Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging
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Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging


NanoMedMol research activity is focused on the use of nanomedicine and molecular imaging to solve biomedical problems. We are particularly interested in the following lines:


Early diagnosis of atherosclerosis
Synthesis of probes for magnetic resonance imaging
Nanoparticle-based in vitro sensors
Anti-biofilm therapies against drug-resistant bacteria


Combining chemistry and nanotechnology we develop new nanomaterials. In our research we work with inorganic nanoparticles, like iron oxide or gold, for molecular imaging and as sensors. We also work with organic, lipid-based, nanoparticles for imaging and as new therapeutics against resistant bacteria.

In the first research line we focus on the early detection of atherosclerosis by developing molecular imaging probes. We work with iron oxide nanoparticles and lipid nanoparticles for multimodal PET / MR imaging.


In our second research line we focus on the development of nanoplatform-based probes for the so-called positive contrast in magnetic resonance imaging. One of the aims is to replace the use of gadolinium-based compounds in the clinic.

The third research line is focused on the development of nanoparticle-based sensors using gold nanoparticles to detect biomarkers of interest in serum or plasma samples. We are applying this methodology for the diagnosis of atherosclerosis and pulmonary hypertension.

The fourth line is centered on the synthesis of lipid nanoparticles against resistant bacteria biofilm. These biofilms increase virulence and resistance of these bacteria. We focus on (multi)drug resistant bacteria involved in lung infections with bacteria like H. influenzae and P. aeruginosa

Featured Publications

1)         Fernández-Barahona, I.; Gutiérrez, L.; Veintemillas-Verdaguer, S.; Pellico, J.; Morales, M. del P.; Catala, M.; del Pozo, M. A.; Ruiz-Cabello, J.; Herranz, F. Cu-Doped Extremely Small Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Large Longitudinal Relaxivity: One-Pot Synthesis and in Vivo Targeted Molecular Imaging. ACS Omega 2019, 4 (2), 2719–2727.

(2)       Pellico, J.; Fernández-Barahona, I.; Benito, M.; Gaitán-Simón, Á.; Gutiérrez, L.; Ruiz-Cabello, J.; Herranz, F. Unambiguous Detection of Atherosclerosis Using Bioorthogonal Nanomaterials. Nanomedicine Nanotechnology, Biol. Med. 2019, 17, 26–35.

(3)       Lechuga-Vieco, A. V.; Groult, H.; Pellico, J.; Mateo, J.; Enríquez, J. A.; Ruiz-Cabello, J.; Herranz, F. Protein Corona and Phospholipase Activity Drive Selective Accumulation of Nanomicelles in Atherosclerotic Plaques. Nanomedicine Nanotechnology, Biol. Med. 2018, 14 (3), 643–650.

(4)       Pellico, J.; Ruiz-Cabello, J.; Fernández-Barahona, I.; Gutiérrez, L.; Lechuga-Vieco, A. V.; Enríquez, J. A.; Morales, M. P.; Herranz, F. One-Step Fast Synthesis of Nanoparticles for MRI: Coating Chemistry as the Key Variable Determining Positive or Negative Contrast. Langmuir 2017, 33 (39), 10239–10247.

(5)       Pellico, J.; Lechuga-Vieco, A. V.; Almarza, E.; Hidalgo, A.; Mesa-Nuñez, C.; Fernández-Barahona, I.; Quintana, J. A.; Bueren, J.; Enríquez, J. A.; Ruiz-Cabello, J.; Herranz, F. In Vivo Imaging of Lung Inflammation with Neutrophil-Specific 68Ga Nano-Radiotracer. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7 (1), 13242.