We open the wardrobe and get dressed in the Clean Room clothes, strictly following the established protocol: we put on our shoe covers, hat, trousers and jacket. Finally, it is the turn of the antistatic shoes. Once dressed, we step repeatedly on the adhesive mat before entering the laboratory, where Rosa Villa, leader of the Biomedical Applications Group at IMB-CNM, is waiting for us.

Located at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM, CSIC) and belonging to CIBER-BBN, the GAB takes advantage of the technological capabilities available in the IMB-CNM Clean Room to provide novel solutions for different biomedical applications. These results are mainly based on detection at different levels of biological organisation, i.e. molecules, cells and organs. The group works together with different biomedical research groups, from theoretical analysis to final clinical trials.

Over the years, the group has accumulated extensive experience in the biomonitoring of organs, living tissues and cell cultures using different sensing strategies and advanced electronic materials, which has allowed them to be leaders in two key areas of biomedical research: advanced electronic materials for neurophysiology and integration of sensing devices with microfluidic structures for biomonitoring.
Neural technologies have evolved using micro- and nanosystems for in vivo and in vitro studies focused on understanding the brain. Stimulation and recording electrodes have been widely used to study neuronal electrical activity, and significant efforts are being invested in modifying the surface material of microelectrodes to improve contact at the electrode-electrolyte interface. In particular, they are investigating the use of graphene as an active material for the interface of neuronal tissues.

The group works with the aim of offering innovative solutions to the medical community with advanced tools based on micro- and nanotechnologies.

Micro- and nanotechnologies have paved the way for the development of new devices capable of detecting biological signals from biological samples. In addition to the design, fabrication and characterisation of sensors and biosensors, we are also interested in their integration into microfluidic biosystems and organ-on-a-chip devices. The group is dedicated to developing nanostructures to explore mechanical (opto-) sensing capabilities through plasmonic or colorimetric response as well as the evolution of innovative designs for electrochemical sensing.

About the Clean Room
The Integrated Micro and Nanofabrication Cleanroom (SBCNM) is a Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS) dedicated to the development and application of innovative technologies in the field of Microelectronics together with other emerging Micro and Nanotechnologies.
It is aimed at researchers, mainly those of the National Microelectronics Centre, but is also open to small and medium-sized enterprises to develop new series of prototypes and allow them to have contact with these micro nanotechnologies, either through their knowledge or thanks to the access provided by the centre’s researchers.

On the picture: researchers Gemma Gabriel and Rosa Villa. 

This project is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).