Innovation in Vesicles and Cells for Application in Therapy (IVECAT)

Francesc E. Borràs

The IVECAT group is interested in the different aspects of nanovesicles such as exosomes and in different cells types such as Dendritic Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells, from basic research to clinical application. Our main focus are transplantation and renal related diseases.

The group forms part of the research network in Kidney affecting diseases, led by Dr Josep  Bonet, Chief of the Nephrology Service at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital.

Research lines

Exosomes: new tools in biomarker definition for renal and neurological disorders

Renal biopsy is the gold standard procedure to diagnose most of renal pathologies. However, this invasive method is of limited repeatability and often describes an irreversible renal damage .The identification of specific biomarkers in the urinary exosomes can help replacing this technique by a less invasive diagnostic.

Moreover, the definition of the exosomes composition can contribute to better diagnose many diseases that are currently not well defined.

New strategies for the induction of Tolerance in Transplantation

Organ transplantation from unrelated donors is often the treatment of choice for solid organ end stage disease. Therefore, a major drawback of this procedure is the alloimmune response generated against donor antigens expressed in the graft, in particular Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), which leads to the rejection of the transplanted organ. To prevent graft rejection several pharmacologic immunosuppressive approaches have been developed during the last decades, but these compounds have no antigen specificity and show a number of side effects are associated to the long-term use of the immunosuppression drugs like nefrotoxicity, infections, gastrointestinal disease and cancer. Even so, therapeutic immunosuppression in many cases slows down the graft destruction but does not fully prevent chronic rejection and graft loss. Our group is interested in the development of both cell and cell-free approaches as promising therapeutic options for transplantation.

More information


Francesc E. Borràs (Principal Investigator)

(+34) 93 033 05 26