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).  

AQU accreditation
Prof. Itziar Vélaz Rivas has obtained the accreditation as Full Professor from the AQU (Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya). We send Itziar our warmest congratulations for her promotion.

PhD dissertation
Joan Puig Rigall has recently defended his doctoral dissertation titled "Supramolecular structures of D-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate, poloxamines, and cyclodextrins: design, characterization, and potential applications as drug delivery systems". The thesis included the International Doctorate mention with a four-month stay at  Purdue University in 2018 and has received the Cum Laude mention by the examining panel. From SUMBET and the Department, we send our warmest congratulations to the newly-inaugurated doctor.

Mobility of PhD students
Leire Goñi has been awarded with a doctoral UN Mobility Grant, aimed to obtain the mention of international doctoral degree. The stay took place in the group of Prof. Bousserrhine, at the Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC) from November 2020 to February 2021. The research was focused on studying the antibacterial activity of Cyclodextrin-grafted TiO2 nanoparticles and different biodegradable polymer TiO2 nanocomposites with application in packaging.

AQU accreditation
Prof. Cristina Martínez-Ohárriz has obtained the accreditation as Full Professor from the AQU (Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya). We send Cristina our warmest congratulations for her promotion.

SANS experiments at JCNS
EU has recently funded a project to carry out small angle neutron scattering experiments (SANS) at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (Münich). The experiments, which will be performed in May, will test the structure at mesoscopic level of new gel formulations based on polymeric surfactants for the treatment of leishmaniasis, in collaboration with researchers of the Institute of Tropical Health and the Universidad Carlos III.

In the news
Prof. Juana Fernández has won the third prize in the 2nd edition of the Contest of Scientific Monologues, organised by the Museo de Ciencias Naturales of the Universidad de Navarra.

AQU accreditation
Prof. Javier Peñas has obtained the accreditation as Full Professor in the area of Chemical Engineering from the AQU (Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya). We send Javier our warmest congratulations for the promotion.

Mobility of PhD students
Leire Goñi has been awarded with a doctoral GN Mobility Grant for international research stays. The stay took place in the group of Prof. D. Raúl Quijada, at Chile University (Santiago de Chile), during the months of December 2019 and January 2020. The research has been focused on developing thermoplastic polymers for smart food packaging.

6th European Conference on Cyclodextrins
The 6th European Conference on Cyclodextrins was held in Santiago de Compostela last October, after the meetings in Aalborg (2009), Asti (2011), Antalya (2013), Lille (2015) and Lisbon (2017).

The congress covered topics ranging from cyclodextrin production, chemistry and modeling, to applications in diverse fields including analytical chemistry, drug formulation, gene therapy, regenerative medicine, cosmetics, food, bioremediation and agriculture, among others. SUMBET was represented in the Conference by Profs. González-Gaitano, who delivered a plenary lecture on "Supramolecular Chemistry of surfactants and cyclodextrins", Itziar Vélaz, José Ramón Isasi. Our PhD students Leire Goñi and Max Petitjean delivered two flash poster presentations.

Prof. Juana Fernández has been promoted to Profesor Titular in the area of Chemical Engineering. She obtained the accreditation from the ANECA (Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación) last May. We send Juana our warmest congratulations for her promotion.

In the news
Prof. Juana Fernández has recently published an opinion article in the DN titled "El día del Medio Ambiente o cómo educar en valores"  on the ocassion of the World Environment Day.

New projects
The "Dirección General de Industria, Energía e Innovación" del Gobierno de Navarra has fundad the project "Optimization of the development and management of packaging containing sustainable nanoparticulate materials, for food use", whose main researcher is Prof. Itziar Vélaz. The project is included in the program "Ayudas a Centros tecnológicos y Organismos de investigación y difusión de conocimientos para la realización de proyectos de I+D 2019".

Poster award
Leire Goñi has received the award for the best poster communication at the IV International Summer School on Cyclodextrins, which took place at the Politecnico di Milano from June 10 to 12. This course, held every three years, is aimed at doctoral students and researchers from all over the world working in the field of supramolecular chemistry with cyclodextrins. Idoia Cunnigham, student of the 4th year of Chemistry, has co-authored the communication, entitled "Food packaging films containing TiO2 nanoparticles modified with β-Cyclodextrins: Degradation studies". Read here the news (Spanish)

4th International Summer School on Cyclodextrins
The IV International Summer School on Cyclodextrins was held in Milano in June 2019. The School  is intended for graduate students, Ph.D students and researchers interested in all the aspects of cyclodextrin chemistry and technology.

The lectures covered several topics on CD and CD inclusion complexes and strongly oriented to teaching and transmission of know-how. SUMBET was represented in the School by Prof. González-Gaitano (teacher) and the PhD students of the group Joan Puig, Leire Goñi and Max Petitjean.

"Guadalupe vuelve a la Facultad de Químicas"
On April 24 a round table was held at the Faculty of Chemistry of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) on Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, who will be beatified in Madrid on May 18. The Director of the Department of Chemistry, Gustavo González Gaitano, and the Vice-rector of the Universidad de Navarra, Tomás Gómez Acebo, both alumni from the Faculty of Chemistry, attended the meeting. Dean Prof. Francisco Ortega opened the ceremony by welcoming the numerous attendees and said that it was an honor for the Faculty to have a round table about a former student on the occasion of her beatification, which coincided with the International Year of the Periodic Table, an opportunity to bring Chemistry closer to society (read here the full article)

Mobility of PhD students
Joan Puig has been awarded with a doctoral UN Mobility Grant, aimed to obtaining the mention of international doctoral degree. The stay will take place in the group of Prof. D. Thompson, at Purdue University (US), during the first term of the next academic year. The research will be focused on developing novel bioresponsive carrier systems for drug and gene delivery.


The IX International Agriculture Symposium "AGROSYM 2018" was celebrated in Jahorina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), from 4 to 7 October 2018. Prof. Juana Fernández-Rodríguez presented there the communications "Agricultural waste codigestion versus individual anaerobic digestion: effect of temperature" and "Temperature-phased anaerobic digestion of lignocelulosic wastes: artichoke and asparagus". The latter comunication was awarded with the best poster presentation.

PhD dissertation
Beatriz de Diego-Díaz, has recently defended her doctoral dissertation titled "Anaerobic digestion of agricultural wastes: studies of temperature, co-digestion and potential inhibitors", supervised by Dr. Javier Peñas and Dr. Juana Fernández-Rodríguez. The thesis, presented as a compilation of published articles, included the International Doctorate mention with a four-month stay at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 2017 and has received the Cum Laude mention by the examining panel. From our research group and the department, we would like to send our warmest congratulations to the newly-inaugurated doctor.

In the news
Dra. Juana Fernández-Rodríguez  has published an opinion article titled "Women, climate change and vice versa" in Diario de Noticias on 27th October,  about the paper of women in the environment protection. Read here the news.

SANS experiments at ILL
Small angle neutron scattering experiments have been recently carried out at the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) with the D33 line (Massive Dynamic Q-Range Small-Angle Diffractometer). The experiments dealt with the structural changes in micellar systems and gels upon a pH-trigger, in collaboration with researchers from UK (KCL), France (ILL) and the Universidad de Salamanca.

Featured publication
A recent paper from SUMBET has been featured among the most cited papers which received in 2017 enough citations to be included in the 1% of the best articles in their respective areas, according to a study from MetricsUN. The contribution, published in Current Pharmaceutical Research, reviews the present research and future prospects of the supramolecular assemblies based on cyclodextrins and polymers as drug carrier systems.

New projects (PIUNA call)
The University of Navarra (PIUNA 2018-2019 call) will fund the project “Aplicaciones de matrices poliméricas de ciclodextrinas sintetizadas mediante procesos sostenibles”. Prof. Javier Peñas and José Ramón Isasi are the main researchers of this project, which will be developed till 2021. In this same call, the project “Diseño y desarollo preclínico de nuevas moléculas híbridas de selenio como agentes antitumorales” has been funded. Prof. Gustavo González and Joan Puig are part of the research team, in collaboration with the Department of Organic Chemistry.

Visiting students
On the 22nd of June took place the public defense of the research works carried out by two visiting students of the University of Lille. Juliette Blardart (left) presented her work "Study of polysaccharide gels", and Emeline Zmuda (center) "Evaluation of the photocatalytic activity of ilmenite". The stay was developed within the frame of an exchange program of the School of Science of the Universidad de Navarra and the University of Lille.

New projects
The project "Functionalization of packaging with new nanoparticulate materials for food industries", whose main researcher is Prof. Itziar Vélaz, has been funded by the "Dirección General de Industria, Energía e Innovación" del Gobierno de Navarra" (program "Ayudas a Centros tecnológicos y Organismos de investigación y difusión de conocimientos para la realización de proyectos de I+D 2018"), since February till December 2018. The project "ANAERObE: Experimental Analysis and use of tannery solid wastes" has been also funded in this call. This is a joint project involving the Department of Chemistry, the School of Architecture, and the company Tenerías Omega, in order to valorize the solid waste generated in the industrial process.

In the media
Prof. Mario Molina, 1995 Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry for his role in the elucidation of the threat to the Earth's ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs), gave a Masterclass on the 6th of June. The session was presented by José Ramón Isasi. Read here the news.

SANS experiments at FRM-II
Profs. González-Gaitano and Javier González Benito (UC3M) have been conducting neutron scattering experiments on the first days of June at the neutron source FRMII of the MLZ (Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum), in the frame of the project MAT2014-59116-C2-2-R. The experiments, funded by MINECO and the EU, were aimed to ascertain the 3D structure of physical gels formed from supramolecular assemblies of polymeric surfactants.

19th Cyclodextrin Symposium
The 19th edition of the International Cyclodextrin Symposium was celebrated on 27-30 April at Sophia University, Tokio. Profs. Cristina Martínez Ohárriz, Itziar Vélaz, and Joan Puig presented there their communications "Aggregation of glibenclamide-beta-cyclodextrin complexes", "Molecular necklaces of direct and reverse Tetronics and cyclodextrins: a kinetic approach", and "Ketoprofen release studies from insoluble beta-cyclodextrin polymers". The next CD meeting, 6th European Cyclodextrin Conference, will be held at Santiago de Compostela in 2019. SUMBET will participate in the organisation of the conference.

In the media
Article published in Diario de Navarra. 17 de mayo - Día Mundial del Reciclaje. "DIY (Do it yourself): Hazlo por ti y por el medio ambiente" (Prof. Juana Fernández).

A micrograph showing a detail of a bundle of nanofibers of blow spun nanocomposites based on PSF has been selected as the cover of the November issue of Polymer Physics. The article is a collaboration with the Departamento de Ciencia e Ingeniería de Materiales e Ingeniería Química of the UC3M.