Research

Stimuli-Responsive Multifunctional Nanocarriers

The main goal of this research line is the development of novel stimuli-responsive drug delivery nanocarriers for antitumoral therapy based on inorganic and organic nanomaterials. These nanodevices are engineered to be able to transport therapeutic species which exhibit different nature, from big macromolecules as proteins, enzymes or oligonucleotide strands to small drugs as cytotoxic drugs or immunostimulating agents. We are developing nanodevices able to interact with several cell populations, not only tumoral cells but also immune and supportive cells that plays a pivotal role in tumor progression. Our hypothesis is that the simultaneous and controlled elimination of tumoral and supportive cells in combination with the activation and maturation of immune cells achieved with the administration of these nanodevices will induce potent antitumoral responses which allowed the complete tumor eradication. We are concentrating our efforts in the lookout of solutions for pediatric tumors, specifically neuroblastoma, which is a really aggressive tumor that lacks of an efficient treatment. We are working in close collaboration with Dr. Manuel Ramirez Orellana at Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús in Madrid, a worldwide recognized expert in this disease. Our hope is to find a novel way to defeat this complex disease and provide an efficient treatments that lead to the eradication of this terrible disease. 

Selected Publications:

Chem. Matter., 2018, 30, 112-120
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03128

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10, 12518–12525.
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.8b02398

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9, 26697–26706.
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.7b06906

Adv. Func. Matter., 2014, 24, 4625–4633.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.201400729

Development of Targeting Moieties

The aim of this research line is to synthesize and to evaluate novel targeting agents towards specific tumoral and immune cell lines. This research line pretends to discover completely novel targeting agents different to the previously reported in the scientific literature in order to improve the selectivity of the nanodevices against the target cells. We are using the potent and versatile solid phase synthesis methodology to construct novel libraries of peptide-based targeting moieties which are screened in 2D and 3D cell cultures to identify efficient targeting agents that present high affinity to specific cell membrane receptors located on the membrane of these cells.

Different approaches are being studied in our lab to improve even more the selectivity and targeting capacities of these agents such as the development hierarchical, activatable and encrypted targeting moieties that allow us to guide our nanocarriers to specific organelles inside the cell or to attack two different cell populations with the same nanodevice. These novel approaches would improve the effectiveness of the nanomedicines reducing their off-target accumulation.

Selected Publications:

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 3067–3072.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.201811691

Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 7174-7179.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.201605947

J. Mat. Chem. B, 2015, 3, 4831-4842.
https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2015/tb/c5tb00287g#!divAbstract