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Paez-Aviles C.,University of Barcelona | van Rijnsoever F.J.,University Utrecht | van Rijnsoever F.J.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Juanola-Feliu E.,University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Technology Transfer | Year: 2017

Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising field of research. Creating sufficient technological diversity among its alternatives is important for the long-term success of nanotechnologies, as well as for other emerging technologies. Diversity prevents early lock-in, facilitates recombinant innovation, increases resilience, and allows market growth. Creation of new technological alternatives usually takes place in innovation projects in which public and private partners often collaborate. Currently, there is little empirical evidence about which characteristics of innovation projects influence diversity. In this paper we study the influence of characteristics of EU-funded nanotechnology projects on the creation of technological diversity. In addition to actor diversity and the network of the project, we also include novel variables that have a plausible influence on diversity creation: the degree of multi-disciplinarity of the project and the size of the joint knowledge base of project partners. We apply topic modelling (Latent Dirichlet allocation) as a novel method to categorize technological alternatives. Using an ordinal logistic regression model, our results show that the largest contribution to diversity comes from the multi-disciplinary nature of a project. The joint knowledge base of project partners and the geographical distance between them were positively associated with technological diversity creation. In contrast, the number and diversity of actors and the degree of clustering showed a negative association with technological diversity creation. These results extend current micro-level explanations of how the diversity of an emerging technology is created. The contribution of this study could also be helpful for policy makers to influence the level of diversity in a technological field, and hence to contribute to survival of emerging technologies. © 2017 The Author(s)


Calo A.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Reguera D.,University of Barcelona | Oncins G.,University of Barcelona | Persuy M.-A.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 6 more authors.
Nanoscale | Year: 2014

Mechanical properties of nano-sized vesicles made up of natural membranes are crucial to the development of stable, biocompatible nanocontainers with enhanced functional, recognition and sensing capabilities. Here we measure and compare the mechanical properties of plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles ∼80 nm in diameter obtained from disrupted yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. We provide evidence of a highly deformable behaviour for these vesicles, able to support repeated wall-to-wall compressions without irreversible deformations, accompanied by a noticeably high Young's modulus (∼300 MPa) compared to that obtained for reconstituted artificial liposomes of similar size and approaching that of some virus particles. Surprisingly enough, the results are approximately similar for plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles, in spite of their different lipid compositions, especially on what concerns the ergosterol content. These results point towards an important structural role of membrane proteins in the mechanical response of natural membrane vesicles and open the perspective to their potential use as robust nanocontainers for bioapplications. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Calo A.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Sanmarti-Espinal M.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Sanmarti-Espinal M.,University of Barcelona | Iavicoli P.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | And 7 more authors.
Soft Matter | Year: 2012

Natural vesicles produced from genetically engineered cells with tailored membrane receptor composition are promising building blocks for sensing biodevices. This is particularly true for the case of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) present in many sensing processes in cells, whose functionality crucially depends on their lipid environment. However, the controlled production of natural vesicles containing GPCRs and their reproducible deposition on biosensor surfaces are among the outstanding challenges in the road map to realize practical biomolecular devices based on GPCRs. In this work we present the production and characterization of membrane nanovesicles from Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing heterologously expressed olfactory receptors - a member of the family of GPCRs - and study their deposition onto substrates used as biosensor supports. We show by direct observation with Atomic Force Microscopy that nanovesicles deposit and flatten without rupturing on glass substrates following approximately a diffusive law. We show that surface coverages larger than 20-25% of the substrate can be reproducibly achieved under practical nanovesicle concentrations and reasonable time scales, while keeping to the minimum the presence of background residuals coming from the nanovesicles production process. Surface chemistry modification of gold substrates indicates a higher affinity of natural nanovesicles for acid modified surfaces as compared to amino or alcohol modified surfaces. Present results constitute an important step in the practical realization of biosensor devices based on natural nanovesicles integrating G-protein coupled membrane receptors. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


PubMed | IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, University of Barcelona, French National Institute for Agricultural Research and CIBER ISCIII
Type: | Journal: Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces | Year: 2016

Cell membrane proteins are involved in a variety of biochemical pathways and therefore constitute important targets for therapy and development of new drugs. Bioanalytical platforms and binding assays using these membrane protein receptors for drug screening or diagnostic require the construction of well-characterized liposome and lipid bilayer arrays that act as support to prevent protein denaturation during biochip processing. Quantification of the protein receptors in the lipid membrane arrays is a key issue in order to produce reproducible and well-characterized chips. Herein, we report a novel immunochemical analytical approach for the quantification of membrane proteins (i.e., G-protein-coupled receptor, GPCR) in nanovesicles (NVs). The procedure allows direct determination of tagged receptors (i.e., c-myc tag) without any previous protein purification or extraction steps. The immunochemical method is based on a microplate ELISA format and quantifies this tag on proteins embedded in NVs with detectability in the picomolar range, using protein bioconjugates as reference standards. The applicability of the method is demonstrated through the quantification of the c-myc-olfactory receptor (OR, c-myc-OR1740) in the cell membrane NVs. The reported method opens the possibility to develop well-characterized drug-screening platforms based on G-coupled proteins embedded on membranes.


Almeida C.R.,University of Porto | Serra T.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Serra T.,CIBER ISCIII | Oliveira M.I.,University of Porto | And 6 more authors.
Acta Biomaterialia | Year: 2014

Recent studies have pointed towards a decisive role of inflammation in triggering tissue repair and regeneration, while at the same time it is accepted that an exacerbated inflammatory response may lead to rejection of an implant. Within this context, understanding and having the capacity to regulate the inflammatory response elicited by 3-D scaffolds aimed for tissue regeneration is crucial. This work reports on the analysis of the cytokine profile of human monocytes/macrophages in contact with biodegradable 3-D scaffolds with different surface properties, architecture and controlled pore geometry, fabricated by 3-D printing technology. Fabrication processes were optimized to create four different 3-D platforms based on polylactic acid (PLA), PLA/calcium phosphate glass or chitosan. Cytokine secretion and cell morphology of human peripheral blood monocytes allowed to differentiate on the different matrices were analyzed. While all scaffolds supported monocyte/macrophage adhesion and stimulated cytokine production, striking differences between PLA-based and chitosan scaffolds were found, with chitosan eliciting increased secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, while PLA-based scaffolds induced higher production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12/23 and IL-10. Even though the material itself induced the biggest differences, the scaffold geometry also impacted on TNF-α and IL-12/23 production, with chitosan scaffolds having larger pores and wider angles leading to a higher secretion of these pro-inflammatory cytokines. These findings strengthen the appropriateness of these 3-D platforms to study modulation of macrophage responses by specific parameters (chemistry, topography, scaffold architecture). © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc.


Izquierdo-Useros N.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Esteban O.,CIBER ISCIII | Esteban O.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Rodriguez-Plata M.T.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 8 more authors.
Traffic | Year: 2011

Dendritic cells (DCs) capture human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through a non-fusogenic mechanism that enables viral transmission to CD4 + T cells, contributing to in vivo viral dissemination. Although previous studies have provided important clues to cell-free viral capture by mature DCs (mDCs), dynamic and kinetic insight on this process is still missing. Here, we used three-dimensional video microscopy and single-particle tracking approaches to dynamically dissect both cell-free and cell-associated viral capture by living mDCs. We show that cell-free virus capture by mDCs operates through three sequential phases: virus binding through specific determinants expressed in the viral particle, polarized or directional movements toward concrete regions of the cell membrane and virus accumulation in a sac-like structure where trapped viral particles display a hindered diffusive behavior. Moreover, real-time imaging of cell-associated viral transfer to mDCs showed a similar dynamics to that exhibited by cell-free virus endocytosis leading to viral accumulation in compartments. However, cell-associated HIV type 1 transfer to mDCs was the most effective pathway, boosted throughout enhanced cellular contacts with infected CD4 + T cells. Our results suggest that in lymphoid tissues, mDC viral uptake could occur either by encountering cell-free or cell-associated virus produced by infected cells generating the perfect scenario to promote HIV pathogenesis and impact disease progression. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Juanola-Feliu E.,University of Barcelona | Colomer-Farrarons J.,University of Barcelona | Miribel-Catala P.,University of Barcelona | Samitier J.,University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Technovation | Year: 2012

This article reports on the research and development of a cutting-edge biomedical device for continuous in-vivo glucose monitoring. This entirely public-funded process of technological innovation has been conducted at the University of Barcelona within a context of converging technologies involving the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, biology, telecommunications, electronics and energy. The authors examine the value chain and the market challenges faced by in-vivo implantable biomedical devices based on nanotechnologies. In so doing, they trace the process from the point of applied research to the final integration and commercialization of the product, when the social rate of return from academic research can be estimated. Using a case-study approach, the paper also examines the high-tech activities involved in the development of this nano-enabled device and describes the technology and innovation management process within the value chain conducted in a University-Hospital-Industry-Administration-Citizens framework. Here, nanotechnology is seen to represent a new industrial revolution, boosting the biomedical devices market. Nanosensors may well provide the tools required for investigating biological processes at the cellular level in vivo when embedded into medical devices of small dimensions, using biocompatible materials, and requiring reliable and targeted biosensors, high speed data transfer, safely stored data, and even energy autonomy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Castano J.,University of Barcelona | Herrero A.B.,University of Salamanca | Bursen A.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Gonzalez F.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | And 4 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

The most frequent rearrangement of the human MLL gene fuses MLL to AF4 resulting in high-risk infant B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). MLL fusions are also hallmark oncogenic events in secondary acute myeloid leukemia. They are a direct consequence of mis-repaired DNA double strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) due to defects in the DNA damage response associated with exposure to topoisomerase- II poisons such as etoposide. It has been suggested that MLL fusions render cells susceptible to additional chromosomal damage upon exposure to etoposide. Conversely, the genome-wide mutational landscape in MLL-rearranged infant B-ALL has been reported silent. Thus, whether MLL fusions compromise the recognition and/or repair of DNA damage remains unanswered. Here, the fusion proteins MLL-AF4 (MA4) and AF4-MLL (A4M) were CRISPR/Cas9-genome edited in the AAVS1 locus of HEK293 cells as a model to study MLL fusion-mediated DNA-DSB formation/repair. Repair kinetics of etoposide- and ionizing radiation-induced DSBs was identical in WT, MA4- and A4M-expressing cells, as revealed by flow cytometry, by immunoblot for γH2AX and by comet assay. Accordingly, no differences were observed between WT, MA4- and A4M-expressing cells in the presence of master proteins involved in non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ; i.e.KU86, KU70), alternative-NHEJ (Alt-NHEJ; i.e.LigIIIa, WRN and PARP1), and homologous recombination (HR, i.e.RAD51). Moreover, functional assays revealed identical NHEJ and HR efficiency irrespective of the genotype. Treatment with etoposide consistently induced cell cycle arrest in S/G2/M independent of MA4/A4M expression, revealing a proper activation of the DNA damage checkpoints. Collectively, expression of MA4 or A4M does neither influence DNA signaling nor DNA-DSB repair.


PubMed | IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, University of Barcelona, Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Salamanca
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

The most frequent rearrangement of the human MLL gene fuses MLL to AF4 resulting in high-risk infant B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). MLL fusions are also hallmark oncogenic events in secondary acute myeloid leukemia. They are a direct consequence of mis-repaired DNA double strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) due to defects in the DNA damage response associated with exposure to topoisomerase-II poisons such as etoposide. It has been suggested that MLL fusions render cells susceptible to additional chromosomal damage upon exposure to etoposide. Conversely, the genome-wide mutational landscape in MLL-rearranged infant B-ALL has been reported silent. Thus, whether MLL fusions compromise the recognition and/or repair of DNA damage remains unanswered. Here, the fusion proteins MLL-AF4 (MA4) and AF4-MLL (A4M) were CRISPR/Cas9-genome edited in the AAVS1 locus of HEK293 cells as a model to study MLL fusion-mediated DNA-DSB formation/repair. Repair kinetics of etoposide- and ionizing radiation-induced DSBs was identical in WT, MA4- and A4M-expressing cells, as revealed by flow cytometry, by immunoblot for H2AX and by comet assay. Accordingly, no differences were observed between WT, MA4- and A4M-expressing cells in the presence of master proteins involved in non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ; i.e.KU86, KU70), alternative-NHEJ (Alt-NHEJ; i.e.LigIIIa, WRN and PARP1), and homologous recombination (HR, i.e.RAD51). Moreover, functional assays revealed identical NHEJ and HR efficiency irrespective of the genotype. Treatment with etoposide consistently induced cell cycle arrest in S/G2/M independent of MA4/A4M expression, revealing a proper activation of the DNA damage checkpoints. Collectively, expression of MA4 or A4M does neither influence DNA signaling nor DNA-DSB repair.


Manzo C.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Van Zanten T.S.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Garcia-Parajo M.F.,IBEC Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia | Garcia-Parajo M.F.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Characterization of molecular dynamics on living cell membranes at the nanoscale is fundamental to unravel the mechanisms of membrane organization and compartmentalization. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) based on the nanometric illumination of near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) probes on intact living cells. NSOM-FCS applied to fluorescent lipid analogs allowed us to reveal details of the diffusion hidden by larger illumination areas. Moreover, the technique offers the unique advantages of evanescent axial illumination and straightforward implementation of multiple color excitation. As such, NSOM-FCS represents a powerful tool to study a variety of dynamic processes occurring at the nanometer scale on cell membranes. © 2011 by the Biophysical Society.

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