13th and 14th September 2018 Anna Roig travelled to Palma de Mallorca in order to be part of a thesis defense committee at the Universitat de les Illes Balears. The title of the defended thesis was: Síntesis y aplicación de Compuestos Híbridos Nanoestructurados basados en Óxido de Hierro y/o Nanodiamantes. It was presented by María Susana Gutiérrez Gómez and supervised by Dr. Jeroni Morey Salvà and Dra. María Nieves Piña Capó.
Anna Roig was also invited to gave a seminar on this university with the title: “Celulosa biosintetizada pro bacterias como plataforma para crear nuevos materiales funcionales” where she explained our project on bacterial nanocellulose.
On Monday she gave an ICMAB Seminar at 12 pm at Sala d’actes “Carles Miravitlles”, entitled “Crystalline phase dependency of the electrical performance of oxide dielectrics for semiconductor applications”.
Continuous dimensional downscaling of dielectrics and metals in semiconductor industry requires improved, non-defective metal-dielectric interfaces in order to preserve the intrinsic properties of the nanomaterials at thicknesses ranging between 5 and 10 nm. For such thin films, atomic layer deposition (ALD) is nowadays envisaged as the most suited deposition technique to deliver conformal layers in high aspect ratio structures. The crystalline phase often determines the dielectric constant and the bandgap energy and consequently electrical characteristics such as capacitance and leakage current density in metal-insulator-metal capacitors. Other specific properties like ferroelectricity seems to be driven by the presence of a particular phase (e.g. orthorhombic) with potential applications in ferroelectric field effect transistor fabrication.
Mihaela Popovici is a Senior Researcher in the Semiconductor Technology and Systems Unit at IMEC, Belgium. She received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2004, at the Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania. She had a Marie Curie fellowship at ICMAB in 2002-2003 in the field of magnetic aerogels and was post-doctoral fellow at Philips Research Eindhoven in Photonic Materials and Devices during 2005-2007. She has been working for almost a decade at the nano-electronics R&D center of IMEC in Leuven, Belgium on memory chip scaling. At present she is the technical leader of the metal-insulator-metal capacitor project for DRAM applications. Her main expertise resides in dielectric oxides and metal thin films development, physical and electrical characterization and design of complex materials stacks with applications in nano-electronic devices.
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 concentrationsall (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 aninternship at his laboratory during Feb-May 2016.
If you would like to arrange a meeting with Prof. Stephen Stürzenbaum please contact: Dr. Anna Laromaine (email@example.com)
Prof. Joel N. Meyer will give a Seminar entitled “Mechanisms of uptake and toxicity of silver nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans“, today, December 15, at 12 pm at ICMAB Conference Room Carles Miravitlles.
Engineered nanomaterials offer great opportunities due to their novel properties. However, there is concern that these novel properties may also result in deleterious effects on human and ecological health that are difficult to predict based only on an understanding of the chemical makeup. We tested a number of nanoparticles (NPs) for toxicity in the nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans, and found that certain silver NPs (AgNPs) were the most toxic of the NPs that we had tested. We therefore extended our studies to characterize environmental factors that might alter AgNP toxicity, as well as the uptake and mechanism of toxicity of AgNPs in C. elegans.
Because much AgNP waste is expected to end up in aquatic ecosystems, we tested the influence of environmental variables on toxicity. We found that higher ionic strength, the presence of natural organic matter, and sulfidation of the AgNPs (expected to occur in many environments after AgNP release) all significantly reduced Ag NP toxicity. Using physicochemical, genetic, and pharmacological rescue approaches, we found that the most toxic AgNPs -generally, the smallest- caused their effects largely via dissolution. Some AgNPs (typically less soluble due to size or coating) also caused toxicity via generation of reactive oxygen species, an effect specific to nanoparticulate silver. This effect was masked by the toxicity of silver ions except when dissolution was very limited. The toxicity of the tested AgNPs was almost never greater than would result from complete dissolution of the same mass of silver. We also found that endocytosis was an important mechanism for AgNP uptake. However, the specific mechanisms by which AgNPs or released silver ion cause toxicity remain unclear. Because AgNPs are used to kill microbes, and mitochondria are endosymbiotic descendants of bacteria, current studies are focused on testing the possibility that AgNPs cause some of their toxicity via disruption of mitochondrial function.
If you would like to arrange a meeting with Prof. Joel N. Meyer please contact: Dr. Anna Laromaine(firstname.lastname@example.org).
This morning, November 17th, at 9.30 am there is a session of “Spin-Offs. From Lab to Market”, within the Training Program FUNMAT (Severo-Ochoa Seminars), dedicated to all researchers and PhD candidates of the Institute.
Some members of the N&N group have attented the seminar. It is always good to know what your colleagues are working on and to have information about patents and spin-offs creation. In our group, Anna Laromaine is cofounder of the spin-off OsmoBlue, which aim is to produce electricity from low-temperature heat.
The program of the seminar is the following:
Why a spin-off ? PRUAB (Parc de Recerca UAB) activities in business creation. Presentation of cases and experiences.
Speaker: Julia Palma (PRUAB).
Synergism between Nanomol research group and Nanomol technologies
Speakers: Nora Ventosa and Santi Sala (Nanomol, ICMAB).
Presentation of Oxolutia. Oxolutia path and “lessons learned”.
Speaker: Albert Calleja (Oxolutia, ICMAB).
Roundtable with some researchers involved in spin-offs creation and other experiences
Anna Laromaine gave a seminar yesterday April 5th at the Facultat de Ciències-UAB, as part of the activities organized during the Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (10alamenos9), in which the ICMAB collaborated. The topic of the seminar was Nanomedicine, which, according to Anna, is “the use of the nanotechnology for medical applications”, such as diagnosis, medical therapies, drug delivery, tissue regeneration, and the understanding of cellular systems.
Other seminars during the festival included the following topics: Biosensors by Ma Isabel Pividori, Energy capture and thermoelectrics by Aitor Lopeandía (UAB), Nanoelectronics by Francesc Pérez-Murano (IMB-CNM), an Introduction to nanotechnology by Ma José Esplandiu (ICN2), and Nanotechnology and society by Jordi Pascual (UAB).
Next Monday, February 1st, at 12 pm, Dr. Anna Laromaine, member of our group, will give the ICMAB Periodical Lecture. Anna will talk about “Caenorhabditis elegans and bacterial cellulose: exploiting nature to build materials”.
Short abstract : Many researches have been inspired by nature, from the synthesis of materials mimicking our environment to the evaluation of materials using in vivo animal models. In this talk, I will briefly introduce two approaches that we have been working recently in the group. First, I will present the use of the small animal model, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The characteristics of this model organism endorse this 1 mm long nematode as an ideal living system for the primary screening of engineered nanoparticles in a standard synthetic laboratory. I will present how using the worm, we assessed iron oxide nanoparticles in a simple and facile way. On the other hand, I will present how a bacterial strain can produce cellulose (named bacterial cellulose (BC)), of the same molecular formula as vegetal cellulose; however exhibiting a higher degree of polymerization and better crystallinity. BC also has high porosity, transparency in the UV-NIR and a high water holding capacity. I will show how we controlled its structure and fabricate nanocomposites that can respond to external stimulus.
“Caenorhabditis elegans and bacterial cellulose: exploiting nature to build materials” By: Dr. Anna Laromaine Date: Monday, 1st February Time: 12 pm Place: ICMAB Meeting room
“Colloids at Fluid Interfaces: Opportunities for Advanced Materials Synthesis” Ali Mohraz, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Irvine
Particle sequestration at the interface of immiscible fluids has been known for more than a century and exploited in the formulation of solid-stabilized (Pickering) emulsions for drug delivery, oil recovery, food, and personal care products, to name a few. More recently, new classes of multi-phase mixtures have emerged that exploit interfacial colloid jamming, bridging, ordering, and aggregation for the self-assembly of complex higher-order structures from colloidal building blocks, such as bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels (bijels), or bridged emulsion gels. The multiphase nature of these mixtures makes them excellent templates for the synthesis of composite materials with tunable morphology at the nano- to micrometer scales, and our group has recently demonstrated various examples of functional materials that can be derived from them. However, to expand these capabilities into a robust materials synthesis platform, the factors that mediate the mechanical stability and processability of these colloidal mixtures must be better understood. In this talk, I will review the fundamentals and recent developments in colloidal self-assembly at fluid interfaces, present a novel materials synthesis route that we have pioneered based on these concepts, and discuss the applications of our technology in electrochemical energy conversion and storage, sensing, catalysis, and tissue engineering. Finally, I will discuss our ongoing efforts to better understand the link between the microstructure, rheology, and processability of this new class of soft materials.
Ali Mohraz received his BSc, ME, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Azad University, The City College of New York, and The University of Michigan, respectively, and his postdoctoral training at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He is currently Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Mohraz’s primary research interests are in colloid science and complex fluids engineering, including colloidal assembly at fluid interfaces and microstructural evolution of complex fluids under transient large-strain deformations.