Un bioimplante para reparar corazones infartados

El grupo de Biomecánica Celular y Respiratoria del IBEC ha contribuido a una operación pionera en el mundo que ha permitido regenerar el tejido cardíaco de un paciente tras un infarto. Esto ha sido posible mediante la creación de un bioimplante en colaboración con el Banco de Sangre y Tejidos (BST) y el grupo de investigación en Enfermedades Cardiovasculares (ICREC) de Germans Trias.

Cuando se produce un infarto de miocardio, el corazón pierde fuerza para latir a causa de la muerte de las células del área lesionada, que han dejado de recibir sangre desde las arterias coronarias. Este hecho, en función de la gravedad, puede condicionar la capacidad para llevar a cabo actividades de la vida diaria, así como la calidad y la esperanza de vida.

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Joan Montero and colleagues in Boston suggest a new strategy for melanoma patients

IBEC researcher Joan Montero authors a paper in Nature Communications which uncovers a key adaptation that melanoma cancer cells use to evade current therapies. This finding might allow physicians to use better drug combinations to improve patient outcomes in the future.

Despite significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, most targeted cancer therapies fail to achieve complete tumor regressions or durable remission. Understanding why these treatments are not always efficient has remained a main challenge for researchers and physicians. Now, Joan Montero from the IBEC and colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in USA report in Nature Communications a mechanism that uncovers why some therapies fail to treat melanoma.

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New advances in the treatment of advanced lung cancer

A research team led by Jordi Alcaraz, tenure track-2 lecturer from the Department of Biomedicine of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona and research associated at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), in collaboration with the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the Boehringer Ingelheim company, has identified the molecular mechanisms than could have implications in the design of new therapeutic strategies to expand the clinical benefits of a drug to a larger spectra of patients with lung cancer.

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Josep Samitier and Núria Montserrat at the “Engineering and Manufacture of Living Systems” workshop in China

Last 9-11th of October took place in Beijing the workshop on “Engineering and Manufacture of Living Systems”. The aim of the workshop was to bring together multi-disciplinary researchers to review the latest advances and discuss the future directions in the design and manufacture of engineered living systems, and their integration amongst the researchers gathered at this international workshop.

The major topics discussed during the workshop were: to consider issues related to translation of engineered living systems from the laboratory to the clinic and to industry, review enabling and emerging techniques for using pluripotent cells from various sources such as cell spheroids, organoids and organs-on-a-chip, discuss the ethical, societal and regulatory issues associated with the development and manufacture of engineered living systems and envision future research, development and synergies at the integration and interface of biomanufacturing and engineering living systems amongst others. The meeting was organised by Tsinghua University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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IBEC obtains a second Severo Ochoa accreditation for Excellence

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia is one of the six centres in Spain to be awarded accreditation in this round of the Severo Ochoa Excellence programme. Furthermore, IBEC is the only center that receives this accreditation for the second time.

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities published yesterday the results of the winners of this distinction, selected by an international panel of a hundred judges, for its scientific results and strategic programmes.

Severo Ochoa Excellence Awards identify and promote public research centres and units in Spain that stand out as international references in their specialized fields

IBEC Director Josep Samitier expressed his gratitude for the award and highlights that: “the obtention of the Severo Ochoa accreditation for the second time satisfies us greatly because it recognizes the leadership and excellence of IBEC activities both in research and in translation of the obtained results to society”.

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The directing board of the “Asociación Catalana de Fibrosis Quística” visits IBEC

Representatives of the board of directors of the Catalan Association of Cystic Fibrosis (ACFQ) recently visited IBEC laboratories to discuss the latest advances in bacterial resistance with Dr. Eduard Torrents, principal investigator at IBEC of the group of Bacterial infections: Antimicrobial therapies .

Eduard Torrents, with the support of the ACFQ since 2009, is investigating different antimicrobial strategies to eradicate infections associated with this disease. As on previous occasions, he showed his laboratory to the representatives of the association and shared with them the latest advances in the different lines he is currently developing. “Working with the patient association made me change the way I was doing my research, I want to find solutions,” he said.

On their behalf, the “Associació Catalana de Fibrosi Quística”, that since his foundation at 1988 backs the assistencial and researcher work, devotes a large part of its financial resources to achieve progress in treatment and research, providing different improvements to different research groups .

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Rob Surgical, the spin-off created by IBEC and the UPC, closes a €5 million investment round with Scranton Enterprises

Rob Surgical, the spin-off created by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in 2012, has closed a €5 million investment round with the Dutch holding Scranton Enterprises to fund the final phase of the new Bitrack System and launch the product onto the market

Rob Surgical is a company which designs and develops new robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery. The investment will facilitate the obtention of the CE marking for the new Bitrack System, which will enable it’s break into the market to improve the effectiveness of current surgical robotics.

The Bitrack System will be an alternative to the current laparoscopy surgical robot Da Vinci and will be an improvement on what is currently available in terms of efficiency.

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Researchers perform thousands of mutations to understand amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Researchers from IBEC and CRG in Barcelona use a technique called high-throughput mutagenesis to study Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), with unexpected results.

Results showed that aggregation of TDP-43 is not harmful but actually protects cells, changing our understanding of ALS and opening the door to radically new therapeutic approaches.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and incurable nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control and normally death within a few years of diagnosis. In ALS, like in other neurodegenerative diseases, specific protein aggregates have long been recognized as the pathological hallmarks, but it is not clear whether they represent the actual cause of the disease. Indeed, alleviating aggregation has repeatedly failed as a therapeutic strategy when trying to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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Olive oil offers two powerful weapons in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Researchers from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and the University of Granada have created two potent antimicrobials from oleanolic acid and maslinic acid, both of which are found in olive oil

The study, published in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases, has demonstrated the effect of these derivatives on the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, one of the main causes of infections in catheters and prostheses.
Liquid gold. This is how all Mediterranean cultures have referred to olive oil throughout history. Its captivating flavour, its texture and its role in gastronomy have been some of the qualities that have contributed to this. But olive oil is also a great ally when it comes to health: from antiinflammatory properties to benefits for the cardiovascular system, and even recently discovered antitumor effects. Now, scientists from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the University of Granada (UGR) have contributed new insights that increase the already well-known antimicrobial properties of olive oil.
To do this, they have synthesised two derivatives with enormous antimicrobial potential from two compounds present in olive oil—oleanolic acid and maslinic acid.

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Bioengineering for health; virtual reality for stroke recovery

The SPECS group, together with the physical medicine and rehabilitation department of the hospital Sant Joan de Barcelona, explain us in the news of Punt Avui television, their study in virtual reality for patients who have suffered a stroke. The study began in 2014 and is a reinforcement of the basic rehabilitation treatment. In this case, a study has been done with 18 patients and a clear improvement has been observed after two months thanks to this system.

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