Author: Irene Anton

Book chapter: What We Learned From Caenorhabditis elegans and Hydra vulgaris

6th of December 2018 the first edition of the book entitled “Nanomaterials for Magnetic and Optical Hyperthermia Applications” was published by Elsevier. This book focuses on the design, fabrication and characterization of nanomaterials for in vitro and in applications. Anna Laromaine, researcher at the N&N group, and Laura González-Moragas, graduated PhD student at the N&N group, are coauthors of the chapter nine included in this book: Invertebrate Models for Hyperthermia: What We Learned From Caenorhabditis elegans and Hydra vulgaris.


Congratulations girls for your nice work!

Hurray! Martí Gich awarded with a 2018 ERC Consolidator Grant

We are very excited to announce that the N&N researcher Martí Gich, has been awarded with a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (CoG) for his project entitled “Ferrites-by-design for Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Technologies” (FeMiT). Martí Gich will carry out his project in the period 2019-2024 with a total of nearly 2 M€ to cover the project costs.


All the N&N members are very enthusiastic about the project and wish Marti a lot of success, congratulations!


Irene Anton participated in the Nanobio&Med conference on Barcelona

Irene’s oral presentaiton

From the 20th to the 22nd of November 2018 the PhD fellow Irene Anton attended to the NanoBio&Med conference organized at the Parc Científic of de Barcelona. This multidisciplinary congress was very useful to catch up with the recent advances in the rapidly evolving field of nanobiotechnology. Irene got the opportunity to present her results regarding bacterial nanocellulose interactions with human cells with both a poster and a talk. Her poster entitled “Bacterial nanocellulose and bacterial nanocellulose nanocomposites as substrates for cell culture” was selected for the best poster award sponsored by the journal Biomolecules MDPI.


Thanks to the MDPI publishing group for the prize!

Hot off the press: published paper on Nanoscale!

The paper entitled “Nanoclusters of crystallographically aligned nanoparticles for magnetic thermotherapy: aqueous ferrofluid, agarose phantoms and ex vivo melanoma tumour assessment” has recently been published on the Nanoscale Journal. We congratulate Anna Roig and our collaborator Marcela Fernández for being authors of this nice study!


Abstract: Magnetic hyperthermia is an oncological therapy where magnetic nanostructures, under a radiofrequency field, act as heat transducers increasing tumour temperature and killing cancerous cells. Nanostructure heating efficiency depends both on the field conditions and on the nanostructure properties and mobility inside the tumour. Such nanostructures are often incorrectly bench-marketed in the colloidal state and using field settings far off from the recommended therapeutic values. Here, we prepared nanoclusters composed of iron oxide magnetite nanoparticles crystallographically aligned and their specific absorption rate (SAR) values were calorimetrically determined in physiological fluids, agarose-gel-phantoms and ex vivo tumours extracted from mice challenged with B16-F0 melanoma cells. A portable, multipurpose applicator using medical field settings; 100 kHz and 9.3 kA m−1, was developed and the results were fully analysed in terms of nanoclusters’ structural and magnetic properties. A careful evaluation of the nanoclusters’ heating capacity in the three milieus clearly indicates that the SAR values of fluid suspensions or agarose-gel-phantoms are not adequate to predict the real tissue temperature increase or the dosage needed to heat a tumour. Our results show that besides nanostructure mobility, perfusion and local thermoregulation, the nanostructure distribution inside the tumour plays a key role in effective heating. A suppression of the magnetic material effective heating efficiency appears in tumour tissue. In fact, dosage had to be increased considerably, from the SAR values predicted from fluid or agarose, to achieve the desired temperature increase. These results represent an important contribution towards the design of more efficient nanostructures and towards the clinical translation of hyperthermia.

Happy Diwali to everyone!

The N&N group wishes you all a happy Diwali! Today we celebrate a Hindu-originated festival also known as the festival of lights. This celebration lasts for five days in Hindu communities and clay lamps known as diyas are lit to signify the victory of good over evil. We learnt about this festivity thanks to Sumithra, a new PhD student at the N&N group coming from India. We are very pleased to belong to such an international research group!


Hot off the press: Published paper in Nature Communications!

We are happy to announce that last 1st of November 2018, the paper “Stability and nature of the volume collapse of ε-Fe2O3 under extreme conditions” was published on the journal Nature Communications. This study is co-authored by the permanent researcher at the N&N group Martí Gich.


Abstract: Iron oxides are among the major constituents of the deep Earth’s interior. Among them, the epsilon phase of Fe2O3 is one of the less studied polymorphs and there is a lack of information about its structural, electronic and magnetic transformations at extreme conditions. Here we report the precise determination of its equation of state and a deep analysis of the evolution of the polyhedral units under compression, thanks to the agreement between our experiments and ab-initio simulations. Our results indicate that this material, with remarkable magnetic properties, is stable at pressures up to 27 GPa. Above 27 GPa, a volume collapse has been observed and ascribed to a change of the local environment of the tetrahedrally coordinated iron towards an octahedral coordination, finding evidence for a different iron oxide polymorph. DOI:


Congratulations Martí!

Best POLYMAR2018 oral presentation award for Sole Roig!

From the 8th to the 12th of October 2018 Sole Roig, PhD candidate at the N&N group, participated in the 2nd Conference in Polymer Science (POLYMAR) dedicated to biopolymers and taking place in a cruise through the Aegean sea. Her presentation “Microstructuration and functionalization of bacterial cellulose” was awarded with the Best Oral Presentation by an early stage researcher price sponsored by Publishing MDPI, congratulations Sole! 


“POLYMAR2018 was a very interesting congress with a new format I have never seen before. The industrial point of view of most of the talks offered me the possibility to learn new approaches that we can apply on our lab in order to make easier the commercialization of the materials we are investigating.”