NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications

Group Leader: Laura M. Lechuga


Nanotechnology provides new solutions for microbiome-based diagnostics and personalized medicine

A review recently published in "Advanced Materials" by members of the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group, led by ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, in collaboration with other institutes and in the framework of the MICROB-PREDICT project, presents the potentialities of nanotechnology for developing biosensors for the monitoring of the human microbiome. These studies can open new paths for the diagnostics of diseases such as cirrhosis, acute liver failure and colorectal cancer, and to personalized therapy.

Prof. Laura Lechuga explains her COVID-19 diagnostic project on RTVE’s news programme

The CoNVaT project dedicated to the development of a fast, cheap, portable and reliable test for the diagnostics of COVID-19, led by Prof. Laura Lechuga, head of the ICN2 NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications group, has been featured in a news report called “Beyond the vaccine” by RTVE. Broadcast on December 9, this episode of the “Comando Actualidad” programme was dedicated to the research about coronavirus (vaccine, therapy and diagnostics) currently under development in Spain.

Prof. Laura Lechuga is assigned the Spanish “Juan de la Cierva” National Research Award

The award recognises the impact of her research career in terms of technology transfer. Prof. Laura Lechuga is Group Leader of the ICN2 NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, Full Professor of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Group Leader of the Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBER-BBN). She is the first woman to be awarded this recognition, established in 2001 by the Spanish Government, which has been announced today by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN).

Prof. Laura Lechuga awarded the 2020 Rei Jaume I Prize in New Technologies

The prestigious Rei Jaume I Award, sponsored by the Valencian Government (Generalitat Valenciana), is conferred to experts who have significantly contributed to the advancement of their research fields. It recognises the accomplishments in six categories with a golden medal and a 100,000-euro cheque to be used mainly for research and innovation activities. Prof. Laura M. Lechuga Gomez receives the New Technologies Award for her long innovative career in the field of nanobiosensors.

Graphene 2020 starts today and goes virtual

The Graphene 2020 Conference dedicated to graphene and 2D materials technology kicked off today, October 19, and will continue until October 23. Held completely virtually, this year's edition will offer five days of plenary talks, parallel workshops, PhD and poster sessions, an industrial forum and an exhibition. The ICN2 is involved in the organization and will be present with 9 talks, 13 posters and a booth under GraphCAT project shared with BIST and ICFO.

Nanophotonic biosensors for rapid diagnostics of COVID-19 and other respiratory virus infections

In a thorough review recently published in ACS Sensors, researchers from the ICN2 NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications group, led by Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, provide an overview of the current diagnostic techniques for respiratory viruses, as the SARS-CoV-2, causing agent of COVID-19, and discuss how nanophotonic biosensor technologies can contribute to the development of new fast, highly sensitive and affordable diagnostic tests.

The European Panel for the Future of Science and Technology discusses the role of nanotechnology in medicine

An online seminar on the future of nanotechnology in biology and medicine was held on June 25 by the European Parliament Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA). Prof Laura Lechuga, leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group and coordinator of the European project CoNVaT, was invited to present her project and discuss the impact of nanotechnology in diagnostics and prevention of future pandemics.

Prof. Paul Weiss on nanotechnology approaches to biology and medicine

A new event of the Manuel Cardona Lectures series was organized by the ICN2 and held on June 16. Prof. Paul Weiss, Distinguished Professor at UCLA and Editor-In-Chief of ACS Nano, was invited by ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, leader of the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group, to give a talk on nanotechnology approaches to biology and medicine. Prof. Weiss also shared the most important results accomplished during his career and some of the lessons learnt along the way.

Nanophotonic biosensors for personalized medicine

Maria Soler, Olalla Calvo-Lozano, M.-Carmen Estevez and Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, from the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, have appeared in the cover of Optics & Photonics News with a feature describing the latest advances in nanophotonic technologies for biosensing, the main challenges and limitations, and current prospects.

Prof. Laura Lechuga explains the CoNVaT project on RTVE

In the edition of 4 April of the “Informe Semanal”, weekly in-depth news show of the RTVE, Prof. Laura Lechuga presented CoNVaT, the European funded project that she leads, which aims at the development of a fast, cheap and handy test device for the diagnosis of the COVID-19.

CoNVaT will design a new diagnostic system for COVID-19 with the best current technologies

The ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by Prof. Laura Lechuga, coordinates a European project with a budget over 2 million euros. They have become an international reference in COVID-19 diagnostics and have prepared a report for the Ministry of Science and Innovation analysing the characteristics, advantages and limitations of current detection systems for diagnosing COVID-19.

BIST supports multidisciplinary research through the BIST Ignite Programme and Awards

The awarded projects are BIOVAC (ICN2 / IBEC), which aims to develop a new generation of vaccines against untreatable infections and multi-resistant bacteria, and BIOSPAD (ICFO / IFAE), which will develop more affordable brain diagnostic tests. ICN2 is involved in 4 of the 5 projects selected in the 2020 Ignite Programme, leading one of them (SensMOF) through Dr Leyre Gómez Navascués.

The ICN2 leads a European project to diagnose the COVID-19 disease in 30 minutes

The CONVAT project, led and coordinated by Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, CSIC Research Professor at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), will develop a point-of-care platform for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of coronavirus. The biosensor device will also allow the analysis of different types of coronavirus present in reservoir animals, such as bats, to monitor the evolution of these viruses and prevent future infectious outbreaks in humans.

“Cientifiques Catalanes 2.0” traveling exhibit

On February 11, the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, the traveling exhibit “Cientifiques Catalanes 2.0” (Catalan Female Scientists 2.0) has been inaugurated at the Museu de l’Aigua in Salt, Girona. Twenty successful female researchers and communication professionals are portrayed on a series of panels illustrating their career paths.

DOC-FAM doctoral students celebrate a welcome event

ICMAB coordinates CSIC’s DOC-FAM excellence DOCtoral training programme in Functional Advanced Materials, which is providing excellent doctoral students to collaborator institutions such as the ICN2. The predoctoral students hired in the second call of this H2020-MSCA-COFUND action offered a short presentation about their research and personal objectives. Two of them, Alejandro Astúa and Alejandro Astúa work at the ICN2 and were supported by their group leaders, Prof. Laura Lechuga and Prof. Pedro Gómez, respectively.

ICN2 for the World Cancer Day

On the occasion of the World Cancer Day, occurring on February 4 and dedicated to global awareness about cancer, we would like to highlight various research lines oriented at improving tumour diagnosis and treatment in which the ICN2 is involved.

CERCA Pioneer Awards 2019

Two former ICN2 PhD students, Dr Bhawna Nagar and Dr Núria Fabri Faja, have been granted the CERCA Pioneer Award 2019 for their doctoral theses. The prize is a recognition for research works that stand out for their industrial- and commercial-oriented perspective.

Young students go nano with the ICN2 during the Science Week

The ICN2 celebrated two lab tours to share with young students some the facts and wonders of the nanoscale. The visits were hosted by the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by Prof. Laura Lechuga, and coordinated by the ICN2 Marketing and Communication Department. Two institutes located in Barcelona also hosted a talk about nanotechnology by the ICN2 to celebrate the Science Week.

SPIE President Jacobus Oschmann visits ICN2

Researchers of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices group and of the NanoBiosensors and Byoanalitical Applications group showed Oschmann around and presented him some research developed in our centre’s laboratories.

The ICN2 joins the Sabadell annual local festival

The Sabadell City Hall organaises every year a research and technology area during the city’s annual local festival. It is crowded with organisations sharing innovative projects. The ICN2 was sharing in one of the booths some general concepts about the nanoscale and some highlighted research lines, such as lab-on-a-chip technologies, brain-computer interfaces and superhydrophobic materials.

A lab on a buoy to monitor ocean pollutants

Researchers of the ICN2 NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, in collaboration with Lionix International company (The Netherlands), have developed a photonic nano-immunosensor platform for real-time and on-site monitoring of ocean pollutants. This stand-alone device, developed in the context of the H2020 project BRAAVOO, will allow faster and cheaper monitoring of the marine environment.

Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019

The ICN2 is involved in a series of initiatives to support this Day that is unfortunately still necessary. 100tífiques is one of the central actions involving the ICN2, the BIST centers and other Catalan research institutions to bring science and the role of women researchers closer to young students.


An interferometric point-of-care device for fast and sensitive bacteria quantification

ICN2 researchers published in ACS Sensors an affordable method for bacteria detection useful for hospital on-site testing and as a clinical point-of-care (PoC) device. Real patient samples were analysed in a hospital setting using a simple one-step process with sample-to-data turnaround time of 40 min. The work was developed within the H2020 European project RAIS.

New device could monitor anticoagulant treatments to deliver personalised therapies

Researchers from CSIC, ICN2 and CIBER-BBN have designed a biosensor device based on gold nanostructures that precisely detects the presence of anticoagulant drug from a small blood sample. Treatments with anticoagulants such as Sintrom® (acenocoumarol) face the difficulty of adjusting the drug doses. This device will allow patients to self-regulate the dose.

An optical biosensor methodology to detect DNA-methylation marks involved in cancer

The work, led by the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, provides an approach based on poly-purine reverse-Hoogsteen (PPRH) probes. It turned out to be a more reliable and fast analysis than conventional techniques. Prof. Manel Esteller, a global authority in the study of epigenetics of cancer, is among the authors of the article published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

Nanoscience taken out of the lab at the 10alamenos9 Festival

The 10alamenos9 Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology was held last week, with over 100 activities to choose from across many locations in Spain. Among them, the UAB Campus in Bellaterra, where a lively activity was run for over 200 students, including a visit to the ICN2.

Meet ICN2 at Expoquimia 2017

ICN2 representatives will be sharing ideas and knowledge at Expoquimia both as speakers and at an institutional booth shared with members of the Advanced Materials Cluster (Cluster MAV). This event is a leading show and meeting point for the chemical sector nationally and internationally.

NyNA 2017 brings together the analytical nanotechnology community

The VIII International Congress on Analytical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NyNA 2017) was held in Barcelona on 3-5 July. Its Organising Committee was formed by the ICN2 Group Leaders ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, Prof. Laura Lechuga and ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol. The event was a unique opportunity to create enduring links and discuss the advancements in areas such as diagnostics, safety and security, environmental monitoring and other industrial applications.

Talking air quality sensors and graphene at the Maker Faire Barcelona

Daniel Grajales of the ICN2 NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group was at this year’s Maker Faire Barcelona, held this past weekend from 17 to 18 June. The Maker Faire originated in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 as a meeting point for the tech-influenced DIY community, and has gone on to bring together the creative and the curious around the world ever since.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga at TEDxValencia

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, leader of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, shares her ideas about the present and future of biosensors. Watch the video of her TEDx talk. 

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga among invited speakers at SRUK’s commemorative seminar

Under the slogan that the potential applications of nanotechnology are “limited only by our researchers’ imaginations”, ICN2 Prof. Laura M. Lechuga was in Manchester, UK, this month to talk at a seminar organised by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK) on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga in special 50th anniversary issue of Photonics Spectra

Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, were was featured in a recent article in Photonics Spectra magazine on the rise and promise of integrated photonics in medicine and the life sciences. The group’s innovative nanophotonic biosensor has applications in early cancer detection, as well in environmental pollution warning.

Daniel Grajales receives the Best poster Award at ECIO 2017

The 19th edition of the European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO) took place on April 03-05, 2017, at Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands). Daniel Grajales, predoctoral researcher at the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, received the Best poster Award.

Mad for Science: Over 200 students start their first scientific adventure

Mad for Science is a consolidated Program organised by Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and devoted to bring High School sudents closer to research. ICN2, IFAE and UAB lead the second edition of Mad for Physics. It is a great opportunity for 25 brilliant young students to have a first contact with real research. The Program offers an overview of different research lines, including the participation of researchers from ICMAB, ICFO and Alba Synchrotron.

La Vanguardia interviews Prof. Laura M. Lechuga

The prestigious newspaper recently published a profile of this ICN2 researcher highlighting her profile as the “Greatest physicist in nanotechnology”. Research Professor Laura M. Lechuga, Group Leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, received the Physics, Innovation and Technology RSEF-FBBVA Award on December 14 in Madrid. 

ICN2 in the Media: Prof. Laura Lechuga receives the RSEF and BBVA Foundation Award

Research Professor Laura M. Lechuga, Group Leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, received the Physics, Innovation and Technology RSEF-FBBVA Award on December 14 in Madrid. As a consequence, many media talked about the event and interviewed her. It is the case of El Español, a Spanish digital newspaper publishing an interview where Prof. Laura M. Lechuga reflects on the Spanish scientific system.

Physicists working at the nanoscale awarded by the RSEF and BBVA Foundation

The Spanish Physics Awards ceremony was celebrated on December 14 in Madrid. Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, Group Leader of the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, received the Physics, Innovation and Technology RSEF-FBBVA Award. Other awardees develop their work in the field of nanoscience or devote their careers to motivate younger scientists and foster the relationship between physics and education and business.

A nanoplasmonic biosensor for early detection of colorectal cancer

The ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by Prof Laura M. Lechuga, proposed a nanoplasmonic biosensor for colorectal cancer autoantibody detection in an article published in Analytica Chimica Acta. There is an evident need for novel screening tools for a less invasive and more specific screening and diagnosis to fight against this cancer.

An ultrasensitive and specific diagnostic sensor based on interferometric bimodal nanowaveguides 

Researchers from the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, led by Prof Laura Lechuga, have designed a nanophotonic biosensor for ultrasensitive detection of microRNAs in complex media. Results published in ACS Sensors demonstrate that such devices can be used as an ultrasensitive and specific diagnostic tool for the prediction of diseases (such as cancer) with well-defined microRNA signatures.

Mad for Science 2016 was launched in a massive event

Over 200 students, together with their families and teachers, participated in the launch event of Mad for Science 2016 (Bojos per la Ciència), an initiative to bring High School students closer to real research. ICN2 co-coordinates the Mad for Physics Program, together with IFAE. Àlex Argemí, ICN2 Head of Marketing and Communication, presented the initiative.

10 years of research stories supported by the Botin Foundation

A book entitled “28 stories of science and biomedical innovation in Spain” gathers the stories of the researchers supported by the Botin Foundation over the past ten years. CSIC Research Prof Laura M. Lechuga, Group Leader at ICN2, is among the outstanding researchers who share their thoughts and research experiences.

Vote BIOSTRIKE at ‘El Temps’ citizen science contest

El Temps magazine is holding a contest to choose the best proposal of citizen science project. DIY BIO BCN, of which ICN2 researcher Daniel Grajales is a member, participates with the project BIOSTRIKE Open Antibiotics Discovery. The winner will be chosen by an open vote.

The European Project RAIS about rapid detection of Sepsis meets at ICN2

The project, coordinated by ICFO, held a follow up meeting at ICN2 on June 15, organized by CSIC Prof Laura Lechuga and members of the ICN2 Group she leads. The overall objective of the RAIS Project is to develop a new point-of-care label-free microarray platform and to validate it for quantifying levels of specific Sepsis biomarkers within 30 minutes

The Associació Ambit B30 organizes with ICN2 a meeting about nanobiosensors

Hospitals and biomedical related initiatives gathered at ICN2 to discuss about the potential of nanotechnology in the field of biomedicine, with a special emphasis on biosensors. The workshop, organised as part of the Biosensors B30 project, explored the opportunities of establishing shared biosensor projects.

ICN2 in the media: Prof Laura M Lechuga talks about nanotechnology in the radio station RAC1

On Wednesday, March the 18th, ICN2 CSIC Prof Laura M Lechuga appeared in the morning program El món a RAC1 to discuss about nanoscience and nanotechnology. The talk was conducted by Josep Maria Mainat and, with a little drop of humour, the main topics run from what a nanometre is and history of nanotechnology to its most outstanding applications in our daily life, always making it clear that nano is a field with great potential.

ICN2 hosts the first ESCOLAB of the season

A group of students have made their first contact with nanotechnology visiting the ICN2 facilities in a new season of ESCOLAB visits. They had the opportunity to enter the laboratories of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NANOB2A) Group and interacted with the nanoscale through a hands-on experimental session led by the Communication Department.

ICN2 in the Media: Nanotechnology in the Diari Ara

Diari Ara is an influential Catalan newspaper. It published a double page about nanotechnology at ICN2, covering some of the main activities of the center from basic research to applications in fields such as energy, biosensors or technology. CSIC Prof Pablo Ordejón, ICN2 Director, and CSIC Prof Laura Lechuga, ICN2 Group Leader, were interviewed and members of the Institute were recruited for the pictures.

ICN2 in the Media: CSIC Prof Laura M Lechuga talks about nanobiosensors in a radio interview with El Microscopio

The Argentine online radio program El Microscopio interviewed CSIC Prof Laura M Lechuga about her work in the field of nanobiosensors and their use as devices to quantify the severity of certain diseases like tuberculosis. They talked about her European project Pocket and how it can contribute in the improvement of disease detection. Moreover, particular characteristics of the project where discussed such as how a nanobiosensor works, how accurate can be or which are the advantages of lab-on-a-chip devices, for instance.

A highly sensitive nanoplasmonic biosensor for drug allergy diagnosis

The new technique is a non-invasive procedure to detect the severity of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. The developed biosensor platform is based on gold nanodisks, is very sensitive and works label-free, detecting the changes in the refraction index occurring at its surface after the binding of IgEs specific for amoxicillin.

ICN2 in the Media: Nanobiosensors for colon cancer

Prof. Laura Lechuga talks to Diario Médico from the III Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Espanola de Cabeza y Cuello, held in Oviedo. She explained how nanobiosensors might facilitate colon cancer diagnostics.

ICN2 in the Media: A Biohacker among us

Daniel Grajales, researcher at the NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications ICN2 Group, appeared in a recent article as one of the biohackers involved in the DIYbio (Do It Yourself Biology) movement.

ICN2 in the Media: BRAAVOO Project

BRAAVOO, the project that will design an unmanned surveying vessel and marine buoy that carry biosensors to monitor marine pollutants, held a Meeting at ICN2. The team led by CSIC Research Prof. Laura M. Lechuga, is involved in the implementation of nanoinmunosensors and coordinated the meeting. Here you can see some impacts about this news item.

ICN2 in the Media: Lab-on-chip platform to diagnose Tuberculosis

The Pocket project, participated by ICN2 and coordinated from Ghent University (Belgium), combines nanophotonic biosensors and novel selective antibodies in a lab-on-chip platform to diagnose Tuberculosis through urine. CSIC Researcher Prof. Laura M. Lechuga explained the project goals during a Pocket Meeting held at ICN2.

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis

Coordinated from Ghent University (Belgium), this European project combines nanophotonic biosensors and novel selective antibodies in a lab-on-chip platform to diagnose Tuberculosis through urine. CSIC Researcher Prof. Laura M. Lechuga leads the ICN2 Group involved in the project, which is willing to go beyond a mere laboratory prototype whith field trials in Africa and India during the final part of the three-year project.