the treatment to the area of action, in the attempt to achieve perfect control of the therapy, thereby preventing the action of the drug or therapeutic particle in areas that might entail a potential risk for the patient.

The SCIENTIFIC GOALS of this line are:

  • An increase in therapeutic agent specificity
  • An increase in the bioavailability of a drug in the target tissue favouring solubilisation, preventing degradation of the therapeutic agent and improving its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  • An improvement to the interaction and absorption of the therapeutic agent through biological barriers (cell membrane, blood-brain barrier, etc.)
  • Better control of therapeutic agent dosage in target tissues. Control of the dose and programmable release of the drug.

NM 3. Nanobiotechnology:

  • Study of biocompatibility and toxicity of therapeutic nanosystems and nanodevices.
  • Biological processes research (physiology, cell adhesion or communication, cell biophysics and epigenetic) and development of techniques for their study.
  • Theranostic systems development

Finally, NanoBiotechnology is a cross area focused on both basic and applied nanotechnology knowledge research to be used within Nanodiagnosis and Therapeutic nanosystems areas.

The SCIENTIFIC GOALS of this line are:

  • Possibility to monitor treatment through the design of new strategies that allow combining the follow-up on therapeutic effects and imaging of the tissue (theranostics).


Attached Groups

See spanish website for furher information about research groups participating in this program.

Attached groups (Spanish)