Top Science Results

New nanoarchitectonics to enhance cell-adhesion with quatsomes

ICMAB researchers have participated in a study to create a versatile platform based on hierarchically nanostructured cell-adhesion peptides using quatsomes, which opens new possibilities for tissue engineering. The study, published in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces is a collaboration of three CIBER-BBN groups at ICMAB, IQAC (both CSIC) and IBEC.

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Top 10 ICMAB collaborators

ICMAB’s most frequent collaborators in 2022 - A year in review

Collaboration is a key part of research. Whether it is collaboration with similar researchers with different skill sets or perspectives, or collaboration with researchers in other fields for an interdisciplinary approach, joining efforts with other institutions is a solid way to improve ICMAB’s work. Here are the institutions that have collaborated more with ICMAB in 2022:

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Word cloud of all the journals in which we published | ICMAB, CSIC (Made in wordclouds.com)

ICMAB’s 2022 most published journals - A year in review

"It doesn't exist if it is not published", or "Publish or perish". For sure you have heard some of these sentences. Our ICMAB researchers do great science, and also publish the results in specialized scientific journals, to disseminate the research results they obtain.

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Top 10 ICMAB articles with a higher IF in 2022 - A year in review

The Clarivate journal Impact Factor metric system gives a yearly numeric indicator of how much has an article been cited and how much impact has it had. With a total of 210 of publications with IF (before finishing the year), ICMAB’s average IF has been at 9.00, with an 26.7 % of all publications having an IF higher than 10. These are the ICMAB articles that have had a higher IF during 2022:

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Organic semiconductor on glass support | ICMAB-CSIC

Efficient photovoltaics: more (light) with less (material)

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Absorb more light while using less material: This constitutes one of the most complicated milestones in the field of organic photovoltaics due to its practical implications: improving the efficiency of solar cells, (potentially) their stability and their semi-transparency to the human eye. Now, the achievement of such milestone seems to be closer than ever.

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Converting solar energy to electricity on demand | Chalmers University of Technology | Daniel Spacek, neuroncollective.com

Converting solar energy to electricity on demand

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Eventually, this research – developed at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, by ICMAB and ICREA researcher Kasper Moth-Poulsen and co-workers – could lead to self-charging electronics using stored solar energy on demand.

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 Álvaro Luis Jiménez, CRAG PhD researcher, working with tomato plants at CRAG greenhouse | CRAG

A wall to stop bacterial wilt in tomato plants

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ICMAB researchers Anna Laromaine and Sumithra Srinivasan collaborate in this study led by CRAG researchers to unveil the physico-chemical nature of the xylem barriers responsible for bacterial wilt resistance in tomato plants.

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Stable nanovesicles for the delivery of microRNA in cancer treatment in #WorldCancerDay

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On World Cancer Day (4 Feb), we present a study on new nanovesicles, known as quatsomes, which have been successfully engineered to encapsulate and deliver microRNAs for the treatment of tumors. These nanovesicles are produced by a simple GMP compliant process, an unavoidable requirement for the clinical use of new drug candidates. The study, published in Small, has been highlighted in the Women in Materials Science issue of Advanced Materials.

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Cell penetrability of DNA-grafted quatsomes

New fluorescent nanovesicles for intracellular biomarker detection

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A new work by the Nanomol Group, belonging to the CIBER-BBN network, together with a team from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, presents new nanovesicles capable of crossing biological barriers such as cell membranes, while maintaining their sensing capacity, which makes them attractive probes for intracellular detection of biomarkers.

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13 ICMAB researchers in the Stanford ranking of most highly cited scientists

Up to 523 CSIC scientists are in the ranking, 82 of them from centers in Catalonia.

ICMAB researchers in this ranking are working in the fields of sustainable batteries, oxide electronics, electronic and crystallographic structure of materials, flexoelectricity, borane-based materials, molecular materials, nitride-based materials, photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, among others. 

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Noemí Contreras-Pereda (ICN2) and Josep Puigmartí (IQTCUB-ICREA) with the microgravity device. | Xènia Fuentes/UB

Simulated microgravity system to synthesize high-quality 2D crystalline materials

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A team of researchers demonstrated that 2D porous crystalline molecular frameworks (MOFs) can be grown with excellent control over their morphology and homogeneity by using a custom-made microfluidic device.

This approach recreates on Earth the microgravity environment of laboratories on the International Space Stations.

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A collection of strontium and vanadium oxide (SrVO3) metallic films of increasing thickness.| ICMAB-CSIC

A new theory to explain the transparency of metallic oxides

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The electrons of some metal oxides, due to their large effective mass when coupled with the ionic lattice of the material, cannot follow the electric field of light and allow it to pass through the material. Transparent and conductive materials are used in smartphone touch screens and solar panels for photovoltaic energy.

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Amplified frequency-domain thermoreflectance setup used to study the existence of second sound in germanium. | ICMAB, CSIC

Thermal waves observed in semiconductor materials

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A study published in Science Advances reports on the unexpected observation of thermal waves in germanium, a semiconductor material. This phenomenon may allow a significant improvement in the performance of our electronic devices in a near future. The study is led by researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, CSIC) in collaboration with researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the University of Cagliari.

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Jewel Ann Maria Xavier, ICMAB researcher, with the magnetic nanoparticles. | ICMAB-CSIC

A device monitoring heart failure from saliva co-developed by ICMAB and IMB-CNM researchers

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The instrument, developed in the framework of the European project KardiaTool, contains a biosensor chip developed in the Clean Room of the IMB-CNM, and functionalized magnetic nanoparticles synthesized at ICMAB, key to detect the biomarkers found in saliva. It is a quick Point-of-Care saliva test that does not require specialized personnel. 

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Sole Roig, researcher at the NN group at ICMAB-CSIC, showing a sample of a hybrid mesh of surgical polypropylene and the bio-based bacterial nanocellulose. | ICMAB-CSIC

Bio-nanocellulose meshes improve hernia repair surgery

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Bacterial nanocellulose is an emergent biocompatible natural polymer with increasing applicability in the healthcare sector. A potential innovative application can be found in the design of surgical meshes for the treatment of abdominal hernias. Researchers from ICMAB-CSIC and B. Braun Surgical, a leading manufacturer of medical devices for wound closure, have collaborated to develop a bio-based surgical mesh with this biomaterial. First results from an in vivo animal study yield promising outcomes.

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Fourier-filtered electron microscopy image showing phase coexistence between M1 phase and the newly discovered x3M phase, with the two phases weaving across each other forming a “tweed” pattern

Tweed texture revealed in vanadium dioxide in metal-insulator transitions

The study of metal-insulator transitions in VO2 through atomic scale imaging has allowed to uncover a periodical tweed structure: a weaving of vanadium dimers acting like the threads of an actual tweed at the atomic level. This research, led by ICMAB researcher Felip Sandiumenge and ICN2 and ICREA researcher Gustau Catalan, and published in Advanced Materials, provides relevant information for the understanding of transitional states in specific classes of materials.

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A) Spatial organisation of the catalytic biostructures. B) and C) Detail of the two types of amino acids and their interactions.

Nanoenzymes designed with a unique combination of structure and functions

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ICMAB researchers from the LMI group have collaborated in a study to design minimalist biostructures that imitate natural enzymes, capable of carrying out two differentiated and reversibly regulated activities thanks to a unique combination of structural and functional properties. The strategy used opens the door to the creation of “intelligent” nanomaterials with tailor-made combinations of catalytic functions.

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Irene Anton, researcher at the NN group, holding a bacterial nanocellulose membrane

Bio-membranes with ocular stem cells to treat corneal disorders

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The production, preparation, and use of bacterial nanocellulose as corneal bandages could be the key to help delicate stem cells to migrate to the cornea and heal the eye from a range of ocular disorders.

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Mariano Campoy-Quiles and Xabier Rodríguez-Martínez, co-authors of the study, in their lab | ICMAB

Machine learning to predict the performance of organic solar cells

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In this study, researchers have demonstrated that by feeding machine-learning algorithms with high-throughput experimental datasets, it is possible to retrieve predictive models for the performance of organic solar cells.

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