The NanoB2A group is a multidisciplinary research team led by Prof. Laura M. Lechuga. We are physicists, engineers, chemists, and biologists working in the broad field of Nanobiotechnology. Our motivation is to develop new and cutting-edge biosensor nanotechnologies using photonics, one of the key technologies of the 21st century, to promote and boost healthcare and well-being for our society.
Our research focuses on the development of photonic point-of-care biosensors and their employment in clinical, biomedical, and environmental areas. We mainly exploit Nanoplasmonics and Silicon Nanophotonics technologies to accomplish integrated biosensing systems for the label-free, real-time, and multiplexed analysis at the point of care. Our activity encompasses the entire process of generating new biosensor devices, including fundamental research and theoretical design, nanofabrication, surface biofunctionalization, lab-on-a-chip integration, and their final validation in real scenarios.
NanoB2A group is established at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), in Barcelona (Spain), belonging to the CERCA network of Catalan Research Institutes and integrated in BIST (Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology). The NanoB2A belongs as well to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Networking Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN).
SensMOF is the new BIST IGNITE project that will be led by Dr. Leyre Gómez, postdoc in NanoB2A and NanoUP (Prof. Maspoch) groups at ICN2, together with ICREA Professor José Ramón Galán-Mascarós, from ICIQ.
The SensMOF project aims to develop new nanophotonic sensors for quantitative analysis of bioactive enantiomeric molecules, a current and major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. We will work on a solution based on the so-called homochiral metal-organic frameworks, compounds composed by metal ions and organic ligands able to identify and separate enantiomers. This BIST collaboration will combine the expertise of different teams to create a scalable prototype that addresses the current industrial challenges of scalability and enantiomer separation process cost.
Our CoNVat project for new coronavirus diagnostics has been granted! The NanoB2A group will lead and coordinate a European research project to provide a point-of-care biosensor for the rapid detection of coronavirus. CoNVat is one of the 17 projects selected by the European Commission to be funded as urgent response to control and manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
Besides NanoB2A, CoNVat will engage top researchers in the fields of virology, clinical diagnostics, and epidemiology from Spain, France, and Italy. The group of Prof. Jordi Serra Cobo from the University of Barcelona provides an extensive experience in the study and epidemiology of coronavirus in reservoir animals and vectors. In France, the laboratory of Prof. Remi Charrel in the Aix-Marseille University is leader in virology and molecular biology, pioneering the development and production of biological material for the validation of new diagnostic systems. Finally, CoNVat also counts on the Italian National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INMI), the reference institute for the analysis and diagnosis of COVID-19. Researchers from Prof. Antonino di Caro's laboratory were among the first to isolate and sequence the human SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
With a duration of two years, the project aims to develop an advanced diagnostics system for real-time detection and identification of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses in both humans and reservoir species. The POC biosensor will be based on our proprietary nanophotonic technology (the BiMW interferometers) that enables ultrasensitive analysis of body fluids in few minutes and label-free fashion. The CoNVat system will be optimized and validated for a rapid population screening and identification of the new coronavirus among other clinically relevant viruses, like influenza. But further, the project will extend beyond the current pandemic and human diagnosis. The CoNVat biosensor will also be used for the analysis of different types of coronaviruses present in reservoir animals, such as bats, in order to observe and monitor possible evolutions of these viruses and prevent future outbreaks in humans.
On November 7, Jim M. Oschmann, President of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), has come to the ICN2 to meet some of our institute’s scientists and visit our facilities. This was one stop of a longer tour of various Spanish laboratories organized for him by SPIE fellow and member of the Board of Directors Marta de la Fuente.
We have very much appreciated the visit and we enjoyed discussing about the present and future of science, especially in the field of photonics.