VHIR brings nanomedicine to the Science Festival

The Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) participated once again in the Science Festival, which this year has reached its 10th edition. Dr. Víctor Puntes, head of the group of Design and Pharmacodynamics of Nanoparticles, gave a talk, with two experiments, to explain the benefits of nanomedicine on the health of people.

As the festival program says, «10 years ago to manipulate the nanoscopic world, atoms and molecules, for our benefit was a promise.» Now however, thanks to advances in recent years, this milestone is becoming a reality. In his workshop, Dr. Victor Puntes explained some of these advances, such as the ability to «encapsulate» drugs in nanoconjugates. «Until now, drugs were going to the whole body, but in the future, we will get to the tumour and not the whole individual,» said the VHIR’s researcher. This will increase the effectiveness of treatment and avoid adverse effects elsewhere in the body.

While explaining the particularities of nanomedicine, Dr. Puntes made a synthesis of gold nanoparticles with packed natural fruit juice and, to show the different antioxidant power of each and simulate a biomedical diagnostic test similar to that of the pregnancy. Besides this experiment, he also synthesized magnetic nanoparticles to clean a contaminated solution with heavy metals.

Nanotechnology was one of the highlights of the Festival, focusing on the evolution of different scientific fields experienced over the past 10 years. The Festival, organized by the city of Barcelona, took place on 18th and 19th June in the Parc de la Ciutadella.