We have an IQAC seminar session semi-online. The speaker is Silvia Pujals, from IBEC, and the session will take place in Sala d’actes in IQAC-CSIC on 21th January at 10h.

Title: Tackling challenges in nanomedicine with responsive supramolecular polymers and advanced microscopy.


Nanomedicine arise with the promise of selectively delivering therapeutic drugs to target sites, thus increasing its their effectivity while minimizing undesired side effects. However, tumour complexity and heterogeneity pose a great challenge to the design of effective therapeutic nanomaterials, and new approaches, from material design to screening in relevant models, are necessary.

Many biological structures are made of multiple components that self-organize into complex architectures. Supramolecular polymers mimic this phenomenon, allowing a modular and tunable approach that eases sample preparation. One of the most appealing features of supramolecular assemblies is their ability to respond to external stimuli due to their noncovalent nature. With a combination of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, self-assembly in water and responsiveness to temperature, light, pH, and ionic strength was demonstrated.

To study the behaviour of such complex nanomaterials in action a variety of optical microscopy techniques, in particular super resolution microscopy (SRM) are being used. SRM can achieve a resolution down to 20 nm and represents an ideal tool to visualize nanosized objects in the biological environment. In particular, SMLM (Single Molecule Localization Microscopy) can be used to image a wide range of nanomaterials beyond the diffraction limit: nanoparticles, BTA fibers, peptidic nanostructures, etc.

Remarkably, SMLM allows this observation in the biological environment, being able to follow the journey of nanomaterials inside the body: from protein corona formation to extravasation, targeting and tracking nanomaterials inside the cell.

Finally, the approach of organ-on-a-chip for a more complex and realistic cancer model will be discussed.