miércoles, 24 de octubre de 2018

Engineering Silk Biomaterials for the Regeneration and Repair of the Human Body

Silk Biomed SL is a spin-off company of the CTB-Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM, Spain), established in December 2016 by a consolidated research group of great international reputation headed by Prof. Gustavo Guinea, Director of the Centre for Biomedical Technology (CTB) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain.

Silk Biomed was created after an 1 million Euros grant received by Prof. Guinea from M. Botin Foundation (Santander Bank) for the development of advanced biomaterials. The objective of the company is to bring novel technological solutions from the field of the research to clinical applications and to medical therapies through an experience of more than 30 years in the field of materials based on silk proteins. Silk Biomed’s staff has a 30 years-long experience in biomaterials RD. Such experience includes the development of biomaterials from silk proteins in all types of formats (fibers, films, gels, membranes, 3D structures), materials bio-functionalization either by biomolecules or stem cells, the development and employment of environmental-friendly production procedures (without using chemical reagents, radiation, heat etc., toxic or incompatible with cellular development and viability), and the microstructural, mechanical, physical, chemical and biological characterization of the biomaterials. At the present the company is producing biomaterials for RD applications in the regeneration and repair of the nervous system. Silk Biomed is foundational member of NeuroCenter, the Technological Center of the Madrid Region for integrated treatment of neurological disorders and has a stable collaboration with the Complutense University of Madrid and the San Carlos Clinical Hospital of Madrid (Spain).

The team:

Gustavo Guinea-Tortuero, PhD. Co-founder of the company and Scientific Director. Gustavo Guinea is PhD in Civil Engineering, BS in Physics and Civil Engineer. Also Director of the Centre for Biomedical Technology (CTB) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) Spain and Head of the Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering Lab., Correspondent Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences (2006) and Full Professor (2001) at the Materials Science Department at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). He is an expert in the development of new bioinspired fibers for biomedical applications, collagen-based materials applied to biostructural prosthesis and cell mechanics. As a result of this work, his group has earned an international renown and an outstanding publication record (more than one hundred international publications) with regular remarkable contributions in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. His expertise on silk materials, both in silk processing and characterization, is a key factor for the success of the company.

Jose Perez-Rigueiro, PhD. Member of the Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering Lab. at the CTB and associate professor at the UPM. He is the inventor of the SILK4BRAIN technology and he will be responsible for the scientific and technological development of the products. Prof. Pérez-Riguiero is in charge of the technical assessment of the project, the elaboration of the key specifications checklist for customers and the study of scalability of the services provided to the customers. He is in charge of the silk research line at the aforementioned lab. As a result he has several publications in the fields of biomaterials. Prof. Pérez-Riguiero has collaborations with several universities and research centers in Spain and abroad, focusing in the mechanical, biochemical, and microstructural characterization of silk and silk-based materials. He is also responsible for five courses on biomaterials at the bachelors degrees in Materials Eng, Biomedical Eng and Biotechnology.

Silk Biomed will take advantage of his knowledge and experience on biomaterials in general and on silks in particularboth form the perspective of their mechanical behaviour,microstructure and interactions between materials and biological systems.

Daniel Gonzalez-Nieto, PhD. Head of Experimental neurology laboratory at the CTB of the UPM. Prof. Gonzalez-Nieto is an investigator with large experience in the study of different neurological disorders at the preclinical level using cell, molecular biology and electrophysiological techniques. His laboratory has a long standing interest in the study of i) functional role of connexins and pannexins during brain ischemia neurodegeneration; ii) regulation of the bone marrow hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell niche by connexins; iii) CNS disorders caused by mutations in connexins (Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease and oculodentodigital dysplasia with CNS affectation). His current research is focused in the search of neuroprotective and neuroregenerative therapies by using bioactive molecules to target oxidative stress and spreading depression post-injury, exosomes cell-derived vesicles, stem cells and reprogrammed cells. His group has recently developed an animal model of brain ischemia correlating the sensorimotor function evaluated with behavioural tests with the activity of somatosensory cortex examined by somatosensory evoked potentials. This animal model is being used to examine the efficacy of different therapeutic molecules as well as the mechanisms of plasticity induced by transplantation of different stem cells integrated into silk fibroin polymers. He has also studied the tolerability and safety of silk fibroin implanted into the brain rodent finding that this biomaterial does not impair the sensorimotor coordination, learning and memory or sleep-wake rhythms. His laboratory masters all the technologies associated with the analysis of functional connectivity in the somatosensory and motor cortex in damaged (stroke) and unmodified brain and intracerebral implantation which serve to examine the effectiveness of the different neuroprotective and neurorestaurative strategies.

Silk Biomed will take advantage of his knowledge and experience for the characterization of the silk gels both form the perspective of their mechanical behaviour and their microstructure as well as the phenotypic (immunomarkers), analysis of geometry/structure and functional characterization of 3D nervous tissue constructs.

Francisco J Rojo. PhD in Civil Engineering, MEng in Materials Engineering and Civil Engineering. Currently Deputy Director of the Centre for Biomedical Technology (CTB) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), he is in charge of the research line on Mechanical Characterization of Biological Materials. After obtaining his PhD in 2004, he worked as a Research Officer at the Centre for Biomimetics and Natural Technologies at the University of Bath (UK) for two years, after which he came back to the UPM to become an associate professor in 2012. He is an expert in the characterization of soft biological tissues, from blood vessels and membranes to tendons and ligaments. As a result he has several publications in the field of biomechanics and biomedicine and collaborations with several hospitals in Spain and abroad, especially in the fields of cardiology, thoracic surgery and traumatology. In 2015 he was awarded with the Young Civil Engineer Prize by the Society of Civil Engineers. He is also member of the Spanish Society of Structural Integrity and of the Research and Innovation Group of the Society of Civil Engineers of Madrid.

Fivos Panetsos, PhD. Co-founder of the company and CEO. Fivos Panetsos is PhD in Medicine & Surgery, PhD in Biology, BS in Applied Mathematics, Specialization in Artificial Intelligence, Specialization in Mathematical Modelling. 30 year experience in Neuroscience R&D and 23 years of experience of serial entrepreneur by creating and directing technological SMEs in the EU and the USA. Full Professor at Complutense University of Madrid (Spain, 2002- today). Founder and Director of the Neurocomputing & Neurorobotics Research Group at Complutense University of Madrid (Spain, 2002- today). Research Professor at University of Central Florida, Orlando. (USA, 2013-today). Founder and Director of Aleph AIA, S.L. (Spain, 1994-2000); Interwb EH2, S.L. (Spain, 1996-1999); European Center for Research and Development (Spain, 1999-2014); General Research, S.L. (Spain, 2010-2016); Neuroresearch Labs, Inc. (USA, 2013-today). PI of more than 40 EU and national R&D projects, get funded for more than 6.0 million € for public projects and additional 4.0 million € for private enterprises. (EU, Spain, Italy, 1991-today).

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