Author: Anna May

Final COMMON SENSE meeting and public event: Next generation sensors for ocean observation.

On Friday, January 27, there will be a public and free event to present the final results of the COMMON SENSE project on “Demonstration of next generation sensors for advanced real-time ocean observation.

This event will closure the COMMON SENSE project, in which the NN group has actively participated in the development of electrochemical sensors that are able to detect different heavy metals simultaneously

  • Date and time:
    Friday, January 27, from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Location: 
    Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB)
    1 Moll de Llevant, 08039 Barcelona (View Map)

Martí Gich and Anna Roig will participate in a previous meeting on Thursday, with the project team, and on Friday on the public event. 

Professionals working in the marine environment and citizens curious about the status of our oceans are invited!

The COMMON SENSE project is creating prototypes of next generation in-situ marine sensors to deliver vital information about the oceans. The project directly responds to the requirement for integrated and effective data acquisition systems by developing innovative sensors that will contribute to our understanding of how the marine environment functions. In doing so, COMMON SENSE results can support the implementation of European Union marine policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework  Directive (MSFD) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

As the COMMON SENSE project comes to a successful conclusion, the results will be presented at this final workshop, along with a demonstration of the novel sensors developed and tested during the project.

The COMMON SENSE sensors need less human operation and intervention than current technologies and create standardised data on eutrophication, underwater noise, heavy metals, and marine litter, with a focus on microplastics. Other important parameters considered are temperature, pressure, pH and pCO2.

Download the program
Register for the event



Prof. Stephen Sturzenbaum will give an ICMAB Lecture on toxicity of metals on biological systems

It is a pleasure for us to invite you to the ICMAB Lecture entitled: “Juggling essential and toxic metals – a worm’s eye view of a Toxicogenomic challenge”

By Prof. Stephen Sturzenbaum from the group of Toxicogenomics from King’s College London (UK).

Date: Friday, January 20th
Time: 12.00 pm
Place: ICMAB – Sala d’actes Carles Miravitlles

Abstract: Some metals are exclusively toxic to biological systems and classified as being non-essential, others are essential for life. Nevertheless, above certain threshold concentrations all (including the essential ones) become toxic. Homeostasis of essential elements and detoxification of non-essential elements are thus vital drivers of well-being, longevity and survival. By exploiting genomic, transcriptomic and toxicological tools within the model nematode C. elegans we identified and characterized intricate pathways that not only form the foundations of metallomics but facilitate further explorations within the field of nanomaterials.

Short bio: Professor Stephen Sturzenbaum holds a personal chair in Toxicogenomics at King’s College London and was recently awarded a Senior Doctorate (DSc) from Cardiff University for his work on “Toxicogenomics on Terrestrial Worms”. Stephen pioneered the use of molecular genetic tools in the common earthworm, and in doing so was instrumental in establishing the earthworm as a sentinel soil macroinvertebrate model organism of environmental importance. Stephen’s second stream of work has focussed on promoting the use of the more established C. elegans model organism to address the burgeoning themes of metallobiology, toxicogenomics and nanoparticle toxicology. Laura González, from our group, who did her thesis on evaluating nanoparticles’ toxicity on C. elegans, did an internship at his laboratory during Feb-May 2016

If you would like to arrange a meeting with Prof. Stephen Stürzenbaum please contact: Dr. Anna Laromaine (

Jordi Floriach Clark will present his work on “Techniques for Bacterial Cellulose Production, Modification and Characterisation” at UAB

Jordi, student of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at UAB, will present his work entitled “Techniques for Bacterial Cellulose Production, Modification and Characterisation“, next January 19th, at 9.30 am, at Sala de Graus II C5/1068 (Science Faculty, UAB). 

Bacterial cellulose drops functionalized with nanoparticles

Jordi has been with us for nearly 7 months, and he has been working under the supervision of Anna Laromaine, as part of his practical studies (UAB coordinator is Dolors Baró).

We are very happy that he will continue with us to do his Bachelor’s Final Project until next summer!

How can synchrotron light be used to protect the environment? Researchers from INTE-UPC show us how.

Our collaborators from the research group NEMEN (Nanoengineering of Materials applied to Energy) at the Institue of Energy Technologies (INTE-UPC) appear in this video from ALBA Synchrotron at UPC-TV. 

Accediu a la descripció del vídeo (obriu l'enllaç en una finestra nova)

The video shows how the synchrotron light is used to verify the design of the catalysts and photocatalysts used either for hydrogen generation (to be used in energy applications, instead of fossil fuels), or for the removal of air pollutants (especially coming from the exhaust pipes of cars, trucks, and public transportation in cities). 

In our group we synthesize some of these photocatalysts used for hydrogen generation from water/ethanol gaseous mixtures under UV-light irradiation

First accepted manuscript of 2017, in CHEMISTRY – A European Journal

A recent manuscript entitled “A recoverable ruthenium aqua complex supported onto silica particles: an efficient epoxidation catalyst“, by M. Isabel Romero, Ingrid Ferrer, Xavier Fontrodona, Anna Roig and Montserrat Rodríguez, has been accepted in CHEMISTRY – A European Journal (Accepted manuscript online: 11 January 2017; DOI: 10.1002/chem.201604463).

This article is the product of a collaboration with the Group of Catalysis and Sustainability of the University of Girona

The article reports the synthesis and catalytic performance of hybrid materials formed by a molecular ruthenium aqua complex anchored onto silica mesoporous and silica coated magnetic particles. The catalytic results and the reutilization of these hybrid materials highlight their performance in the epoxidation of alkenes.


The preparation and characterization of new complexes with a phosphonated trpy ligand (trpy-P-Et) and a bidentate pyridylpyrazole (pypz-Me) ligand, with formula [RuII(trpy-P-Et)(pypz-Me)X]n+ (X = Cl, n= 1, 2; X=H2O, n=2, 3) is described, together with the anchoring of 3 onto two types of supports: mesoporous silica particles (SP) and silica coated magnetic particles (MSP). The aqua complex 3 is easily obtained through reflux of 2 in water and displays a bielectronic Ru(IV/II) redox process. It has been anchored onto SP and MSP supports through two different synthetic strategies, yielding the heterogeneous systems SP@3 and MSP@3 that have been fully characterized by IR, UV-vis, SEM, CV and DPV. Catalytic olefin epoxidation has been tested with the molecular complex 3 and the SP@3 and MSP@3 heterogeneous counterparts, including the reuse of the heterogeneous systems. The MSP@3 material can be easily recovered by a magnet facilitating their reusability.

Download article.


INPhINIT “La Caixa” Fellowship Programme – Opportunities at ICMAB-CSIC within the NN Group

INPhINIT is a new doctoral fellowship programme promoted by “la Caixa” Foundation devoted to attract international Early-Stage Researchers to the top Spanish research centres in the areas of Bio and Health Sciences, Physics, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

INPhINIT recruits per call 57 Early-Stage Researchers of any nationality, who enjoy a 3-year employment contract at the Research Centre of their choice among those selected and awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (“Severo Ochoa” centres of excellence and “Maria de Maeztu” units of excellence) and the Spanish Ministry of Health (“Carlos III centres of excellence”).

ICMAB-CSIC is one of the “Severo Ochoa” centers selected, and has published 24 PhD open positions under the INPhINIT programme. 

One of this projects is offered by Anna Roig and Martí Gich, within the NN Group, and is entitled “Mesoporous Magnetic Nanorods for Theranostics”

The project aims at developing high aspect ratio magnetic silica-based materials as multimodal agents for theranostic purposes. The targeted materials are mesoporous silica rods containing inorganic nanoparticles to serve as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography and at the same time encapsulating selected drugs.  The project aims at demonstrating that engineered magnetic objects in the rod shape can constitute a new family of carriers for therapeutic agents with radically new properties and advantages compared to the magnetic nanoparticles used so far.

Application deadline: 2 Februrary 2017

More information:

We welcome Valentin Natarov into the NN group!

We welcome Valentin Natarov into the NN group! 

Valentin is a Master Student in Chemistry at the Chemistry Faculty of Belarusian State University (BSU). His Master thesis is devoted to the development of composite materials based on oxide ferrimagnetic nanoparticles and functionalized silicon dioxide for magnetic bioseparation.

He will be with us for an internship of 2 months, funded by the Ministry for Education of the Republic of Belarus, working on the synthesis and characterization of bismuth oxide/iron oxide/silica nanocomposites for biomedical applications, under the supervision of Anna Roig and Marti Gich.

We hope you enjoy your stay with us!


Parametrizing the exposure of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in cell cultures at different in vitro environments
Maria Milla, Si-Ming Yu, and Anna Laromaine
Chemical Engineering Journal, Available online 15 December 2017

Ultrafast Synthesis and Coating of High-Quality β-NaYF4:Yb3+,Ln3+ Short Nanorods
Fabrizio Guzzetta, Anna Roig, and Beatriz Julián-López
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 8, Novembre 2017 8, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02473

Unveiling a New High-Temperature Ordered Magnetic Phase in ε-Fe2O3
José Luis García-Muñoz, Arnau Romaguera, Francois Fauth, Josep Nogués and Martí Gich
Chemistry of Materials, 
29(22), October 2017, DOI:10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03417

Piezo-generated charge mapping revealed through direct piezoelectric force microscopy
Andrés Gómez, Martí Gich, Adrián Carretero-Genevrier, Teresa Puig and Xavier Obradors 
Nature Communications, 8, October 2017, DOI:10.1038/s41467-017-01361-2 

Carbon–Silica Composites to Produce Highly Robust Thin-Film Electrochemical Microdevices
Pengfei Niu, Laura Asturias-Arribas, Xavier Jordà, Alejandro R. Goñi, Anna Roig,Martí Gich, and César Fernández-Sánchez. 
Advanced Materials Technologies, October 2017, DOI10.1002/admt.201700163

Electric and Mechanical Switching of Ferroelectric and ResistivStates in Semiconducting BaTiO3–δ Films on Silicon 
Andrés Gómez, José Manuel Vila-FungueiriñoRahma Moalla, Guillaume Saint-Girons, Jaume Gázquez, María Varela, Romain Bachelet, Martí Gich, Francisco Rivadullaand Adrián Carretero-Genevrier
Small, October 2017, 13(39), DOI: 10.1002/smll.201770208. 

Toxicogenomics of iron oxide nanoparticles in the nematode C. elegans
Laura Gonzalez-Moragas, Si-Ming Yu, Núria Benseny-Cases, Stephen Stürzenbaum, Anna Roig and Anna Laromaine
Nanotoxicology, June 2017, 11 (5), 647-657. DOI: 10.1080/17435390.2017.1342011.

Materials and toxicological approaches to study metal and metal-oxide nanoparticles in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans

In vivo testing of gold nanoparticles using the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism
Laura González-Moragas, Pascal Berto, Clara Vilches, Romain Quidant, Androniki Kolovou, Rachel Santarella-Mellwig, Yannick Schwab, Stephen Stürzenbaum, Anna Roig, and Anna Laromaine.
Acta Biomaterialia, April 2017, 53, 598-609. DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.01.080.

A recoverable ruthenium aqua complex supported onto silica particles: an efficient epoxidation catalyst
M. Isabel Romero, Ingrid Ferrer, Xavier Fontrodona, Anna Roig and Montserrat Rodríguez
CHEMISTRY – A European Journal, March 2017, 23, 4096–4107 DOI: 10.1002/chem.201604463.

Anticipating hyperthermia efficiency of magnetic colloids by a semi-empirical model: a tool to help medical decisions
Marcela B. Fernández van Raap, Diego Fernando Coral Coral, Siming Yu, Guillermo Arturo Muñoz, Francisco Sánchez and Anna Roig
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, February 2017, 19, 7176-7187. 
DOI: 10.1039/C6CP08059F.


Dr. Gustavo Alberto Pasquevich
Setembre 2017- 
Visiting researcher 
CONICET, Argentina 

Michaela Tomickova
Setembre 2017-October 2017 
Visiting PhD student 
Czech Republic

Jordi Floriach-Clark
Setembre 2015- Setembre 2017
Bachelor’s degree: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Olatz Arriaga 
November 2016- July 2017
Bachelor’s degree: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Jan Grzelak
November 2016- July 2017
MSc. Nanoscience Engineering / Advanced Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
University of Warsaw / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Valentin Natarov
December 2016 – February 2017
MSc Student in Chemistry
Belarusian State University (BSU), Belarus

Ander Arbide
February – July 2017
4th year Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Final Project – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Dr. Cosmin Cotet
April – May 2017
Babes-Bolaiy University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Babes-Bolaiy University Scholarship

Dr. Marcela B. Fernández van Raap
May 2017
Independent Researcher CONICET
National University of La Plata (UNLP), Argentina

Dr. Gustavo Alberto Echeverría
July 2017
Independent Researcher CONICET
National University of La Plata (UNLP), Argentina

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the NN Group!

Christmas Card: gold nanotriangle surrounded by titanium oxide nanoparticles. Photo credit: Judith Oró (TEM), Miquel Torras, Pol Sallés, Anna May.

This week we celebrated Christmas with all the ICMAB at La Masia Can Portell, in Collserola (on Wednesday) and with the NN Group (on Thursday’s Group Meeting). 

ICMAB Christmas lunch at Masia Can Portell

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Group Meeting

See you all next year, with new and exciting science and activities!