Projects UniOvi Node

Grant agreement ID: 813439

The BREAK BIOFILMS Training Network “Breaking Bad Biofilms: Innovative Analysis and Design Rules for Next-Generation Antifouling Interfaces” is a consortium of world leaders in sensing, cell imaging, interfacial engineering, microbiology and nanoformulation from 6 universities, 8 companies, a consortium of food industries, a research centre, and a business and innovation centre. ESRs will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and will obtain a unique technical, industrial, and entrepreneurial training.

The main objectives of BREAK BIOFILMS are:

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  • To understand the (bio)physicochemical mechanisms of biofilm formation
  • To produce the technology for detecting and identifying biofilm formation with extreme sensitivity
  • To develop next generation biocides for preventing and destroying biofilms in industrial and biomedical areas.

Find more information about this Project here.

Reference: MINECO-18-MAT2017-84959-C2-1-R

The aim of this project is the development of a biosensor for detection of colorectal cancer (CC) biomarkers as a non-invasive technique in the early diagnosis of the disease. For this it is necessary to coordinate the research group of the University of Oviedo with the medical team of the Hospital Universitario San Agustín, in Avilés.

The increasing incidence of CC in Spain and worldwide makes it necessary to develop effective, safe, and non-invasive devices for the early diagnosis of the disease. The current CC screening techniques have low sensitivity (fecal occult blood test) or are invasive and expensive (colonoscopy). Thus, the current demand is focused on safe, easy-to-use, noninvasive, and cost-effective devices, which may provide a real clinical support and reduce the overuse of the colonoscopy.
The proposed biosensor fulfills these criteria. The device will enable a rapid and highsensitivity analysis of biomarkers with increasing clinical utility, such as extracellular vesicles and circulating miRNA, accompanied by their validation for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with CC.
The key idea of the technique is the use of a novel system for SPNP (Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles) detection (recently identified and published by the authors) in combination with lateral flow immunoassays. For this application, the traditional coloured antibody labels, either gold or latex nanoparticles, are advantageously replaced by SPNP.
The two crucial aspects of the detection method are the sensing element and the superparamagnetic character of the SPNP. The sensing probe consists in a Cu-printed microtrack whose radiofrequency impedance is continuously monitored and which varies as a response to the SPNP’s proximity. This is the sensing property which is influenced by the switching magnetic moment of the particles. The interaction between the latter and the current flowing in the track is a particular kind of high frequency electromagnetic induction which produces a remarkable increase of the measured impedance of the circuit. The promptness of such interaction is one of the strengths of this detection system. Additionally, the impedance variation is directly proportional to the amount of SPNP which provides the quantitative detection. Amplication strategies will be investigated by
      (i) agglomeration and vesicle encapsulation of SPNP,
      (ii) better performing particle systems, and
      (iii) microtracks of reduced dimensions obtained by sputtering. 
The required low detection limits can be achieved by magnetic immunoconcentration coupled to the separation and ulterior immobilization in the nitrocellulose membrane, while the experimental device would allow detection/quantification. The design proposed in this project pursues those two requirements to provide as final output a fast, portable, friendly and low-cost device. 
In order to validate the clinical utility of the sensor, healthy subjects, patients with adenoma and patients with CC will be recruited for a prospective study, which will compare the utility of extracellular vesicles and miRNA derived from peripheral blood as biomarkers.

The final prototype is expected to be easily adaptable to other pathologies, as well as convertible to solve other biodetection challenges in the food, environment, or crop-livestock fields.

Reference: MAT2016-81955-REDT

The enormous advances in nanotechnology go hand-in-hand with multidisciplinary approaches, from the design of novel materials to their final application. This proposal is aimed to group together different research teams devoted to nanoparticles (both organic and inorganic) to develop biotechnological applications. NanoBioAp net pursues to establish synergies, to strengthen initiated collaborations and to create new ones amongst the participant groups in order to work together and complementarily in the development of new or improved techniques and devices based on nanoparticles for therapeutic and diagnostic applications in Medicine, Biology, Food Safety, etc.
The applicants bring together a vast experience covering nanoparticle synthesis, both by classical and novel routes, their application to point-of-care bioanalytical devices, hyperthermia or controlled drug release, as well as a large variety of characterization techniques and standardized nanometrology methods so useful for industrial utilization.
The results of the net are expected to boost the research on nanoparticles contributing to their practical application and transfer to industry, as well as to coordinate dissemination activities directed to the society as a whole and very much in particular to young researchers who may in the future guarantee our country research on this interesting topic.

Reference: GRUPIN2018-185

The enormous advances in nanotechnology go hand-in-hand with multidisciplinary approaches, from the design of novel materials to their final application. This proposal is aimed to group together different research teams devoted to nanoparticles (both organic and inorganic) to develop biotechnological applications. NanoBioAp net pursues to establish synergies, to strengthen initiated collaborations and to create new ones amongst the participant groups in order to work together and complementarily in the development of new or improved techniques and devices based on nanoparticles for therapeutic and diagnostic applications in Medicine, Biology, Food Safety, etc.

The applicants bring together a vast experience covering nanoparticle synthesis, both by classical and novel routes, their application to point-of-care bioanalytical devices, hyperthermia or controlled drug release, as well as a large variety of characterization techniques and standardized nanometrology methods so useful for industrial utilization.
The results of the net are expected to boost the research on nanoparticles contributing to their practical application and transfer to industry, as well as to coordinate dissemination activities directed to the society as a whole and very much in particular to young researchers who may in the future guarantee our country research on this interesting topic.

Reference: FUO 368-18

Ciguatoxins (CTX) are lipophilic neurotoxins that are accumulated through the marine food chain as a result of the ingestion of toxin-producing dinoflagellates firstly by herbivorous fish. Although it is endemic in regions between latitudes 35º north and 35º south, the proliferation of ciguatera might boom due to both the globalization of trade and the expected sea temperature rise caused by climate change. Ciguatoxic fish cannot be identified by appearance, smell, or taste, and the assays traditionally used depend on very specialised and time-consuming techniques. Therefore, this is a perfect opportunity for a Point-of-Use dispositive, since there is a need for a quick test to detect the toxic fish before it arrives to the consumers and causes a public health problem.
In this project, we are trying to develop a lateral flow immunoassay able to detect and quantify CXTX-3C. The labels used are Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPIONs) to provide the quantification.