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The Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites Group: "Collaborator of the year" of the Barraquer Institute

The General Assembly of the Barraquer Institute has named the Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites (NN) Group, led by Anna Roig, "Collaborator of the year".

Anna May
10 October 2022
Irene Anton holding a sample of bacterial nanocellulose at the NN lab | ICMAB-CSIC
Irene Anton holding a sample of bacterial nanocellulose at the NN lab | ICMAB-CSIC

The President of the Barraquer Institute, Rafael I. Barraquer, highlights in his letter of appreciation the "relevant and indispensable participation in the research line of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC), in which our centre participates" and mentions that "for the last 4 years, our synergy has generated a successful and solid inter-institutional collaboration; the medical uses of this inert material are proving to be very promising as a vehicle for different active ingredients for the treatment of ocular pathologies".

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Irene Anton, Anna Laromaine and Anna Roig (NN Group, ICMAB), with Justin D'Antin and Ralph Michael (Baraquer Ophtalmology Centre).

The research department of the Barraquer Ophtalmology Centre creates synergies with other national and international hospitals and research centres, and participates in different thematic cooperative research networks, promoting the development of new ways of treating and diagnosing eye diseases. The Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites (NN) Group at ICMAB is one of this collaborators.

The group led by Anna Roig has been working with the Barraquer Institute research department since Irene Anton, PhD researcher in the group, who defended her PhD Thesis in June 2021, started the contacts with them while looking for applications of bacterial nanocellulose to carry out her research project back in 2016.

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Bacterial nanocellulose culture in the NN lab | ICMAB-CSIC

Since then, the two groups have been carrying out different projects related to the use of this biocompatible material, nanocellulose produced by bacteria, to treat corneal damage. They worked together in a "Llavor" project from AGAUR, FEDER and Generalitat de Catalunya on “Novel Nanocellulose Patches to Treat Corneal Wounds (CORNEAL-BC)” to develop corneal patches made of nanocellulose loaded with therapeutic agents to act as protection, healing agent and bioactive substrate to accelerate corneal regeneration. The nanocellulose used, with great appealing characteristics to act as an alternative ocular bandage materials, is produced by bacteria, has a high liquid holding capacity, is biocompatible, endotoxin-free, flexible and supports the growth of human cells. 

They also worked together within the framework of a Frontier Interdisciplinary Project (FIP) from ICMAB Severo Ochoa programme "Bioactive bacterial cellulose for corneal translational medicine" (CORNEALTransMed). In the following video you can see Anna Roig, from ICMAB, explaining the main objective of the project. 

Now, the continuation of the collaboration between the NN Group and the Barraquer Institute is guaranteed through a recently awarded 'Producte' project by AGAUR, FEDER and Generalitat de Catalunya. 

The project "Nanocellulose patches to treat corneal wounds" became finalist in the Expoquimia Award in Biotechnology R&D&I 2020.

The Barraquer Institute President continues in the letter: "Methodological excellence and common objectives are the key to this success, with new and relevant applications yet to be explored. I believe that your work also stimulates ours and I would therefore be grateful if you would accept our gratitude". 

This fruitful and successful collaboration has resulted in the publication in Biomaterials Science "Bacterial nanocellulose as a corneal bandage material: A comparison with amniotic membrane" and the related publication in Small  "Limbal Stem Cells on Bacterial Nanocellulose Carriers for Ocular Surface Regeneration". Many more to come!

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Thomas Meslier, researcher at the NN group and participating in the Barraquer project, holding a sample of bacterial nanocellulose in the NN lab | ICMAB-CSIC

"We would like to thank the Barraquer Institution for this honorary recognition to our work, which is for the whole team working in this successful collaboration" says Anna Roig, leader of the Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites (NN) Group at ICMAB. 

"The biggest congratulations to the whole team" says Xavier Obradors, ICMAB Director. 

More information about this collaboration and related projects: 

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