Name of the infrastructure: CIC-TA

Location (town, country): San Sebastian, Spain

Web site address:

Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biomateriales

Location of organisation (town, country): San Sebastian, Spain


Description of the Infrastructure

CIC biomaGUNE is a non-profit research organization created to promote scientific research and technologicalinnovation at the highest levels in Spain, in order to help strengthen and further develop the new businesssector based on biosciences in the country. CIC biomaGUNE blends a unique mixture of expertise. The institutecombines synthetic chemistry, material science, physical and biophysical characterization, with in vivo and invitro imaging.

Among the different research lines in the institute there is a particular drive to develop nanomedicine tools and tobecome a leading institution in in vivo studies concerning nanotechnology.CIC biomaGUNE has excellent capabilities for nanoparticle characterization. The centre is endowed withTEM, SEM, XPS, Raman, Fluorescence spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, U.V. spectroscopy, NMR, MassSpectroscopy. The materials work encompasses two departments: the biointerfaces department and thebiofunctional materials department. Within these two departments research is conducted in the synthesis ofbiofunctionalized nanoparticles, nanoparticles for biodetection, biocompability of materials and surface, bio nanocomposites, drug delivery systems and nanosafety.

The in vivo studies in CIC biomaGUNE are organized within the Molecular Imaging Facility, which is housedwithin 900 m2 and is an integrated imaging facility that offers state-of-the-art imaging resources in PositronEmission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT), ComputerizedTomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), including a dedicated animal housing facility forrodents.



CIC biomaGUNE will be providing access to three of the components listed in the project.


Particle Labelling:

The cyclotron and the above mentioned radiochemistry facilities of CIC biomaGUNE willbe open for radiolabelling of nanoparticles. There is a support team, which will provide technical assistanceto guests coming to use the in vivo imaging platform. Standardized protocols of radiolabelling will be routinelyapplied for the demand of external users.


Particle Characterization:

Access to characterization techniques for nanoparticles can also be provided in CICbiomaGUNE: TEM, SEM, Confocal Raman Spectroscopy, XPS, AFM, light scattering, zeta seizer. Specializedtechnicians will be supporting externals users.


Particle exposure assessment:

CIC biomaGUNE offers access to their infrastructure for in vivo work: PET,SPECT, MRI and animal housing. For in vivo imaging there is a team supporting the work of external users.


Research supported by the infrastructure:

CIC biomaGUNE main goals are the developing of nanomaterials and nanodevices for application in medicineand diagnosis, and the development of imaging tools for in vivo work. Research on nanosafety within CICbiomaGUNE is very much linked to the materials science and the development of strategies of labelling for invitro and in vivo imaging; and also the mastering of the surface properties of nanoparticles, looking forwardsbiocompatibility and specific recognition for cellular and organ targeting.Specific projects can be grouped under the 4 components as follows:


Particle labelling:

An important topic of research in CIC biomaGUNE is the fluorescence labelling of nanoparticles. Differentlabelling strategies are followed with the scope of selectively labelling the nanoparticle core or the surface. Thereis also research in progress in the radioactive labelling of metal oxide nanoparticles. Also, different strategies ofradiolabelling for the labelling of the nanoparticle core and the capping agent. These activities are coordinatedwithin the FP7-cooperation-2008 project HINAMOX.


Particle Characterization:

Nanoparticle characterization with TEM, SEM, zeta potential, Raman confocal microscopy, fluorescence lifetime measurements are performed regularly in the centre. Research on particle characterization is focused inunderstanding to what degree the labelling (fluorescence, radio) affects the properties of the nanoparticles.


Particle exposure studies:

An important topic of research within the Unit of Imaging of CIC biomaGUNE is to study the of uptakebiodistribution of nanoparticles in animal models and identification of affected organs by nanoparticles bymeans of PET/SPECT techniques. Work is also performed in the cell uptake of nanaparticles and nanoparticledistribution within cell compartments. These activities are coordinated within the FP7-cooperation-2008 projectHINAMOX.


Services currently on offer and scientific highlights

CIC biomaGUNE offers expertise ranging from the particle synthesis and characterization to in vivo imaging.There is a team of technicians and platform managers supporting research and available for helping externalusers to the Center.

The molecular imaging unit of CIC biomaGUNE has the status of “Singular Facility” within the Spanish researchinfrastructure.