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Nuria Oliva-Jorge

Rational design of tissue- and disease-specific materials for biomedical applications



Nuria Oliva graduated from Institut Quimic de Sarria, Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona, Spain) with a Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry. She received her PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), focused on the development of a novel adhesive hydrogel and its use as a model platform to understand how disease microenvironment affects material performance and how to leverage those cues to attain tumor cell-selective delivery of chemotherapy in a local and sustained manner. She then spent one year at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Harvard Medical School) as a NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein post-doctoral fellow within the Organ Design and Engineering Training Program (ODET) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School). Her research focused on the understanding of patient-derived tumor microenvironment to improve translational capabilities of drug delivery platforms.

She is currently a TECNIOspring PLUS (within Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (Horizon 2020) and ACCIO funding (Generalitat de Catalunya)) Post-Doctoral Fellow at Imperial College London and Institut Quimic de Sarria. Nuria's work focuses on the development of smart nanomaterials for controlled delivery of growth factors for wound healing and bone repair. One in ten broken bones will never heal, and they cause a bigger impact on quality of life than heart attacks or AIDS. Currently clinically-approved therapies require very high doses of growth factor due to inefficient delivery, which causes serious side effects for the patient and have very high costs associated with protein production. This technology will enable the use of 1000-fold less growth factor, making this type of therapy safer and cheaper.

Nuria is a member of the ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering Early Career Editorial Board, and the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA).

Imperial College Website

ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6305-0801

ResearcherID: P-7825-2016

Scopus Author ID: 49964496900

google scholar


Honors and awards

  • TECNIOspring PLUS Fellowship, within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (Horizon 2020) and ACCIO funding (Generalitat de Catalunya), for applied science and technology transfer, June 2018-June 2020.

  • Highly Commended Runner-Up for the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellowship (One of the 11 shortlisted candidates amongst over 1000 applications), May 2018.

  • NIH T32 Fellowship within the Organ Design and Engineering post-doctoral Training Program (ODET) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, June 2016-June 2017.

  • Wellcome Image Award 2017.

  • National Cancer Institute Image Award 2016.

  • William Asbjornsen Albert Memorial Fellowship, September 2013 – May 2014.

  • European Society for Biomaterials 2013 Student Best Oral Presentation Award, September 2013.

  • ‘la Caixa’ fellowship for pursuing graduate studies in the United States, August 2011 – May 2013.

  • Finalist of 2013 Lemelson-MIT student prize.

  • Francesc Castello i Aleu fellowship to academic excellence, covering full tuition of my undergraduate studies, September 2004 – June 2009.

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N. Oliva, J. Conde, K. Wang and N. Artzi. Designing Hydrogels for On-Demand Therapy. Accepted in Accounts of Chemical Research (2017).


N Oliva. Localized and disease-selective drug delivery using adhesive hydrogels for treatment of locally advanced TNBC. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2016). Web.


A Gilam, J Conde, D Weissglas-Volkov, N Oliva, E Friedman, N Artzi and N Shomron. Local microRNA delivery targets Palladin and prevents metastatic breast cancer. Nat. Commun., 7, 12868 (2016).


J Conde, N Oliva, Y Zhang and N Artzi. Local triple-combination therapy results in tumour regression and prevents recurrence in a colon cancer model. Nature Materials, 15, 1128-1138 (2016).


J Conde*, N Oliva*, N Artzi. Revisiting the ‘One Material Fits All’ Rule for Cancer Nanotherapy. Trends in Biotechnology 1389, Epub ahead of print (2016). (*equal contribution).


J Conde, N Oliva, M Atilano, HS Song and N Artzi. Self-assembled RNA triple-helix hydrogel scaffold for micro-RNA modulation in the tumor microenvironment. Nature Materials 15(3), 353 (2016).


N Oliva, S Unterman, Y Zhang, J Conde, HS Song, N Artzi. Personalizing Biomaterials for Precision Nanomedicine Considering the Local Tissue Microenvironment. Advanced Healthcare Materials 4(11), 1577 (2015). (Cover article).


J Conde, N Oliva and N Artzi; Implantable hydrogel embedded dark-gold nanoswitch as a theranostics probe to sense and overcome cancer multidrug resistance. PNAS 112(11), 1278 (2015).


N Oliva, M Carcole, M Beckerman, S Seliktar, A Hayward, J Stanley, NMA Parry, ER Edelman and N Artzi. Regulation of dendrimer/dextran material performance by altered tissue microenvironment in inflammation and neoplasia. Science Translational Medicine, 7(272), 272ra11 (Cover article and Focus article, 2015).


N Segovia, M Pont, N Oliva, V Ramos, S Borros, N Artzi; Hydrogel Doped with Nanoparticles for Local Sustained Release of siRNA in Breast Cancer. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 4(2), 271 (2014).


N Oliva, S Shitreet, E Abraham, B Stanley, ER Edelman and N Artzi; Natural tissue microenvironmental conditions modulate adhesive material performance. Langmuir, 28(43), 15402 (2012).


N. Artzi, N. Oliva, C. Puron, S. Shitreet, A. Groothuis, A. Bon Ramos, G. Sahagian and E.R. Edelman; In vivo and in vitro tracking of erosion in biodegradable materials using non-invasive fluorescence imaging. Nature Materials, 10, 704 (2011)



  • N Artzi, E Edelman, N Oliva Jorge and M Carcole Solanas (2012). Biocompatible Adhesive Materials and Methods. US20120263672 A1. Filed April 13th, 2012 and issued February 19th, 2015.
  • N Artzi, J Conde and N Oliva (2016). Theranostic Nanoprobes for Overcome Cancer Multidrug Resistance and Methods. US20160243254 A1. Filed February 19th, 2016.
  • E. Edelman, N Artzi and N Oliva (2017). Dendrimer-Drug Conjugates, Hydrogel Compositions, and Methods. WO2017196986 A1. Filed May 10th, 2017.
  • N Artzi, Y Zhang, N Oliva and J Conde (2017). Hydrogel Particles, Compositions and Methods. US20170333304 A1. Filed May 19th 2017.
  • N Artzi, J Conde and N Oliva (2017). Functionalized nanoparticles and compositions for cancer treatment and methods. WO2017197133 A1. Filed May 11th, 2017.
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Meet ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering’s Early Career Board Members



TECNIOspring plus, un programa d’atracció de talent - TECNIOspring plus, a program to attract talent


Dr. Nuria Oliva-Jorge, Visiting Researcher, Bioengineering

Imperial’s overarching research and teaching mission is supported by a cast of thousands of dedicated staff in a variety of diverse and interesting roles – many of which are effectively ‘behind the scenes’ and not well understood by the wider community. The aim of the Imperial People campaign is to shine a light on underrepresented areas of the College and give a better sense of how the College ticks.


Personalised medicine, fire science, and phenomenal plastics (Media coverage of New Scientist Live talk)


Three Imperial scientists shortlisted for prestigious fellowships

Fluorescence microscopy image of the adhesive hydrogel doped with microRNA nanoparticles was chosen as one of the 22 winning images of the Wellcome Image Awards 2017. Press coverage:

See the 22 most stunning images Science Made this past year. National Geographic.

See the winners of the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards. Washington Post.

Stunning science: Wellcome Image Awards 2017 winners - in pictures. The Guardian.

Colourful, creative and close-up: Wellcome Images 2017. BBC.

These award-winning science images show the world in ways you've never imagined. Business Insider.

Nature Medicine - research highlight

Sealants get specific


MIT researchers design tailored tissue adhesives.

Glue can be modified for optimal performance in different types of diseased tissue


focus article in science translational medicine

Healing with medical implants: The body battles back, by Buddy D. Ratner.


Researchers design tailored tissue adhesives


New nanodevice defeats drug resistance


Multifunctional nanodevice reverses drug delivery.


Specially tailored tissue adhesives.


Patch that delivers drug, gene and light-based therapy to tumor sites shows promising results


Image shows dendrimer-dextran adhesive hydrogel doped with nanoparticles for treatment of breast cancer. Sample processed and image taken by: Nuria Oliva-Jorge.


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ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6305-0801

ResearcherID: P-7825-2016

Scopus Author ID: 49964496900

google scholar

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Imperial College London

Royal School of Mines

South Kensington Campus

SW7 2AZ London, UK