Active and smart materials

Active and smart materials are at the core of the on-going rapid technological development. Shape memory, magnetocaloric and elastocaloric materials, piezoelectric, magnetoelectric, and self-healing materials as well as multifunctional hydrogels are being developed. A deep understating on the structural and molecular modifications behind the active responses allows tailoring materials responses.


Campos-Arias, Lía Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Lía Campos-Arias finished her Chemistry degree in 2017 at the University of Basque Country. Her bachelor thesis, carried out in Inorganic Chemistry department, was about developing sodiumvanadium fluorophosphates family cathodes with graphene covering for Na-ion batteries. From it resulted a communication in poster format for the Biennial Reunion of Spanish Chemical Royal Society in 2017.
After that, she did a Master in Energies and fuels for the future at the Autonomous University of Madrid and she concluded it in 2018. She did the Master thesis in the Institute of Material Science of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) related with the microstructure optimization of piezoelectric ceramic materials for energy harvesting.
Finishing her studies, she collaborated in the MOLEMAT project (Molecularly Engineered Materials and process for Perovskite solar cell technology) at the BCMaterials during 8 months, working with 2D perovskite solar cells. Afterwards she worked at VITO, an independent Flemish research organization in the area of cleantech and sustainable development, during 6 months. Her work there consisted in the optimization of CO2 electroreduction to obtain formic acid, which is part of an EU project co-directed by several Universities and Research companies from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and United Kingdom.
Currently, she is developing her PhD studies in the area of conformable printed electronics at the BCMaterials.

García Díez, Ander Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Ander García Díez obtained his BSc. in Physics (2014) and MSc. in New Materials (2015), both from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His final degree thesis (TFG) and master thesis (TFM) revolved around the application of magnetic nanoparticles in magnetic hypertermia, both under the supervision of Prof. Mª Luisa Fernández-Gubieda.

Later (2019), he obtained his degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). On October 2019, he joined BCMaterials as a Predoctoral researcher to
work on active and smart materials.

Lanceros-Mendez, Senentxu Scientific Director

Smart and functional materials and devices for sensors and actuators, energy and biomedical applications

S. Lanceros-Mendez graduated in physics at the University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the Institute of Physics of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany. He was Research Scholar at Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA and visiting scientist at the Pennsylvania State University, USA and University of Potsdam, among others. He is principal investigator at the BCMaterials –Basque Center for Materials, Applicatons and Nanostructures, Spain and Associated Professor at the Physics Department of the University of Minho, Portugal and. From 2012 to 2014 he was also Associate Researcher at the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory. His work is focused in the area of polymer based smart and functional materials for sensors and actuators, energy and biomedical applications.

Interests and objetives
Further information of the research activities:

Curriculum VitaeGoogle ScholarResearcherIDResearchGate

Maiz Fernández, Sheila Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Sheila Maiz Fernández graduated in Chemistry in 2017 at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Her degree thesis was on synthesis and characterization of hyaluronic acid nanogels in the Macromolecular Chemistry Laboratory of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Leioa.

Subsequently, she finished her master’s degree in New Materials in 2018 at the University of the Basque Country and the University of Cantabria with a thesis based on Injectable hydrogels based on chitosan for tissue engineering applications, carried out in the Macromolecular Chemistry Laboratory of the Faculty of Science and Technology.

She is currently starting his PhD in electroactive materials for tissue engineering applications at BCMaterials.

Martín-Iglesias, Sara Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Sara Martín Iglesias graduated in Biotechnology in 2017 at the University of León. Her degree thesis was on “Analysis of local ansesthetics on Hyaluronic Acid for Viscosupplementation therapy”.  Subsequently, she finished her master’s degree in Biomedical Biotechnology in 2019 at Polytechnic University of Valencia with a thesis based on “Application of Mesenquimal Stem Cells for Tissue Engineering”, carried out in the Histopatology and Tissue Engineering group at University of Valencia .

She is currently starting his PhD in Active and Smart Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications at BCMaterials under the direction of Unai Silván and Senentxu Lanceros.

Mendes, Cristian Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Stereolithography of UV curable resins, thermal and mechanical characterization: DSC, TGA-FTIR, DMTA.

Cristian Mendes Felipe obtained his Degree in Chemistry at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Leioa (Spain) in 2016. His degree thesis was about polymers for additive manufacturing or 3D printing: the stereolithography.
He finished the Master Degree in New Materials offered by University of Basque Country in Leioa (UPV/EHU) and University of Cantabria (UC) in 2017. He did his Master thesis, with a fellowship from Basque Government, at the Macromolecular Chemistry Group (labquimac) and at BCMaterials, where he worked on Microfabrication of Fluidic Systems for Biomedical Applications.
Currently, he is carrying out his PhD in smart and functional UV curable inks at BCMaterials.

Interests and objetives
Currently I am involve in the project “Development of UV curable smart and functional inks”.
The principal objective of this project is obtain and characterize new UV curable inks and give them smart and functional properties.

Curriculum Vitae

Perinka, Nikola Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Nikola Perinka received his M.Sc. in printing engineering and Ph.D. in chemistry and technology of materials, both from University of Pardubice. His main research objective has been focused on formulation and printing of functional materials, as well as device fabrication. He possesses extensive experience in printing process and organic and flexible electronics (such as organic photovoltaics, organic light emitting diodes or sensors). Dr. Perinka has been participating in several national projects and has published several peer-reviewed papers in the field of chemistry and material science. During his Ph.D. he realized several internships in France (École Polytechnique) and Germany (TU-Chemnitz). After his Ph.D. joined Cetemmsa Technological Centre (Mataró-Barcelona, later Eurecat Technology Centre of Catalonia in Spain), where he worked mainly on the CIEN project HyPrint focused on the development of printed hybrid light emitting diodes.

Currently, Dr. Perinka has joined BCMaterials with main research focus on organic and printed electronics. He will participate in several national and international projects with the focus on flexible electronics.

“Printed Electronics, Flexible and Organic Electronics, Conducting Polymers, Printing Technologies, Photophysics and Photonics, Ink Formulation, Functional Materials”
Author ID: 55945204900

Reizabal Lopez-Para, Ander Pre-Doctoral Researcher

I have a 3 year´s experience on Molecular Dynamics simulations of mechanical and thermal properties for polymeric systems.
I have a large experience with thermical characterization techics (DSC and TGA) and mechanical charactyerization technics (DMTA)

I have a Bachelor´s Degree in Environmental Sciences and a Master in New Materials at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) 2015. During The degree I done molecular dynamics of piezoelectric polymers (polyimides). For Master thesis I carried out a project on experimental and molecular dynamics characterization of biopolymers blends (PLLA blended with Polyhydroxyalkanoates (P(3HB) and P(3HB-co-HV).
After finishing university studies, I worked in a project of shape memory polymer blends (PCO-LLDPE)

Interests and objetives
Currently I´m starting my PhD on Smart materials based on natural Silk polymers. The principal objective of this project is to develop a new generation of natural materials for replace current petrochemical-based polymers.
My professional objectives are so close to my actual task contributing to the development of a new generation of biodegradable green polymers, based on natural resources and functional for the industrial and home needs.

Curriculum Vitae

Rial Tubio, Carmen Post-Doctoral Researcher

Career and achievements, present tasks and professional objectives

Carmen Rial received her BS in Physics from the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She carried out her MS and PhD in Materials Science and Technology at the Instituto de Ceramica in the same university. Her dissertation focused on the fabrication of 3D photonic bandgap crystals for infrared and terahertz band by 3D printing technique. As a postdoc, her research activities have been mainly focused on 3D printing functional materials, components, and devices, which include photonic crystals, catalysts, tissue engineering scaffolds, and vacularized tissues. She has published 13 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals, 11 of them as first author, and she is also the author or co-author of more than 25 contributions at national and international conferences.
Her research interests span a range of topics in materials science and engineering, but focus in particular on the area of 3D printing, ceramics, colloidal science, and polymers.
Currently, she is involved in the development of polymer composites with suitable piezoresistive/piezocapacitive responses for sensor and actuator applications.

List of abilities:
3D Printing/Robocasting
Colloidal synthesis
Spin/dip coating
High temperature treatments
Surface&structural analysis (SEM, TEM, XRD, optical microscope)
Thermal analysis techniques (DTA, TG, dilatometry)
Rheological characterization (rotational rheometer and viscometer)
Mechanical characterization (microhardness tester, compression)

Links to external profiles:

Rincón Iglesias, Mikel Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Mikel Rincón Iglesias obtained his bachelor Degree in Chemistry with a final project about “Evaluation of the migration of benzophenone types photoinitiators into several food simulants in cardboard packaging” in June 2017 at the Analytical Chemistry Group of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Afterwards, he continued his Master studies in Energies and Fuels for the future at Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), which he finished in June 2018. Furthermore, he did an internship at Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), where concluded his Master Thesis about “Influence of the presence of graphene sheets in the hydrothermal synthesis of carbon spheres” in the Photonic Crystals Group.
Nowadays, Mikel is performing his PhD studies developing multifunctional inks for printed flexible devices.

Interests and objetives
Currently he is working on the project “Development of printed sensors and actuators based on multifunctional inks”. The principal objective of this project is to process and characterize inks for applications on magntetic, magnetoresistive, magnetostrictive and magneto-electric devices (and therefore also piezoelectric). The inks will be developed both for screen printing and for inkjet printing technologies.

Silván, Unai Ikerbasque Research Associate


Cell and Cancer Biology, Light Microscopy, Biomechanics, Cytoskeleton.


Dr. Unai Silvan studied Biochemistry at the University of the Basque Country and then joined the laboratory of Professor J. Aréchaga (Department of Cell Biology and Histology, UPV/EHU) as a doctoral student. In his dissertation (summa cum laude and dissertation prize) he developed a new in vivo model for the study of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) based on the transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into the seminiferous tubules of mice. In addition, he completed a research stay in the laboratory of Professor M.A. Konerding at the University of Mainz (Germany) to learn the techniques to quantify the vascularization of experimentally induced tumors and participated in the analysis of the cancerous microenvironment. In 2008, Unai joined Cora-Ann Schoenenberger’s group at the Müller Institute at the Biocenter of Basel (University of Basel, Switzerland) as a postdoctoral fellow and had the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of unconventional actin configurations. He was also involved in the study of the tumorigenic effect of an actin point mutation in mammalian cells and was able to use various biochemical and imaging techniques, including TIRF and electron microscopy, to understand the importance of an unconventional actin configuration in the patterning of different supramolecular structures as well as in polymerization. In 2012, Unai was appointed senior research fellow and head of the Cancer Cell Mechanics group in Professor Jess Snedeker’s laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich, Switzerland), where he investigated the role of the cytoskeleton in the development and progression of cancer, and quantified the response of cells to different biomaterials. Unai has published over 40 research articles and book chapters, which have received over 600 citations (h-index 14), and his work has been presented at over 60 national and international conferences.

Interests and objectives

In 2020, Unai joined BCMaterials as an Ikerbasque Research Associate in order to establish a group in the field of biomaterials, in which he will investigate the influence of the biomaterial-extracellular matrix interface on immune and somatic cells.

Research Associates

In this research line also take part several Research Associates, that belong to the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and perform part of their activity within BCMaterials. Thus, the work of the different lines is carried out in close collaboration with research groups at the University, promoting excellence and worldwide impact.