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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

The development of economically viable protein based biomimetic templates for use in bone tissue regeneration

Lead Researcher:
Juan Manuel Ruso Beiras

Research Centre:
Facultad de Física. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.


Juan Manuel Ruso BeirasThis project will involve the development of new synthetic strategies which employ miocroemulsions to obtain biocompatible templates, an essential characteristic which every system must comply with when it interacts with biological systems for the regeneration of bone tissue. For this purpose, firstly the system to initiate the mineralisation of the proteins will be designed. Subsequently, we will focus on the development of protein-based nanofibrous materials, as a basis for the self-assembling structures of these components. We will then focus on analysis of the systems' biocompatibility. Assuming that the more the structural and functional characteristics of a system adapt to the demands of a certain application, the better the final outcome will be, we will use microemulsions, given that they will enable us to set the parameters of the mineralisation process. Time and resources will be optimised by combining experimental techniques and computation. We will initially proceed with the creation of extensive databases which will be analysed using statistical and biocomputing tools. These databases will contain the highest possible number of entries of both molecular components of different architectures and external agents (temperature, pH, elasticity and concentration). We can thus determine which components are more appropriate for our needs. Once the systems and conditions which are the most likely to succeed have been selected, we will produce the materials which will be classified experimentally and computationally. For the experimental part we will make use of several techniques: TEM, SEM, FT-IR, x-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction. Due to the importance of the mineralisation processes imaging analysis, we will develop software for the visualisation and analysis of electron microscopy images. All these IT and experimental resources will be processed synergistically and systematically, resulting in a periodical feedback process for continuous optimisation.

Researcher's web address:

Juan Manuel Ruso Beiras

As a tenured lecturer in the department of Applied Physics at the University of Santiago de Compostela, he has carried out his research work in two key areas: the study of soft matter and molecular biophysics. In the former he has focused on the design and characterisation of supramolecular particles according to different external parameters, developing synthesis pathways of nanostructured materials with adapted properties which enable applications including biosensors, and biocompatible and bioactive materials. Regarding the second pathway, work has focused on the study of protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions. This type of association is one of the most important molecular processes in biology and in medicine. Although the molecular strengths involved in these interactions have been specified, they are not well understood. The construction of an essential comprehension of these interactions would improve different processes such as drug and bioengineering design. This project was developed in different centres: the University of Manchester (UK), Columbia University (USA), Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), University of Lund (Sweden) and at the University of Sao Paulo. Results include: 1 book (Wiley), 3 chapters of a book, plus over 130 JCR publications.

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