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Announce the kick-off of PathoGelTrap project

We are proud to announce the kick-off of PathoGelTrap project! A revolutionary technology that will allow for green prevention and control of infectious diseases in aquaculture.


PathoGelTrap is founded under the European Framework Programme for R&I, Horizon 2020. Under the tittle: “New Blue Revolution through a pioneering pathogen-trapping technology based on bioselective hydrogel-forming proteins”, the idea is to transform the future of aquaculture with a pioneering pathogen–trapping technology capable of targeting and removing specific pathogens from water in fish farms without affecting the fishes and avoiding the use of antibiotics.
The project is coordinated by Mr. Enrique Amaré (CEO of SmartWater) and Dr. Mariano Carrión-Vázquez (Principal Investigator at Cajal Institute – CSIC). It was launched the 1st of June 2020, and will be working in the development of a dynamic tool using the current knowledge on the unique properties of proteins undergoing Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation (LLPS; a phenomenon also called biomolecular condensation), which eventually form hydrogels. The first steps will focus into performing rational design of a chimeric biomaterial linking a LLPS protein with an affibody, which is a small and robust protein able to bind target molecules (such as microbial antigens) with high affinity, imitating monoclonal antibodies. This biosensing material will be able to recognize and trap fish pathogens in different aquatic environments and conditions.

PathoGelTrap project gathers reputed experts from Mathematics and computer Science (computational biology-Instituto Formazione Professionale Assistenti Notarili, risk assessment modelling-University College Dublin, intelligent monitoring systems-SW – Technology Machines Systems), Biotechnology (protein engineering, biochemistry, biophysics-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Animal Health Science (fish health and welfare-Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentalle delle Venezie) and Social Science (Economic, Social and environmental life cycle assessment-Vertech Group).

“We dream of a system (filter, gel, powder) not disturbing fish nor the environment, that can trap pathogens before they get to affect production. It will complement immensenly our technology for smart and ecological aquaculture”, Mr. Enrique Amaré, CEO SmartWater

“In this exciting project we plan to combine in a single hybrid protein the fascinating ability of certain proteins (including functional amyloids involved in memory consolidation) to form biomolecular condensates with the recognition capacities of affibodies, so that the resulting green, engineered biosystem would efficiently trap fish pathogens in water”, Dr. Mariano Carrión-Vázquez, Cajal Institute – CSIC

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 899616.