Research

  • Formaldehyde measurement technology for safe environments (LIFE SENSSEI)

    09/2017 – 08/2019

    Funding Agency: PREMAP SEGURIDAD Y SALUD, S.L.U. SPF

    Real-time formaldehyde alarm and monitoring system that will reduce the worker’s exposure to the compound by 20% and reduce the concentration of formaldehyde in the air in the facilities where it is used, by 80%

    Reduction of exposure to cancer caused by formaldehyde (LIFE SENSSEI)

    Reference: LIFE 16 ENV / ES / 000232

    This project aims to achieve a real-time reduction of exposure levels to formaldehyde in the production processes of the wood industry.

    Minimize the environmental and health impact derived from occupational exposure and the environmental concentration of formaldehyde in the industry.

    The project contemplates a series of actions among which are the development of new OHS strategies for occupational exposure to formaldehyde.

    Achieve a reduction of the occupational exposure of 20% and up to 80% of the environmental concentration of formaldehyde in wood factories.

  • Development of novel fluorescent sensors for in situ monitoring of quality parameters in the cooling circuit water of thermal power plants (FLUOROSEN)

    11/2016 – 05/2018

    Funding Agency: GAS NATURAL FENOSA SDG

    The quality specifications to be fulfilled by the cooling water are established by national and regional legislations and include a wide variety of physical (e.g. suspended solids, turbidity, conductivity), microbiological (e.g. aerobic microorganisms), and chemical parameters (e.g. pH, ammonia, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, residual chlorine, etc.).

    At present, virtually all these parameters are determined in the laboratory from samples collected in situ, using standard analytical techniques (e.g. those in UNE/EN/ISO standards). Since transport to the laboratory, sample processing and the analyses themselves (especially microbiological ones, requiring a prolonged incubation period) are slow processes, it would be desirable to have a reliable, safe and specific sensor manifold, capable of determining in situ, in (quasi)real time and continuously these parameters. The sensor system will guarantee at all times the quality of the cooling water of the power plant, allowing a quick decision-making in case any of the parameters leave the set intervals.

  • Novel molecular recognition and chemical amplification elements for opto(bio)sensors applicable to food safety and personal protection CTQ2015-69278-C2-R (NEOSENS)

    1/2016 – 12/2018

    Funding Agency: Ministry of of Economy and Competitivenessministerio competitividad

    The optical chemical sensors and biosensors technology has reached a considerable degree of development and sophistication in recent years, which has contributed significantly to extend their applications to many different areas, being personal and collective security among them.  In this way, these useful devices are already used not only in industrial, environmental and laboratory diagnostic environments, but begin to be implemented in transportation, food production, industrial environments and will come home soon. Current chemical sensors include optoelectronic devices that can recognize patterns of odors, gases or explosives, and can identify potentially harmful compounds borne in the air, water or food. Advanced chemical research promises significant improvements in sensitivity, selectivity, response time and reduced costs. All this is being made possible by the development of new elements of selective recognition, mechanisms for amplification of the analytical signal and, especially, applications of the nano and micro-technology in this field. Furthermore, the invasion of mobile telephony and its fusion with the information technology and computing, materialized today in the so-called “smart” terminals (smartphones), predict how will the (bio)chemical sensors of the future become, looking after our domestic and workplace security, our health and the environment around us. In this project, several basic aspects that seek to increase the sensitivity and applicability of optical sensors in the field of safety and food quality, and personal protection are addressed. In particular, we will tackle key elements to achieving optical sensors and biosensors for the sought applications: (i) obtaining new molecular recognition elements that mimic the behavior of their natural analogues (antibodies) but overcome their limitations (fragility, cost, versatility…); (ii) significantly amplifying detection of the interaction events resulting from selective recognition, to yield sensitivity (detection limit) that only mass spectrometry coupled to chromatography currently achieves; (iii) preparing microarrays of optical sensors for simultaneous multiplexed analysis of more than one species; (iv) seeking new photochemical mechanisms of signal transduction facilitated by the use of nanoparticles; (v) manufacturing organic-inorganic hybrid micro/nano sensors that enable miniaturization of the sensitive terminal, shortening the response time to the analyte, significantly increasing its sensitivity and be seamless integrateable in even more multifunctional “smart”phones.

  • New fiber-optic luminescent sensors for in situ monitoring of the biogas chemical quality” (SMART GREEN GAS)

    1/2015 – 12/2017

    Funding Agency: GAS NATURAL FENOSA Engineeringdimasa-grupo-smart-green-gas

    Partners: Gas Natural Fenosa, EDP-Naturgas Energía, Biogás fuel cell, Diagnostiqa, Aqualia, Dimasa Grupo y Ecobiogas.

    The SMART Green Gas project seeks to develop new technologies and processes for high-quality biomethane from urban and agro-industrial waste. The project studies the production and purification of biogas plants water treatment and urban and agro-industrial waste, to obtain a biomethane high quality, similar to natural gas, to be injected into the gas grid or usedas fuel automotive.

    smartgreengas03

  • Development of a specific sensor for on line monitoring of molecular hydrogen in heat-transfer fluids of CP termal solar plants (SeHiCET)

    1/2015 – 1/2017

    Funding Agency: Fundación CENER-CIEMAT

    logo_CENER-AditechThe R+D we are carrying out for CENER (National Center for Renewable Energies) aims to develop a robust, effective and economically competitive method for online detection and monitoring of both the presence of molecular hydrogen (H2) in the heat transfer fluids (HTFs) of parabolic trough collector solar power plants, and the thermal degradation of the HTF, with the prolonged exposure to the operational conditions. The novel method is based on a specific fluorescent sensor according to the ES2425002 patent (“Method for the detection and quantification of hydrogen in a heat transfer fluid”).

  • Sample In – Answer Out Optochemical Sensing Systems (SAMOSS)

    10/2013 – 09/2017

    Funding Agency: European Community (Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN; Contract 607590)

    Partners: UCM, University of Applied Sciences Jena (Alemania), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Francia), AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria), University of Groningen (Holanda), Biosensor S.r.l. (Italia), Micronit Microfluidics (Holanda).

    The need for environmental, food and biomedical sensing and monitoring is constantly growing, and encompasses the most basic aspects of our  lives, such as samoss_logo_oVerlauf110px2atmosphere, drinking water, food and beverages, agricultural products, and healthcare. The ideal technological solution would be small, cheap and autonomous devices and that continuously or on demand report on their findings, with minimal human intervention. Such devices should ideally detect a multitude of threats, chemical and/or biological, and should thus be able to describe complex environments to a data collection and analysis centre. Biosensors, and specifically arrayed biosensors could, in principle, perform such tasks, however it is a fact that such autonomous devices to date do not exist on the market. In the SAMOSS network our overall objective is to develop optochemical sensors, applied to detect relevant analytes such as mycotoxins or antibiotics in foods, drugs in healthcare and endocrine disruptors such as contraceptive hormones in environmental samples, that are able to handle a chain of operations that should constitute an autonomous process starting with a sample and ending with reporting a result as an “answer”.

    samoss-process

  • Functional Materials and Optosensing Amplification Schemes for Enhancing Food, Personal and Environmental Security (MOASES)

    ministerio competitividad 02/2013 – 12/2016

    Funding Agency: Ministry of of Economy and Competitiveness

    Sensor and biosensor technology is reaching an extraordinary level of sophistication with the aim of encompassing a growing number of applications, including personal and collective security. Chemical monitoring technology is not only already used in industrial, environmental and laboratory applications, but it is starting to be introduced in airports, subways, public buildings and soon will also be likely implemented at home. The new sensors are opto-electronic devices able to recognize odors, gas or explosive patterns, and to identify potentially harmful compounds in air, water or foodstuff. Moreover, the current chemical research promises dramatic improvements in sensitivity, selectivity, response time, and costs. The widespread use of mobile telephone technology and its fusion with information and computing technologies, nowadays realized with the smartphones, allows forecasting of how the future (bio)sensors, aiming to watch over our home and work safety, our health and our environment, will be.

    Realizing these predictions depends, on a large extent, on enabling R+D aiming (i) to develop artificial molecular recognition elements mimicking living organisms; (ii) to achieve significant amplification of the detection of binding events resulting from molecular recognition; (iii) to generate sensor microarrays for simultaneous chemical assays, and (iv) to manufacture hybrid organic-inorganic micro- and nano-sensors for providing miniaturization, accelerated responses and a significant sensitivity increase. This coordinated project tackles all these aspects from a multidisciplinary perspective based on 20+ years of experience on the subject, through the development of (1) new organic molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs); (ii) novel techniques focused on photochemical amplification via FRET “cascades”, singlet oxygen transduction, electrochemiluminescence in doped nanoparticles and luminescent conjugated polymers; (iii) microarrays based on coded microspheres and (iv) electroluminescent semiconductors functionalized on their surface with molecular luminescent probes.

  • Advanced biosensor for in-situ real-time monotoring of emerging contaminants (AQUATIK)

    02/2012 – 12/2013

    Funding Agency: European Community Partner:

    AQUALOGY Aqua Ambiente (Grupo AGBAR)

    AQUATIK is a research project co-founded by the European Community, through the LIFE+ Environmental Policy & Governance programme. The project was launched in September 2011 and is expected to be completed in February 2015. The project is coordinated by CETaqua water technology center, fundación privada and implemented in partnership with Labaqua and Aqualogy Aqua Ambiente Servicios Integrales, S.A.life-webResear1

    The AQUATIK project tackles the issue of surface water contamination by priority pollutants which have been identified in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC. For these priority pollutants the WFD established concentration thresholds which should not be overlapped in the surface water bodies of the EU.

    AQUATIK aims to design a new monitoring tool of priority pollutants, using the technology of biosensors, able to quantify automatically and at real time their concentrations in order to ensure that the concentration thresholds are not overlapped. Since urban wastewater and a major part of industrial wastewater are transferred to wastewater plants, the monitoring tool is going to be placed at the outlet of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

    The monitoring system is developed for the quantification of seven target priority pollutants selected for their abundance in rivers and particularly in the Llobregat river basin (Catalonia, Spain) where the system is going to be implemented. Four of these compounds belong to the pesticides family (atrazine, diuron, isoproturon and simazine) and the other three are organic substances widely spread in rivers (octylphenol, nonylphenol and DEHP). This project investigates an innovative and promising system for the protection of our surface waters and explores new possibilities offered by biosensor technologies in real time monitoring. A video of the proyect can be visualize here.

  • Nanophotonic device for multiple therapeutic drug monitoring (NANODEM)

    10/2012 – 09/2016

    Funding Agency: European Community

    Partners: UCM, CNR-Italia, Univ. Tübingen-Alemania, Datamed-Italia, Univ. Técnica de Munich-Alemania, Probe Scientific-UK, Univ. Stütgart-Alemania, INESC-Portugal, Microfluidic Chipshop-Alemania

    NANODEM is a FP7 research project for the development of a therapeutic drug monitoring point-of-care-testing (Poct) device devoted to the measurement of immunosuppressants and related metabolites in transplanted plogo-nanodematients.

    The new tool will allow the automatic measurements of therapeutic drugs and metabolites characterized by a narrow therapeutic range and serious potential side effects.

    Heart of the device will be a multi-parametric optical chip, which will make use of the recent developments in nanotechnology to convert the concentration changes of the analytes in detectable luminescent signals. Essential sections of the device will be also: the microfluidic circuit before the chip, where the dialysate is mixed with the reagents necessary for the implementation of the biological assay; the optical detection system which must be characterised by high efficiency and strong compactness; the compact hardware control unit and user interface that allow instrument control and data handling.

    Clinical benefit will be an optimized dosage of the respective therapeutical drug. The patient will be connected to the device by an intravenous microdialysis catheter to allow 48-h online measurements. Based on this minimally-invasive approach, the therapeutic drugs and related metabolites will be monitored at short time intervals.

    figure_1

    The need of mixing the dialysate with the chemical reagents and the necessity of incubation times for the bioassay implementation, unavoidable procedure for bioanalyte detection, implies that a continuous measurement of such analytes is impossible, but the miniaturisation down to micro- and nano-scales will lead to very short time intervals, of the order of a few minutes. The integration of all these sections within the Poct stand-alone device requires the convergence of competences ranging from chemistry and biochemistry to optics and medicine as well as the convergence of micro and nanotechnologies, such as micro/nanofluidics, microdialysis and micro/nanosensing.

  • Smart (Optosensing) Materials for Environmental and Food Analysis Applications (MAXMART)

    10/2013 – 09/2017

    Funding Agency: Ministry of Science and Innovation

    Radical improvement of luminescent chemical sensors requires technologies that combine tailored indicator dyes (for optimum optochemical transducing), molecular recognition features (for utmost selectivity) and nanostructures (nanobeads, nanofibers, nanofilms) with logo_ministerio_ciencia_innovacionhigh surface-to-volume ratio (for fastest response) to develop smart materials for advanced environmental monitoring and food analysis.

    Capitalizing on the multidisciplinary experience of the coordinated teams in molecular engineering of luminescent dyes (organic and metal-organic), photochemistry applied to chemical analysis and materials characterization, molecularly imprinted acrylate polymers, surface functionalization, electrospun nanofibers, optochemical (bio)sensors, analytical methods and field application, we propose the development of advanced chemical optosensors, immunosensors and biomimetic sensors, solid phase extraction materials and multi-analyte optical microarrays for the analysis of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides), cyanobacterial toxins (microcystins) and emerging mycotoxins (alternariol and tenuazonic acid) in water and food samples.

  • Desarrollo de polímeros de impronta molecular para su aplicación en el campo alimentario (MIPFOOD)

    7/2010 – 10/2013

    Funding Agency: Ministry of Science and Innovation

    El objetivo general del proyecto es desarrollar nuevos polímeros de impronta molecular (MIPs), sensibles, robustos y banner_Innpacto_115X50económicos, diseñados para cubrir las necesidades actuales de la industria agroalimentaria para el control de calidad y seguridad de los alimentos. La finalidad principal es que los polímeros de impronta molecular (MIPs) a desarrollar puedan utilizarse tanto en el alimento previo a su envasado como en el envasado posterior.

  • Proyecto de investigación de sistemas avanzados para un avión más eco-eficie
    nte (PROSAVE2)

    11/2010 – 12/2013

    Funding Agency: Aerliper, S.A.

    El objetivo principal será desarrollar una línea de sensores ópticos robustos y fiables pInvest5ara la monitorización de gases. En este sentido, los sensores ópticos y, en particular, los sensores luminiscentes sobre fibra óptica, han demostrado ofrecer una poderosa alternativa en numerosas aplicaciones donde los sensores químicos clásicos han fracasado.

  • Fluorescence Based pH, DO and Temperature Sensors

    12/2012 – 02/2014

    Funding Agency: TAP Biosystems tap

    TAP Biosystems is a leading global provider of automated cell culture and fermentation systems to the bio-pharma, regenerative medicine and industrial biotechnology sectors.

  • Luminescently Doped Nanoparticles. Strategies for Improving Sensitivity in Luminescence Assays and Implementation in Microarray Formats (NANOLUM)

    08/2009 – 08/2012

    Funding Agency: European Community

    This project aims to take advantage of polymeric nanoparticles as a tool for improving sensitivity and performance of (chemi)luminiscence based assays. For instance, highly emissive red/near-infraredlogo-fp7 (NIR) dyes and long-lifetime luminophores like Ru(II) complexes will be combined in nanoparticles for increased emission efficiencies, better discrimination from background interferences and improved photostability. These beads will be employed for labelling antibodies to be used in immunoassays. Several strategies will be explored, taking advantage of FRET processes, (chemi)luminescence of Ru(II) complexes and high emission efficiencies of red/NIR boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) dyes. Additionally, the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as synthetic analogues of antibodies will be explored for the selective recognition and fluorescent indication of analytes containing carboxylic groups. The fabrication of the MIP fluorescent probes in a nanoparticle or coreshell nanoparticle form is expected to improve response time of the sensor and binding of the target analyte, and to allow ratiometric measurements or indication via energy transfer processes. The main task will cover the synthesis of luminescent molecular probes, nanoparticles and luminescently doped nanoparticles and MIPs, with a complete physical and photophysical charaterization. These particles will be implemented in a final stage onto microarray based technologies for monitoring the presence of certain toxins and antibiotics in water and aquaculture products.

  • Novel Fiber-Optic CO2 Sensors for Industrial Process Analysis (SOST-CO2)

    07/2008 – 07/2011

    Funding Agency: Ultrasen Sistemas, S.A.

    The “CENIT” SOST-CO2 proyect aims to fackle the whole life cycle of CO2, spanning from its requestering right form the emission sources to its transportation, storage and large-scale valorization.  The proyect aims to search for a sustainable alternative to just the straight forward underground continement.sost-mano-mejorada

    The particular mission of our research team is the development of fiber-optic sensors for CO2 measurements in various matrices, and to support the development of ancillary instrumentation to complement the in-situ CO2 monotoring in microalgal cultures, such as dissolved oxygen and biomass density indicator parametres.

  • Fábrica absolutamente segura y saludable (FASyS)

    11/2009 – 10/2012

    Funding Agency: Sociedad de Prevención de FREMAP, S.L.

    El proyecto FASYS- Fábrica Absolutamente Segura y Saludable se enmarca dentro de la concepción de la Fábrica del Futuro y el nuevo prisma de Fabricación Competitiva Sostenible. Una fábrica sostenible en Europa ha de ser no tan sólo sostenible en términos de eficiencia energética y recursos sino que ha de enfatizar de manera clara y diferencial su rol en la sostenibilidad de sus empleados y trabajadores.logo_fremap La producción eficiente en términos competitivos y sostenibles pasa por dotar al trabajador de una relevancia central en la fábrica y su seguridad y salud se convierten, por tanto, en factores estratégicos de productividad y rentabilidad. La actuación del equipo investigador GSOLFA, consiste en el estudio de viabilidad y desarrollo de sensores basados en el empleo de fibra óptica, para la monitorización de aminas volátiles y formaldehído en el aire del lugar de trabajo.

  • Viabilidad del desarrollo de sensores y biosensores químicos ópticos para aplicaciones en monitorización de activos de generación y distribución eléctricas

    06/2010 – 09/2011

    Funding Agency: DiagnóstiQa Consultoria Técnica, S.A.diagnostiqa

    El proyecto tiene como objetivo establecer el área o áreas de interés en el campo de la monitorización de especies químicas en activos de generación y distribución eléctricas, susceptibles de aplicar dispositivos optosensores químicos para el control de parámetros relevantes.