Already available all the videos of the International workshop on Nanomedicine

  • Published on March 19th, 2013
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The videos of the International workshop on Nanomedicine recently organized by the CIQUS are already available. Click on each link to see the specific content of each conference:

José Luís Mascareñas: Synthetic models in chemical biology.

 Synthetic models in chemical biology.

DNA is the key macromolecule used by nature to store the genetic information. As such, it has been a traditional target for the development of different type of drugs, particularly anticancer agents. These drugs include alkylating agents, like cis-platinum and derivatives, and non-covalent binders like the anthracyclines, which interact to DNA by intercalation between base pairs.
There are other types of cytotoxic non-covalent DNA binders, like distamycin or propamidine, which interact to DNA by insertion in the minor groove. We have been interested in this latter type of molecules, because they are sequence selective and therefore provide for molecular engineering of site-specific DNA-promoted processes. In particular, we have designed and synthesized a number of variants of propamidine that work as sequence specific DNA optical sensors2, or as light-activated prodrugs.
We have also developed a chemical approach to control the DNA interaction of synthetic mimics of transcription factors, and expect that the tactic can be used in the future to regulate processes of gene expression.
Part of our work in this area is also focused to the construction of optical sensors that can detect minute amounts of transcription factors considered as oncogenic biomarkers, like the bZIP protein Jun.

José Luis Mascareñas became full professor in 2005, at the University of Santiago. He has been visiting scholar and visiting professor in Harvard University and University of Cambridge. In 2009 he received the Organic Chemistry award of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, and in 2010 become the first president of the Spanish group of Chemical Biology. His current research interests are split between a synthesis program focused on the development of metal-catalyzed processes, and a chemical biology program aimed at designing new protein and nucleic acid recognition and sensing tactics.

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Eduardo Fernández-Megía: Dendritic nanostructures for biomedical applications.

 Dendritic nanostructures for biomedical applications.

Our research group is interested in the development of biocompatible polymeric nanostructures for biomedical applications. In some of these programs, we rely on dendrimers of the GATG (Gallic Acid-Triethylene Glycol) family and their block copolymers with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). The presence of terminal azides in GATG has allowed their easy functionalization with biologically relevant ligands by means of the Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC). The resulting functionalized materials have emerged as interesting tools in the study of the multivalent carbohydrate-receptor interaction, the dynamics of dendrimers, and the preparation of polyion complex (PIC) micelles and dendriplexes for gene therapy. More recently, GATG dendrimers have shown to interfere in the aggregation of relevant proteins and peptides, and as scaffolds for contrast agents in MRI.
In this presentation, the preparation of this family of dendrimers and some their applications will be shown, including a study of their internalization and intracellular trafficking.

Eduardo Fernández-Megía completed a PhD in Chemistry in 1995 at USC. After a postdoctoral stay at the University of Cambridge, he returned to USC as a Marie Curie Fellow. Thereafter he became a Ramón y Cajal Fellow, and was appointed Prof. Contratado Doctor and Profesor Titular at the Department of Organic Chemistry. His research focuses on the interface between organic and polymer chemistry with emphasis on the preparation of well-defined polymeric nanostructures for biomedical applications and the development of NMR tools for their characterization.

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Juan Granja Guillán: Peptidic nanotubes as supramolecular drugs.

 Peptidic nanotubes as supramolecular drugs.

Peptide nanotubes are a new class of biomaterials-based supramolecular assemblies formed by stacking of cyclic peptide. The cyclic peptides are specially designed to adopt a flat conformation with all the backbone amide groups (carbonyl and N-H) lying perpendicular to the plain of the ring. In this conformation all the side-chains are outwards projected modifying the surface characteristics of the tubular ensemble. Among other applications, specially designed peptides subunits effectively interact with the lipid bilayers forming channels and other structures, destroying their ionic balance.
In the last few years we have been working with cyclic peptides that contain cyclic gamma-amino acids that self-assemble into nanotubes under appropriated conditions. These cyclic peptides allow the modification of the outer surface and also their inner cavity. In this communication we will describe our studies toward the design of membrane interacting nanotubes.

Juan R. Granja returned to USC in 1991 as Assistant Professor after two years of postdoctoral studies at Stanford University (Prof. Barry M. Trost). In 1992 he started a collaboration with Prof. M. Reza Ghadiri at The Scripps Research Institute, focused on the developing of the peptide nanotubes. In 2006 he was promoted at the University of Santiago to Full Professor.
His research interest is devoted to the synthesis of complex structures by efficient methods. One of these programs is seeking for the synthesis of functional nanotubes by self-assembling process of cyclic peptides.

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María José Alonso – Nanopharmaceuticals that can overcome biological barriers.

 Nanopharmaceuticals that can overcome biological barriers.

Despite the recent introduction of the nanomedicine term in the scientific arena, the origin of nano-drug-delivery dates from the early 60’s. It is thanks to these original ideas, that we have currently in the market a significant number of nanopharmaceuticals. However, the full potential of nanomedicine is still to come. This potential is particularly promising because over the last decades we have initiated a non-return pathway, which is the adoption of transdisciplinary and translational approaches to the design and development of new nanopharmaceuticals. The nanopharmaceutical technology area has particularly contributed to this field making it feasible the nanoencapsulation and controlled delivery of complex molecules, as well as defining ways to scale-up the production of nanomedicines.
Our group, being committed with the translation of ideas from the university through novel pharmaceutical technology, has designed novel nanostructured materials intended to transport drugs and antigens across biological barriers and to deliver them to the target tissue.
During this presentation I would like to focus on the different applications of the nanocarriers we have designed. These applications include cancer therapy, nanovaccines and oral peptide delivery.

María José Alonso is full professor of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) since 1998. She has leaded international consortia in the area of Nanomedicine, such as those financed by the WHO, the “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” and the European Commission.
She is one of the most cited researchers in the area of Pharmacology (H: 51) and has been an inventor in 13 family international patents. Ms. Alonso has served as a member of several scientific and international advisory boards and has received a high number of Awards, among them the “King Jaume I Award”. She is a member of Galician Academy of Pharmacy and The Royal National Academy of Pharmacy

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Anxo Vidal: Challenges and perspectives in nano-oncology: an experimental view

 Challenges and perspectives in nano-oncology: an experimental view.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and one of the pathologies with highest social impact in western world. Despite the significant wealth of knowledge achieved about cancer biology and while significant improvements in survival have been made on other pathologies, the global death rate from cancer has barely declined over the past decades. 

In this context, nano-oncology, or nanotechnology applied to oncology, emerges as a promising discipline to develop new diagnostic tools, as well as entirely novel and highly effective therapeutic agents. Current cancer therapies are mostly limited to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, methods that may damage normal tissues, often cause incomplete eradication of tumors and have been proved quite inefficient against metastatic disease.
Thus, nano-oncology offers the means to aim therapies directly and selectively at cancerous cells, either at the primary tumor or in major sites of metastasis.
From the perspective of an experimental oncology laboratory, this talk will highlight the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology-based tools for cancer therapy, provide examples of how nanocarriers alter the biological properties of previously-used therapies and offer examples of our experience evaluating the capabilities of nano-treatments.

Anxo Vidal received his PhD in Cell Biology in 1997. From 1998 to 2003 he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), a world reference center in cancer research, under the supervision of Dr Andrew Koff. In 2003, he returned to University of Santiago de Compostela. His group is devoted to study cell cycle control and cancer biology by using mouse models and functional genetics approaches. In recent years their interest has focused in cell cycle independent roles for these inhibitors, mainly how they participate in differentiation, stem cell fate or transcriptional regulation.
He was the recipient of the 2006 Novartis Award in Endocrine Tumor Pathology.

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Joyce Wong (Boston University): Polymerized shell acoustic microbubbles as theranostic agents.

 Polymerized shell acoustic microbubbles as theranostic agents.

Ultrasound contrast imaging is an attractive imaging modality because of its low cost and wide availability. Here we present our recent work on using microfluidic flow-focusing to develop tunable acoustic contrast agents that are monodisperse in size. Monodisperse contrast agents are advantageous because their resulting uniform acoustic response. However, significant challenges remain in terms of producing monodisperse microbubbles, namely their stability against aggregation and Ostwald ripening.
We will also discuss here incorporation of therapeutics, which can be released upon controlled rupture of the microbubbles. The concept of theranostics is a combination of therapeutics and diagnostics such that agents such as microbubbles can be localized to and imaged at specific sites in the body, and then encapsulated therapeutic agents released upon controlled rupture.
Here we demonstrate the production of stable, monodisperse targeted microbubbles with controllable rupture. Our tunable microbubbles produced by microfluidics that contain variable polymerizable lipid compositions have the potential to be customized ultrasound theranostic agents for targeted molecular imaging and therapeutic treatment.

Joyce Y. Wong is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, and a College of Engineering Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Boston University.
She received the NSF CAREER Award, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship, Dupont Young Professor Award, and Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. Dr. Wong is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

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Tito Trindade (University of Aveiro): From inorganic nanocrystals to polymer based nanocomposites for bio-applications.

 From inorganic nanocrystals to polymer based nanocomposites for bio-applications.

Inorganic nanocrystals have distinct physical and chemical properties of those of the corresponding macrocrystalline solids due to intrinsic size effects and high surface to volume ratios. These materials have been widely investigated not only due to their interest for fundamental studies but also as functional materials in new applications. Among the diversity of materials available, this lecture has focus on the chemical synthesis of representative inorganic nanocrystals of semiconductors and metals, and their use to fabricate new materials. In particular, this lecture will cover our recent work  on inorganic nanoparticles as functional fillers for polymer composites that have been prepared by employing in situ and ex situ techniques. Selected examples of both types of nanocomposites will illustrate the interest of these materials in several bio-applications that include optical detection of bioanalytes, controlled drug delivery and antimicrobial products

Tito Trindade (PhD, Imperial College-London, 1996) is Associate Professor with Habilitation at the Chemistry Department of the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and member of the Laboratory Centre for Research in Ceramics and Composite Materials (CICECO-U. Aveiro) where he coordinates a research line.
His main research interests focus on the chemistry of nanomaterials. Other research interests include the synthesis of inorganic-organic hybrids and inorganic pigments.

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Mario Barbosa (INEB-Universidade de Oporto): Modulation of cell-biomaterial interactions for tissue regeneration

 Modulation of cell-biomaterial interactions for tissue regeneration

Various strategies have been proposed to induce and guide tissue regeneration, including the mimicking of the interactions between cells and the components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Grafting of functional groups into polymeric materials, formation of polyelectrolyte polysaccharide- or protein-based complexes have been widely investigated. Exploiting the ability of some of these structures to self-assembly in the biological medium has been proposed in order to produce matrices that resemble the natural ECM.

For tissue engineering 3D porous and nonporous (hydrogels) scaffolds can also be designed with the purpose of modulating cell attachment and differentiation, matrix synthesis and degradation and intracellular cross-talk. It is becoming increasingly evident that inflammatory signals have a crucial role in the process of regeneration, including the inflammatory mediation played by mesenchymal stem cells. 

Novel imaging techniques that permit the tracking of cells in the complex in vivo environment will, expectedly, help in getting a better insight into the processes that lead to tissue regeneration and contribute to the advance of new biomaterials capable of inducing selective recruitment of specific cell types, including mesenchymal stem cells and inflammatory cells.

Mario Barbosa is Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS) of Porto University and President of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (INEB).
Mário Barbosa is recognized internationally for his contributions to the science and engineering of biomaterials, where he is considered the pioneer in Portugal.

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Eduardo Fdez-Megía:


Dendritic nanostructures for biomedical applications

 María José Alonso:


Nanopharmaceuticals that can overcome biological barriers

 Anxo Vidal:


Challenges and perspectives in nano-oncology: an experimental view


José Luís Mascareñas:


Synthetic models in chemical biology

Juan Granja Guillán:


Peptidic nanotubes as supramolecular drugs

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