Our motivation:

To search for alternative solutions to move from systemic or bulk treatments to local/target-controlled strategies

Moreover, and especially in clinics, the possibility of combining several therapies (directed chemotherapy and local hyperthermia) and different drugs, which has proven effective against tumors and against microbial infections by some studies.

Fields of application:

from clinics to biosensors and biotechnological enzyme-mediated processes

Cancer treatment

One of the main applications of this technology is jumping from systemic to local in the treatment of localized tumors. Drug-functionalized BMNPs can be used as nanoplatforms, both alone of encapsulated, that allow drug-delivery combined with hyperthermia. They can be magnetically guided/concentrated at the tumor and can be further functionalized with an antibody to allow specific recognition. The nanoformulation is stable in blood and releases the drug at acidic (tumoral) environments, being the release pH dependent. This release can be further intensified by hyperthermia. In this case, an alternating magnetic field is used to rotate the magnetic nanoparticles. This effect plus the local heating that follows, that can also be attained upon exposure to a laser in the NIR region (photothermia), increase the surrounding temperature, which further sensitizes and reduces the viability of cancer cells.

Treatment of infections

By using the same strategy described earlier, BMNPs functionalized with an antimicrobial drug could be used as a local bactericidal agent. This is important in order to reduce and concentrate the dose of antimicrobial compounds, avoid secondary effects, including the antibiotic resistance generation, and, particularly, because the combination with magnetic hyperthermia helps sensitizing more resistant bacteria. The fact that the nanoassemblies allow a directed chemotherapy, controlled by an external magnetic field provide new insights in the design of alternative treatments for localized bacterial infections.

Biotechnological applications

BMNPs can also be used as enzyme substrates in biotechnological processes that allow enzyme recycling. Enzymes can be bound to BMNPs by using either an electrostatic or covalent bond, that could be optimized to maintain the activity of the enzyme. After the reaction, BMNPs, and so the enzymes, can be magnetically concentrated, thus allowing the reuse of the enzyme for several more reaction cycles, saving costs.


BMNPs can also be used as biosensors to detect pathogens or contaminants in aqueous samples. BMNPs, without any further functionalization, can be efficiently used to bind microorganisms and magnetically concentrate them. Once concentrated, the target microorganism can be specifically detected by using PCR. Moreover, BMNPs can be used to immobilize enzymes that specifically recognize a contaminant, allowing for the magnetic concentration and recycling of the biosensor.


BMNP Sintesis

BIomimetic magnetic nanoparticles mediated by magnetosome proteins (MamC, Mms6 and/or Mms7 from Magnetococcus marinus MC-1, expressed as recombinant proteins) can be produced upon request.

BMNPs and nanoassembliles characterization

TEM Electron microscopy, size, FT-IR spectroscopy, ς-potential, magnetic susceptibility, magnetic hyperthermia, photothermia.


1 - Embebding of the nanoformulation in liposomes. Characterization: Electron microscopy, size, FT-IR spectroscopy, ς-potential, magnetic hyperthermia, photothermia

2 - Embebding of the nanoformulation in PLGA. Characterization: Electron microscopy, size, FT-IR spectroscopy, ς-potential, magnetic hyperthermia, photothermia.

Functionalization of BMNPs

1 - Functionalization of BMNPs by a molecule to allow directioning or magnetic recovery. Examples of molecules are: drugs, antibodies, enzymes…

2 - Study and optimization of the functionalization based on the following types of bonding:

A - Electrostatic

B - Electrostatic reinforced with glutaraldehyde

C - Covalent bonding NHS-EDC

D- Covalent bonding NHS-EDIC with linkers

3 - Characterization of the bonding: kinetics and adsorption isotherm.

4 - Study of the stability and desorption percentage as a function of environmental pH.

5 - Adding a targeting molecule (antibody or peptide) to the magnetoliposomes or to the PLGA for further directioning of the nanoassemblies.

Therapy combination

In vitro aplication of the treatment (directed chemotherapy and/or hyperthermia, magnetic hyperthermia and/or photothermia) on model cells. Determination of cell viability following upon treatment.