The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC, https://ibecbarcelona.eu/) conducts interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of engineering and life sciences, generating new knowledge by putting together fields like nanomedicine, biophysics, biotechnology, tissue engineering and the applications of health information technology. Notably, IBEC was awarded in 2015 and 2019 with the prestigious “Severo Ochoa Excellence Award” by the Spanish Ministry, and its location in the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, https://www.pcb.ub.edu/en/) offers a highly stimulating biomedical environment where the institute can work closely with organizations from the public and private sector interested in the biomedical application of Nanotechnology. IBEC also has access to the powerful technological facilities of the CCiT UB and the PCB services. IBEC is a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST, https://bist.eu/), a scientific initiative of seven of Catalonia’s research centres of excellence whose objective is to increase their levels of collaboration in order to build together a joint scientific project. The strength of BIST is based on the research capacities of the individual institutes and their potential to promote multidisciplinary, cutting-edge projects.
Two research groups from IBEC are involved in the BioMeld project:
• Smart nano-bio-devices
• Biomimetic systems for cell engineering
Smart nano-bio-devices (led by Prof Samuel Sánchez)
“Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering” group (led by Dr Elena Martínez)
The Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering group, led by Dr. Elena Martínez, is focused on the development of artificial systems that mimic tissue complex cues (architecture, cell composition, ligand distribution, physical stimuli, etc.) for more biomimetic in vitro assays. Their research involves the development of novel biofabrication techniques which are suitable for soft hydrogels, the fabrication and application of mini-bioreactors that incorporate multiple signalling (mechanical, chemical and electrical), and the creation of in vitro intestinal mucosa models to study barrier function, stroma – epithelial crosstalk, and cancer.