Nested Applications


Supramolecular Materials for Biomedical and Environmental Technologies is a research unit integrated in the Department of Chemistry. We carry out an intense research in the fields of Supramolecular Chemistry and Polymer Science and their pharmaceutical applications (drug delivery vehicles like cyclodextrins, gels and nanoparticles), Materials Science (nanocomposites and hydrogels), Cultural Heritage studies and, in the modelling, Design and optimization of Reactors and Sustainable processes from an application-oriented viewpoint.

The members of the group are in charge of the subjects related to Physical Chemistry, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science (degrees of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences and Pharmacy), and committed to the didactics and divulgation of science.



Nested Applications


HiloTesis award

Leire Goñi (QUIM+BQM'21), doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry, winner of the "Your Doctoral Thesis in a Twitter Thread: #HiloTesis" award from the University of Navarra, within the contest organized by CRUE Spanish Universities. (

In the news

Sebastian Correa (QUIM’20, MMCC’21) describes his experience in the University ( He recently completed his Master Theses “Development and optimization of photocatalysts using chemical coating techniques and assessment of the yields in the removal of organic contaminants in aqueous phase” under the supervisión of Profs. Javier Peñas and Adrian Duran (SUMBET).  

PhD dissertation

Max Petitjean has recently completed the doctoral studies carried out in the SUMBET group with his dissertation viva. The thesis "Development of Sustainable Polysaccharide Matrices with Hydrophobic Modifications" applied the principles of green chemistry to the preparation of biobased materials with various potential applications as sorbents or delivery devices. His PhD work  included the International Doctorate mention with a short stay (5 weeks) at Queen's College Belfast School of Pharmacy and a long stay (four months) at Université de Lille. He has received the Cum Laude mention by the examining panel. We congratulate Dr. Petitjean on his excellent achievement.

SANS experiments at ISIS
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK) has funded a project to carry out small angle neutron scattering experiments (SANS) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxfordshire, UK). The experiments, which will be performed in May, will test the structure at mesoscopic level of micelles and gels of polymeric surfactants for the treatment of leishmaniasis, in collaboration with researchers of the Institute of Tropical Health (ISTUN).

Visiting researcher
Antonio Solano (Chemical engineer 2021, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) has been granted a research fellowship (Programa de Iniciación a la Investigación CNBBBJ-UNAM-2021) to work on the production of polymeric fibers for biomedical applications. He will work under the supervision of Prof. Itziar Vélaz (SUMBET), until February 2022.

Recent publication
Nature Biotechnology features an article developed at the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging (Helmholtz Zentrum München) by Juan Pablo Fuenzalida and collaborators on photo-switchable proteins for applications in fluorescence microscopy and optoacoustic imaging methods. We congratulate Juan Pablo and the team at HMZ for the paper (see here a less-technical explanation on switchable proteins by the author for general public)

In the news
Prof. Juana Fernández, on the new electronic system recently implemented in the Comarca de Pamplona to open the rubbish bins, in Diario de Navarra (9/November/2021)

Collaboration Grant (Ministerio de Educación)
Olaia Mendiburu (Degree in Chemistry, 4th year), who is doing her Research Training Program (RTP) in SUMBET, has been awarded a Collaboration Grant by the Ministerio de Educación for the academic year 2021-2022. Her work will focus on the synthesis and characterization of photocatalysts with metallic support for the elimination of emerging pollutants in aqueous phase.

Doctorate award
Dr. Joan Puig Rigall has been awarded the Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado (Natural and Applied Sciences program, 2020-2021), for the thesis "Supramolecular structures of D-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate, poloxamines, and cyclodextrins: design, characterization, and potential applications as drug delivery systems". We send Joan our warmest congratulations and wish all the best in his new post as Biomaterials Project Leader at Naturemimetix.

New projects
The Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (programa Retos de la Sociedad) has funded the coordinated project "Multifunctional sprayable wound dressings obtained by solution blow spinning for the treatment of skin diseases". The project, which involves researchers from SUMBET (coordinator) and research groups ISTUN and UC3M, will be developed until 2024.

Iván Ruiz Ardanaz (QUI2019) has been granted an ADA (Asociación de Amigos de la UN) fellowship. His research will focus on the cultural heritage of Navarre (medieval ceramics) under the supervision of Prof. Adrián Durán (SUMBET) and Prof. Esther Lasheras (LICA)

In the news
Get-together on climatic change with Prof. Juana Fernández in Navarra Television

"With camouflage against parasites". The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum features a joint investigation of SUMBET, UC3M, ISTUN and the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)

Summer course
The summer course entitled "Plastic in food. New materials”, held from 19th to 28th of July 2021, was taught by Prof. Itziar Vélaz and Leire Goñi (PhD student). It was organized in collaboration with the Government of Navarra and the Science Museum of the University of Navarra. The most frequently used polymers in food packaging, the new lines of research in applied nanotechnology, and the most common recycling processes were explained.