A nanobiotech development with CBGP involvement gets a national award in México

The work has been awarded with the Bionano Innovation Award: Science and Technology CINVESTAV Neolpharma 2022.

This nanobiotech development, co-authored by Dr. Fernando Ponz who is the principal investigator of the CBGP group ‘Plant Virus Biotechnology’, exploits nanoparticles derived from a plant virus which have been functionalized with the human epidermal growth factor (hEGF), as scaffolds to grow mammal cells in a hydrogel medium. These cell cultures are important components of the field of tissue engineering, some of whose final goals are tissue regeneration, implants, tissue delivery of pharmaceutical drugs, or artificial meat fabrication.

Nanoparticle functionalization was performed in the CBGP, whereas culture design and the experimental part of the development was carried out at the Centro de Biotecnología FEMSA of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, whose directors are Drs. Mario Álvarez and Grissel Trujillo. The first authors in the awarded paper, Drs. Ivonne González-Gamboa and Edith Velázquez Lam, carried out their doctoral work at the CBGP, under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Ponz. Production and purification of hEGF was performed at the R&D department of Agrenvec (www.agrenvec.es) under the direction of Drs. Pablo Lunello and Laura Williams.

Although the final goals of these developments are closer to biomedical or food biotechnology, plant biotechnology has also room within them, because the viral nanoparticles are obtained from plants and Agrenvec’s hEGF is also made in plants applying company’s own technology. This work is a clear example of the technological level of transversality already reached by biotechnology in general, and nanobiotechnology in particular.


González-Gamboa, I., Velázquez-Lam, E., Lobo-Zegers, M.J., Frías-Sánchez, A.I., Tavares-Negrete, J.A., Monroy-Borrego, A., Menchaca-Arrendondo, J.L., Williams, L., Lunello, P., Ponz, F., Alvarez, M.M., Trujillo-de Santiago, G. 2022. Gelatin-methacryloyl hydrogels containing turnip mosaic virus for fabrication of nanostructured materials for tissue engineering. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 10. DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.907601