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Cancer immunotherapy recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 has been jointly awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation". At ICMAB, we also work on projects related to cancer immunotherapy and we are very excited about this prize. However, the strategy followed by our researchers and by the Nobel Prize winners is somehow different. Do you want to know why?

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Marta Mas-Torrent and Teresa Puig, ERC researchers, in #LasCientíficasCuentan

The project "Las Científicas Cuentan" is an initiative of the CSIC Delegation in Brussels financed by the FECYT. The aim of the project is to bring basic science to the general public, through the story of women scientists who have been awarded with a ERC project during the past years. From the ICMAB, Marta Mas-Torrent (ERC-Starting Grant) and Teresa Puig (ERC-Advanced Grant) participate in the project.

The presentation will be on Wednesday, September 19 in Barcelona with a talk by Teresa Puig on superconducting materials (7 pm).

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The ICMAB website: the most visible of the CSIC

According to the Ranking Web of Research Centers, the ICMAB has the most visible website of all the CSIC research centers and units. In addition, the ICMAB website has raised to the 2nd position in the global ranking (in 2017 it was in the 4th place, and in 2016 in the 13th), from a total of 138. 

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Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

  • Researchers from the IBB-UAB fabricate 4 molecules of only 7 amino acids with the ability to self-assemble and rapidly and inexpensively form nanomaterials for biomedical and nanotechnological purposes.
  • Four peptides were used to create one of the most resistant bionanomaterials described to date, nanocables and mini enzymes to act as a catalyst for the formation of nanomaterials.
  • The study, publised in ACS Nano included the collaboration of Isabel Fuentes and Francesc Teixidor from the ICMAB-CSIC.

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"Carbon-Gold bonds for robust molecule-electrode junctions" featured in UABDivulga

A group of researchers from the NANOMOL group at ICMAB-CSIC has studied the behavior of an organic radical as a molecular cable formed through the covalent carbon-gold bond between the molecule and the electrodes. This linkage is more stable and geometrically better well-defined than its predecessors, in which other functional groups where used. This improvement opens the door to prepare novel electronic devices for Molecular Electronics applications.

The study has been featured in UABDivulga, and we transcribe here the text. 

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The industry with the Spanish research

Organizations and employers linked to R&D&I show their support for Spanish research and join the request of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa centers and María de Maeztu units (SOMMa) that encourages the political class to address the current administrative problems that affect Spanish science, as soon as possible. 

SOMMa and the organizations that support this initiative represent about 6,800 companies, societies, centers and research units, which employ more than 500,000 people in Spain and their economic activity equals 10.53% of GDP.

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Physicists uncover properties of a magnetic soliton of interest for brain-inspired computing

"Solitons are solitary waves, like a tsunami or a tidal bore" explains researcher Ferran Macià, one of the leaders of this study, published in Scientific Reports and in which the ICMAB has participated together with a team of physicists from the New York University (NYU). "In this work, we studied how magnetic solitons are generated and how fast they can be annihilated."

"Like a tsunami, the mechanism behind their formation is complex, and we needed a lot of experiments and simulations to understand them. Solitons are very interesting because they can be used to propagate energy or information, in a similar way as our neurons work. This is why they have promising applications in neuromorphic computing applications, for example" continues Ferran.Nahuel Statuto, PhD student at the MULFOX group, working with Ferran, performed some of the experiments during his secondment at NYU. 

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MIT-Spain grant for ICMAB project: new materials for photovoltaics

ICMAB is the recipient of one of twelve MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund grants under a brand new funding programme in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The presentation of the grants took place on 18 April 2018 at Palau Macaya (Barcelona). A common objective of all the awarded projects is to face some of the challenges of the XXI century: organs on a chip to fight cancer, polymers against antibiotic resistance, in vitro biologic 3D ears, quantic computers for data processing, or new materials to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells, to name a few. This latter is the project from Dr. Ignasi Fina, from the MULFOX group at ICMAB, who will work together with Dr. Rafael Jaramillo, at MIT

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"Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen" featured in UABDivulga

A study from Dr. Angel Pérez del Pino et al. was featured on 13 April in the website UABDivulga: Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen. We transcribe here the full article:

Graphene-based materials are an efficient, cheap, abundant and non-toxic alternative for catalysing the obtaining of hydrogen, which can be used as a removable fuel, through the photoinduced water splitting. A group of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB) has developed, based on laser technology, a nitrogen-doped graphene powder material in different experimental conditions for different catalytic functions through the process, in a simple, versatile and scalable to industry way. 

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Iridescent photonic cellulose, mimicking the structural color of insects, with optical applications

  • The study developed at the ICMAB and published in Nature Photonics describes, for the first time, the technique to provide structural coloration on a cellulose derivative through its nanostructuration
  • The colors obtained do not depend on pigments but on nanostructures that interact differently with the incident light, therefore presenting different colors. 
  • The applications of this technology include eco-friendly production of color in packaging systems or decorative paper, anti-counterfeiting technology, or biocompatible, biodegradable, washable and edible and low cost detectors, sensors or labels for the food or medical industry.

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New organic and miniaturized photodetectors that absorb light beyond the visible range

A study led by the Technische Universität Dresden, in which the group of Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) participated, has developed organic photodetectors that detect light below its absorption band, with high efficiency, in a tunable way and in a very precise wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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The revolution of nanomaterials: superabsorbers that trap sunlight

ICMAB researchers have designed ultrathin materials that maximize the absorption of light in a large range of the solar spectrum. The followed strategy, low cost and fully scalable, is based on combining the thin layer deposition of semiconductors on metals, and the nanostructuring of the material forming photonic crystals. The obtained superabsorbers materials have many potential applications, especially in the field of photovoltaic energy and photodetection.

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Perovskite, the "silicon" of the future to harvest solar energy

An article about the research in perovskite appeared in "Televisión Nacional de Honduras" website, citing ICMAB, together with other research centers in Spain, where advanced research in this material is done: "Spain is one of the countries in which research (in the development of perovskite) is more advanced.

Apart from the research group in the Institute of Materials Science in Sevilla, there are many more groups specialized in its study, in the University Jaume I of Castelló, the Institute of Molecular Science (University of Valencia), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the University Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, and the Catalan Institue of Chemical Research (ICIQ)."

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Nanostructured semiconductors become superabsorbers - Published at nanotechweb.org

This news article, appeared at nanotechweb.org websitee (IOP publishing), features a publication recently published by Agustín Mihi and his team in Advanced Materials "Ultrathin Semiconductor Superabsorbers from the Visible to the Near-Infrared" (Pau Molet, Juan Luis Garcia-Pomar, Cristiano Matricardi, Miquel Garriga, Maria Isabel Alonso and Agustín Mihi). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201705876.

Nanostructuring a thin layer of the semiconductor germanium using a technique called nanoimprinting lithography can greatly boost the amount of light it absorbs across the visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The broadband absorption comes from the strong interplay between Brewster and photonic crystal modes in the material and the effect could benefit optoelectronics applications such as photovoltaics and telecommunications.

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X-rays reveal "handedness" in swirling electric vortices

This article appeared in Physics Berkeley website on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. 

We transcribe it here, since some previous ICMAB members participated in the study, which was recently published in PNASEmergent chirality in the electric polarization texture of titanate superlattices (Padraic Shafer, Pablo García-Fernández,Pablo Aguado-Puente,Anoop R. Damodaran , Ajay K. Yadav, Christopher T. Nelson, Shang-Lin Hsu, Jacek C. Wojdeł, Jorge Íñiguez, Lane W. Martin, Elke Arenholz, Javier Junquer, and Ramamoorthy Ramesh). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1711652115.

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More than 20 % of ALBA publications from 2017 are in collaboration with ICMAB

Researchers from ALBA Synchrotron and from ICMAB have established an enriching and fruitful collaboration over the years, which is proven by the number of publications published together since ALBA received its first users, in 2012.

In 2017, 24 publications appeared in collaboration between both institutions, which represented a 21 % of the ALBA Synchrotron articles. 

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ICMAB collaboration at the Digital CSIC journal "CSIC Abierto" about Open Access policies and mandates

The last issue (number 16) of the Digital CSIC journal "CSIC Abierto" includes two interviews with ICMAB's Documentalist and Librarian, Alejandro Santos, and with ICMAB Researcher at the NANOPTO Group, Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles. The interviews deal with the Open Access mandates adopted by the funding agencies and the experience at ICMAB on accomplishing these mandates. 

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ICMAB within the Top 10 Institutions in Barcelona according to Nature Index 2017 Science Cities

The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) is the 7th Top Institution in Barcelona, according to the Nature Index 2017 Science Cities.

This current 12-month Index, corresponding to year 2016, shows Barcelona's leading institutions for high-quality science ordered by the number of articles published (AC) in a list of science journals, and the number of authors of each institution, considering the percentage of authorship in each article (WFC) (with the correction of the centers dedicated to space science, which have a lot of coauthrs in the articles). 

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Spinning the future

The August 2017 edition of the Research*EU magazine featured an interesting overview of the ACMOL project, which is working to develop graphene-based spintronics for next-gen molecular electronic devices. This article held that ‘Spintronics, molecular electronics and graphene have a common trait: they are all considered as key enablers in the future of computing beyond the limitations of Moore’s and Kryder’s laws. The ACMOL project is contributing to their joint advancement with proof-of-concept devices.’

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Self-assembly of highly-porous crystalline particles into novel photonic materials for sensing applications

A multi-disciplinary collaboration between research centers in Spain and Holland, led by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), in collaboration with the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science of Utrecht University and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), has resulted in the formation of highly-porous metal-organic framework particles that spontaneously assemble into well-ordered 3D superstructures that present photonic crystal properties. Published in Nature Chemistry, their discoveries are expected to find applications in the design of novel photonic materials for sensing applications, among others.

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Turning the microscope upside down to measure the piezoelectricity of materials at the nanoscale

ICMAB-CSIC researchers are able, for the first time, to measure the very small amounts of charge generated in piezoelectric materials with an inverse use of the atomic force microscope (AFM). The technique, published in Nature Communications, has been implemented by incorporating a new device to the microscope that allows measuring electric currents one billion times smaller than the ones circulating in an LED.

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ERC, 10 años de excelencia en la ciencia

El Consejo Europeo de Investigación (ERC, por sus siglas en inglés) cumplió 10 años el 24 de marzo de 2017. A lo largo de esta década de vida, se ha financiado a unos 7.000 investigadores, permitiendo la publicación de cerca de 100.000 artículos en revistas científicas internacionales.

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Entrevista a Xavier Granados

Xavier Granados García es Científico Titular del CSIC y miembro del Departamento de Materiales Superconductores y Nanoestructuración a Gran Escala. Desde 1987, ha colaborado con el grupo de Superconductividad en la Universidad de Barcelona y posteriormente en el Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona desde su fundación, contribuyendo en el desarrollo de actividades de I+D+i en el campo de la Superconductividad y sus Aplicaciones  en el Área  “Large Scale” de sistemas electrotécnicos, liderando las actividades en este área dentro del grupo de Investigación.

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Un manresà lidera un dels projectes de superconductivitat més importants d'Europa

REGIO7 | 15/03/2017

El coordinador del projecte, Xavier Obradors, ha explicat que Eurotapes és un "projecte europeu de referència de superconductors", resultat de la col·laboració entre el món acadèmic i la indústria. "Les cintes superconductores poden fer passar 100 vegades més corrent que la fibra de coure", ha informat Obradors, i això permetrà "transportar molta energia i disminuir el cost de producció d'aquesta cinta". 

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Presentació a Barcelona dels resultats del projecte europeu Eurotapes sobre superconductivitat

Els resultats d'Eurotapes es van presentar a Barcelona, en una roda de premsa que va comptar amb la participació del coordinador del projecte, Prof. Xavier Obradors; la responsable del departament de superconductivitat de l’ICMAB-CSIC, Prof. Teresa Puig; el director executiu d'OXOLUTIA Dr. Albert Calleja; i el director de la Representació de la Comissió Europea a Barcelona, Ferran Tarradellas i l'Agencia EFE, Agència catalana de Notícies, Expansión, La Sexta i El Periódico.

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ICMAB Teaches Students About Science and Technology with 3Doodler Pens and Imagination

by  | 3DPrint.com
"Rodríguez and Guillermo de Andrés put together the two-day YoMo workshop, called “Bridg3D: Learning, Engineering, Playing with 3D Printing Technology.” It allowed students to be scientists for a day, thanks to the popular 3D printing pen 3Doodler. ICMAB clearly favors the 3Doodler, having used it last summer in a course the organization designed to teach high school students about materials science. "

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