Javier Ramón

Javier Ramón

Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya

Engineering Sciences

Since 2017, ICREA Professor Javier Ramon is a Group Leader at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) in Barcelona, Spain. After her doctorate, he performed a post-doc stay under professor Mizutani's direction at Hyogo University in Japan on lithography fabrication, microfluidics, and dielectrophoresis technic (2009-2011). After this post-doctoral stay at Hyogo University (2011), he was hired by the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University as Assistant Researcher. The AIMR-WPI institute is the third most relevant institute in Japan and one worldwide reference in material science. He joined the group of Prof. Matsue in the device/ systems group, and in April 2013, he was promoted to Assistant Professor. In this position, he worked to integrate biosensors technology with stem cell, biomaterials, and tissue engineering research (2011-2014).

Research interests

My group ‘Biosensors for Bioengineering’ is focused on a new line of research that has become of extreme importance in the last years. My idea is to integrate biosensor technology and nanotechnology with stem cell research and with tissue engineering. Engineered tissues are integrated with biosensing technology to obtain microdevices (microtissues and ‘Multi-Organ-on-a-Chip’ (multi-OOC)) to detect cellular responses to external stimuli, monitoring the quality of the microenvironment, and supporting diverse cellular requirements. This research on 3D-functional engineered tissues is expected to develop tissue construction knowledge and their functions and relation with some human diseases. Integration of fully functional tissues with microscale biosensor technology allowed us to obtain OOC. These chips could be used in pharmaceutical assays. They could be a step toward the ultimate goal of producing in vitro drug testing systems crucial to the medicine and pharmaceutical industry.

Selected publications

- Gomez-Dominguez, Deborah; Epifano, Carolina; de Miguel, Fernando; Garcia Castano, Albert; Vilaplana-Marti, Borja; Martin, Alberto; Amarilla-Quintana, Sandra; Bertrand, Anne T.; Bonne, Gisele; Ramon-Azcon, Javier; Rodriguez-Milla, Miguel A.; Perez de Castro, Ignacio 2020, 'Consequences of Lmna Exon 4 Mutations in Myoblast Function', Cells, 9, 5.

- Lopez-Munoz, Gerardo A.; Alejandra Ortega, Maria; Ferret-Minana, Ainhoa; De Chiara, Francesco; Ramon-Azcon, Javier 2020, 'Direct and Label-Free Monitoring of Albumin in 2D Fatty Liver Disease Model Using Plasmonic Nanogratings', Nanomaterials, 10, 12, 2520.

Selected research activities

The project "Preparation of Muscle on a Chip for the study of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)" was funded by the Foundation Duchenne Parental Project Spain to develop a platform to perform drug screening analysis in human-engineered microtissues. We are developing human skeletal muscle micro physiological tissues using micro-molding technology and integrating them with optical biosensors to study the inflammatory process. We are using immortalized myoblast human cells from DMD patients and healthy humans. Using this platform, we have started to evaluate different treatments, screen drugs, and evaluate doses.

- From 2020, we are also leading an European project on developing a new organ-on-chip platform (https://blocproject.eu/). In this project, we are combining new real-time sensing technology with a multi-organ-on-a-chip system.

- The group participates in a crowdfunding Institucional initiative, "A Por la COVID," to study the post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long-hauler" COVID-19. An unknown percentage of COVID-19 survivors experience a range of symptoms that develop a disabling long-term sequelae picture that lasts for months or even longer after overcoming COVID-19 infection. We are working to identify predictive, immunological, and proteomic signatures underlying clinical outcomes in COVID-19 long-haulers using in vitro 3D tissue models.