Romà Surís Valls

PhD student

Nationality: Spanish
Undergraduate Institution: University of Girona
Master Institution: University of Barcelona (UB)
Graduate Institution: Eindhoven University of Technology
Phone: +31 40 247 5414
Office: CE 1.44


During my bachelor thesis in Biotechnology, I studied the relationship between the abundance of the different Faecalibacterium prausnitzii phylogroups present in the human gut and its possible probiotic effects maintaining gut homeostasis. I used the quantitative polymerase chain reaction to quantify the amount of bacterial DNA isolated from biopsies of healthy subjects and from patients with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Colorectal Cancer to be used as a diagnostic tool. Results confirmed that a depletion of F. prausnitzii was present in patients with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. During my Nanoscience and Nanotechnology master thesis I was focused in the design, functionalization and characterization of polymeric nanoparticles with the ability to encapsulate hydrophobic molecules. I aimed to produce stable particles functionalized with an antibody targeting the Blood-Brain barrier for its use in neurodegenerative disease treatment. By carefully choosing the components and reaction conditions, non-cytotoxic stable nanoparticles with a sustained drug release were produced from template nano-emulsions.


Research Interests:
In my PhD project I study the structure, activity and physico-chemical properties of ice binding proteins (IBPs) found in artic organisms, and their potential use in cell cryopreservation. I want to better understand how these proteins are able to promote or block ice growth, to lower the freezing point, and to shape ice crystals. I am also interested in the design of IBP mimics based on polymers, peptides and carbohydrates. I use optical microscopy to study ice nucleation, shaping and growth. To study the effect of different cryopreservation methods on red blood cells, I use a range of techniques including microrheology, atomic force microscopy and diffusing wave spectroscopy.

Selected Publications: