The main goal of our group is to use Super Resolution Microscopy (nanoscopy) to visualize and track in living cells and tissues self-assembled nanomaterials with therapeutic potential (nanomedicine).
The understanding of materials-cell interactions is the key towards the development of novel nanotechnology-based therapies for treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.
Our group aims to use a multidisciplinary approach, at the interface of chemistry, physics and biology, to develop novel nanomaterials for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.
We aim at the development of novel nanocarriers for drug delivery based on self-assembly, i.e. able to build themselves. Molecular self-organization is ubiquitous in the biological world and represents for us a source of inspiration for the design of nanostructures with biomedical potential. In particular we focus on the development of self-assembled nanoparticles and nanofibers able to selectively target diseased cells and deliver locally therapeutic moieties such as drugs and genetic material (e.g. DNA, siRNA, mRNA).
Right: Nanoparticles interactions with blood components imaged with conventional optical microscopy (left) and super resolution STORM microscopy (right).
A key point towards the development of novel nanotechnology-based therapies is the understanding of the behavior of nanomaterials in the complex biological environment. Here we use super resolution microscopy to track nanomaterials during their voyage in the biological environment and to visualize the interactions with blood components, immune system and target cells. We make use of a variety of super resolution techniques based on single molecule detection such a stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (PAINT), and single particle tracking (SPT). These methods allow to achieve a resolution down to few nanometers and are therefore ideal to visualize nanosized synthetic objects in the biological environment. Super resolution microscopy provides a molecular picture of structure-activity relations and represent a guide towards the design of innovative materials for nanomedicine.
Silvia Pujals Riatós | Senior Researcher
Teodora Andrian | PhD Student
Maria Arista Romero | PhD Student
Edgar Fuentes Fuentes | PhD Student
Madhura Vijay Murar | PhD Student
Rodica Alis Olea | PhD Student
Roger Riera Brillas | PhD Student
Adrianna Glinkowska Mares | Research Assistant
Guillem Bracons Cucó | Masters Student
Sara Mato González | Masters Student
Andrés Felipe Soto Calderón | Masters Student
|NANOSTORM Design of Nanomaterials for Targeted Therapies Guided by Super Resolution Imaging (2018-2023)||ERC, European Commission||Lorenzo Albertazzi|
|THERACAT BIO-orthogonal catalysis for cancer therapy (2018-2022)||MARIE CURIE, European Commission||Lorenzo Albertazzi|
|NANOVAX Nanovacunas diseñadas para inmunoterapia antitumoral (2016-2019)||Acciones de Programación Conjunta Internacional, MINECO||Lorenzo Albertazzi/Josep Samitier|
|Collaborative Research Projects AOM-BIST||BIST||Lorenzo Albertazzi|
|Understanding and measuring mechanical tumor properties to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival: Application to liquid biopsies
|Obra Social La Caixa||Lorenzo Albertazzi|
|Novel approaches for Pandemic Virus Targeting Using Adaptive Polymers (2015-2017)||AXA Research Fund||Lorenzo Albertazzi|
|TARGETSTORM Nanomateriales para terapias dirigidas contra el cáncer visualizados con microscopia de súper resolución STORM (2016-2019)||Retos investigación: Proyectos I+D, MINECO||Silvia Pujals|
|SGR Grups de recerca consolidats (2017-2019)||SGR, AGAUR||Silvia Pujals|
(See full publication list in ORCID)
Uroz, Marina, Garcia-Puig, Anna, Tekeli, Isil, Elosegui-Artola, Alberto, Abenza, Juan F., Marín-Llauradó, Ariadna, Pujals, Silvia, Conte, Vito, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Roca-Cusachs, Pere, Raya, Ángel, Trepat, Xavier, (2019). Traction forces at the cytokinetic ring regulate cell division and polyploidy in the migrating zebrafish epicardium Nature Materials 18, 1015-1023
Pujals, S., Feiner-Gracia, N., Delcanale, P., Voets, I., Albertazzi, L., (2019). Super-resolution microscopy as a powerful tool to study complex synthetic materials Nature Reviews Chemistry 3, (2), 68-84
Baranov, M. V., Olea, R. A., van den Bogaart, G., (2019). Chasing uptake: Super-resolution microscopy in endocytosis and phagocytosis Trends in Cell Biology 29, (9), 727-739
Pujals, S., Albertazzi, L., (2019). Super-resolution microscopy for nanomedicine research ACS Nano 13, (9), 9707-9712
Post, R. A. J., van der Zwaag, D., Bet, G., Wijnands, S. P. W., Albertazzi, L., Meijer, E. W., van der Hofstad, R. W., (2019). A stochastic view on surface inhomogeneity of nanoparticles Nature Communications 10, (1), 1663
Feiner-Gracia, N., Olea, R. A., Fitzner, R., El Boujnouni, N., Van Asbeck, A. H., Brock, R., Albertazzi, L., (2019). Super-resolution imaging of structure, molecular composition, and stability of single oligonucleotide polyplexes Nano Letters 19, (5), 2784-2792
Riera, R., Feiner-Gracia, N., Fornaguera, C., Cascante, A., Borrós, S., Albertazzi, L., (2019). Tracking the DNA complexation state of pBAE polyplexes in cells with super resolution microscopy Nanoscale 11, (38), 17869-17877
Kolpe, A., Arista-Romero, M., Schepens, B., Pujals, S., Saelens, X., Albertazzi, L., (2019). Super-resolution microscopy reveals significant impact of M2e-specific monoclonal antibodies on influenza A virus filament formation at the host cell surface Scientific Reports 9, (1), 4450
Cozzolino, M., Delcanale, P., Montali, C., Tognolini, M., Giorgio, C., Corrado, M., Cavanna, L., Bianchini, P., Diaspro, A., Abbruzzetti, S., Viappiani, C., (2019). Enhanced photosensitizing properties of protein bound curcumin Life Sciences 233, 116710
Liu, Yiliu, Pujals, Sílvia, Stals, Patrick J. M., Paulöhrl, Thomas, Presolski, Stanislav I., Meijer, E. W., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Palmans, Anja R. A., (2018). Catalytically active single-chain polymeric nanoparticles: Exploring their functions in complex biological media Journal of the American Chemical Society 140, (9), 3423-3433
Patiño, Tania, Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Arqué, Xavier, Miguel-López, Albert, Jannasch, Anita, Stumpp, Tom, Schäffer, Erik, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Sánchez, Samuel, (2018). Influence of enzyme quantity and distribution on the self-propulsion of non-Janus urease-powered micromotors Journal of the American Chemical Society 140, (25), 7896-7903
Delcanale, Pietro, Miret-Ontiveros, Bernat, Arista-Romero, Maria, Pujals, Silvia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2018). Nanoscale mapping functional sites on nanoparticles by Points Accumulation for Imaging in Nanoscale Topography (PAINT) ACS Nano 12, (8), 7629-7637
Ardizzone, Antonio, Kurhuzenkau, Siarhei, Illa-Tuset, Sílvia, Faraudo, Jordi, Bondar, Mykhailo, Hagan, David, Van Stryland, Eric W., Painelli, Anna, Sissa, Cristina, Feiner, Natalia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Veciana, Jaume, Ventosa, Nora, (2018). Nanostructuring lipophilic dyes in water using stable vesicles, quatsomes, as scaffolds and their use as probes for bioimaging Small 14, (16), 1703851
Casellas, Nicolas M., Pujals, Sílvia, Bochicchio, Davide, Pavan, Giovanni M., Torres, Tomás, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, García-Iglesias, Miguel, (2018). From isodesmic to highly cooperative: Reverting the supramolecular polymerization mechanism in water by fine monomer design Chemical Communications 54, (33), 4112-4115
Krivitsky, Adva, Polyak, Dina, Scomparin, Anna, Eliyahu, Shay, Ofek, Paula, Tiram, Galia, Kalinski, Hagar, Avkin-Nachum, Sharon, Feiner Gracia, N., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Satchi-Fainaro, Ronit, (2018). Amphiphilic poly(α)glutamate polymeric micelles for systemic administration of siRNA to tumors Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine 14, (2), 303-315
van Elsland, Daphne M., Pujals, Sílvia, Bakkum, Thomas, Bos, Erik, Oikonomeas-Koppasis, Nikolaos, Berlin, Ilana, Neefjes, Jacques, Meijer, Annemarie H., Koster, Abraham J., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, van Kasteren, Sander I., (2018). Ultrastructural imaging of salmonella-host interactions using super-resolution correlative light-electron microscopy of bioorthogonal pathogens ChemBioChem 19, (16), 1766-1770
Oria, Roger, Wiegand, Tina, Escribano, Jorge, Elosegui-Artola, Alberto, Uriarte, Juan Jose, Moreno-Pulido, Cristian, Platzman, Ilia, Delcanale, Pietro, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Navajas, Daniel, Trepat, Xavier, García-Aznar, José Manuel, Cavalcanti-Adam, Elisabetta Ada, Roca-Cusachs, Pere, (2017). Force loading explains spatial sensing of ligands by cells Nature 552, 219-224
Duro-Castano, Aroa, Nebot, Vicent J., Niño-Pariente, Amaya, Armiñán, Ana, Arroyo-Crespo, Juan J., Paul, Alison, Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Vicent, María J., (2017). Capturing “extraordinary” soft-assembled charge-like polypeptides as a strategy for nanocarrier design Advanced Materials , 29, (39), 1702888
Labernadie, A., Kato, T., Brugués, A., Serra-Picamal, X., Derzsi, S., Arwert, E., Weston, A., González-Tarragó, V., Elosegui-Artola, A., Albertazzi, L., Alcaraz, J., Roca-Cusachs, P., Sahai, E., Trepat, X., (2017). A mechanically active heterotypic E-cadherin/N-cadherin adhesion enables fibroblasts to drive cancer cell invasion Nature Cell Biology 19, (3), 224-237
Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Buzhor, Marina, Fuentes, Edgar, Pujals, S., Amir, Roey J., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Micellar stability in biological media dictates internalization in living cells Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, (46), 16677-16687
Feiner-Gracia, Natalia, Beck, Michaela, Pujals, Sílvia, Tosi, Sébastien, Mandal, Tamoghna, Buske, Christian, Linden, Mika, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Super-resolution microscopy unveils dynamic heterogeneities in nanoparticle protein corona Small 13, (41), 1701631
Van Onzen, A. H. A. M., Albertazzi, L., Schenning, A. P. H. J., Milroy, L. G., Brunsveld, L., (2017). Hydrophobicity determines the fate of self-assembled fluorescent nanoparticles in cells Chemical Communications 53, (10), 1626-1629
Pujals, S., Tao, K., Terradellas, A., Gazit, E., Albertazzi, L., (2017). Studying structure and dynamics of self-Assembled peptide nanostructures using fluorescence and super resolution microscopy Chemical Communications 53, (53), 7294-7297
Caballero, David, Blackburn, Sophie M., de Pablo, Mar, Samitier, Josep, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2017). Tumour-vessel-on-a-chip models for drug delivery Lab on a Chip 17, 3760-3771
Bakker, Maarten H., Lee, Cameron C., Meijer, E. W., Dankers, Patricia Y. W., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2016). Multicomponent supramolecular polymers as a modular platform for intracellular delivery ACS Nano 10, (2), 1845-1852
Beun, L. H., Albertazzi, L., Van Der Zwaag, D., De Vries, R., Cohen Stuart, M. A., (2016). Unidirectional living growth of self-assembled protein nanofibrils revealed by super-resolution microscopy ACS Nano 10, (5), 4973-4980
Garzoni, M., Baker, M. B., Leenders, C. M. A., Voets, I. K., Albertazzi, L., Palmans, A. R. A., Meijer, E. W., Pavan, G. M., (2016). Effect of H-bonding on order amplification in the growth of a supramolecular polymer in water Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, (42), 13985-13995
Aloi, Antonio, Vargas Jentzsch, Andreas, Vilanova, Neus, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Meijer, E. W., Voets, Ilja K., (2016). Imaging nanostructures by single-molecule localization microscopy in organic solvents Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, (9), 2953-2956
da Silva, Ricardo M. P., van der Zwaag, Daan, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Lee, Sungsoo S., Meijer, E. W., Stupp, Samuel I., (2016). Super-resolution microscopy reveals structural diversity in molecular exchange among peptide amphiphile nanofibres Nature Communications 7, 11561
De Koker, Stefaan, Cui, Jiwei, Vanparijs, Nane, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Grooten, Johan, Caruso, Frank, De Geest, Bruno G., (2016). Engineering polymer hydrogel nanoparticles for lymph node-targeted delivery Angewandte Chemie - International Edition , 55, (4), 1334-1339
Li, Hui, Fierens, Kaat, Zhang, Zhiyue, Vanparijs, Nane, Schuijs, Martijn J., Van Steendam, Katleen, Feiner Gracia, Natàlia, De Rycke, Riet, De Beer, Thomas, De Beuckelaer, Ans, De Koker, Stefaan, Deforce, Dieter, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Grooten, Johan, Lambrecht, Bart N., De Geest, Bruno G., (2016). Spontaneous protein adsorption on graphene oxide nanosheets allowing efficient intracellular vaccine protein delivery ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8, (2), 1147-1155
van der Zwaag, Daan, Vanparijs, Nane, Wijnands, Sjors, De Rycke, Riet, De Geest, Bruno G., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, (2016). Super resolution imaging of nanoparticles cellular uptake and trafficking ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8, (10), 6391-6399
Beuwer, Michael A., Knopper, M. F., Albertazzi, Lorenzo, van der Zwaag, Daan, Ellenbroek, Wouter G., Meijer, E. W., Prins, Menno W. J., Zijlstra, Peter, (2016). Mechanical properties of single supramolecular polymers from correlative AFM and fluorescence microscopy Polymer Chemistry 7, (47), 7260-7268
- Nikon NSTORM for TIRF, Super-Resolution imaging and single-molecule tracking
- Nikon Ti2 Widefield microscopy for fast and high-content imaging
- Roey Amir
Tel Aviv University, Israel
- Mika Linden
Ulm University, Germany
- Ilja Voets
Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
- Giovanni Pavan
- Bruno De Geest
University of Ghent, Belgium
- Salvador Borros
IBEC researchers develop new multi-responsive molecules able to self-assemble in water forming fiber-like structures. The so-called discotic molecules show responsiveness to temperature, light, pH, and ionic strength and they might show great potential for medical applications such as drug delivery systems, diagnosis or tissue engineering.
Edgar Fuentes is a PhD student in the Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine Group led by Lorenzo Albertazzi at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Within this group, Edgar and his colleagues focus on the synthesis of novel smart supramolecular materials for drug delivery.
The President of the European Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, visited last May 15th the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).
The event was inaugurated by IBEC’s Director, Josep Samitier, who presented an overview on the cutting-edge research carried out at the institute in the fields of bioengineering and nanomedicine.
Afterwards, ERC Grantees working at IBEC had the opportunity to explain the impact of ERC grants on their professional careers and established a dialogue with ERC President on the past, present and future of the European Research Council.
Lorenzo Albertazzi and Nuria Montserrat, IBEC’s Junior Group Leaders selected in the 2014 Tenure Track programme, have been successfully consolidated as Group Leader as of 1st January 2019, following a positive evaluation by the ISC.
IBEC’s tenure track programme aims to support career development by helping young researchers establish their own independent research lines. Other factors considered included the added value offered by their projects to the current IBEC research programme, and the ability of the selected candidates to carry out efficient group leadership and management.
The first four junior group leaders selected by the programme in 2012 – Eduard Torrents, Elisabeth Engel, Pere Roca-Cusachs and Xavier Fernández-Busquets – were all successfully consolidated as Senior Group Leaders as of 1st January 2017.
Two IBEC groups have clubbed together to combine their expertise and reveal new knowledge that could advance the design of micro- and nanomotors for applications in health.
By harnessing the unprecedented resolution of Lorenzo Albertazzi’s group’s STORM microscope, Samuel Sánchez’s group – in collaboration with Erik Schäffer’s group at the University of Tübingen – have been able to reveal new information about how their enzyme-powered nanomotors achieve motion.
The Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine group has studied Single-Chain Polymeric Nanoparticles (SCPNs) mimicking enzymes as possible drug activators in biological environments, like the living cell.
The bio-inspired nanoparticles could be used to spatially control drug delivery in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.
Through their study, published in JACS, the researchers have optimized the delivery strategies of dynamic SCPNs so that they retain their catalytic activity at the cellular environment. This paves the way towards the rational design of nanosystems that can perform effective catalysis in vivo.