School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Juan Carlos Cruz received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Colombia (2002), and his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Kansas State University (2010) for work on a novel platform for enzyme immobilization to address challenges in non-aqueous biocatalysis. He was then a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (2010-2011). At Johns Hopkins, Cruz developed several projects focused on state-of-the-art biophysical techniques to answer compelling questions in protein-lipid interactions. From 2012-2014 Cruz was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Bioengineering Department at Universidad de Antioquia. After conducting industrial innovation in the plastic sector for 1.5 years, Cruz joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Uniandes in 2016. In 2020, Cruz was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Cruz is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Biophysical Society. Dr. Cruz serves as a reviewer for Bioresource Technology, Materials Chemistry and Physics, Biotechnology Progress, Materials Science and Engineering C, Polymers, and Journal of Biotechnology.
* Over fifteen years of experience working in the fields of industrial and medical biotechnology: development of nanobiocatalysts, a basic understanding of protein-protein, protein-surface, and protein-lipid interactions.
* Extensive experience in researching, interpreting, and analyzing data derived from both experimental and in silico approaches.
* Sound ability to set up and operate state-of-art biophysical instrumentation following sample state, availability, and standardized protocols and regulations.
* Experienced leader, facilitator, and educator: introduced new nanomedicine research track at the undergraduate and graduate levels, proposed pivotal curricular changes, trained undergraduate and graduate students.
* Excellent communication skills in Spanish and English as evidenced by a strong publication and presentation record and the ability to articulate technical information to a non-technical audience.
* Highly-motivated, dynamic, pragmatic, and out-of-the-box thinker with an exceptional ability to work under pressure and exigent time constraints.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
Cell-Penetrating and Antimicrobial Nanobioconjugates
Over the past few years, we have functionalized magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) with biocompatible polymers to produce ready-to-use platforms for conjugation of translocating peptides and proteins. Thus far, we have interfaced three molecules with MNPs, namely, Buforin II (BUF-II), Frenatin 2.3S (F2.3S), and the Outer Membrane Protein A (OmpA) of E. Coli. We discovered that these nanobioconjugates have the ability to penetrate a number of mammalian cell lines including fibroblasts, keratinocytes, neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, and leukemia monocytes. We have investigated the escape of endosomes and the intracellular traffic. Of particular interest in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is to bypass the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To evaluate the potential of our nanobioconjugates to come across the BBB, we conducted delivery experiments in brain endothelial cells. In all cases, our results suggest a marked tendency to escape these compartments and even penetrate the nuclei without a significant impact in hemo- and bio-compatibility. Additionally, and because BUF-II and F2.3S are antimicrobial peptides, we have demonstrated that upon conjugation at least 50% of the native activity against S. aureus and E. coli is well-maintained. In addition to developing the vehicles, we are very interested in searching for new pharmacological principles from natural sources, so they can be conjugated along with the translocating biomolecules. In this regard, we are using the very abundant sugarcane to prepare extracts to evaluate whether the contained molecules exhibit any antioxidant and/or immunomodulatory properties.
Date Position Institution name 2020 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 2016 - 2020 Assistant Professor Universidad de Los Andes 2015 - 2016 Head of New Product Development Carboquimica SAS 2012 - 2014 Assistant Professor Universidad de Antioquia 2010 - 2011 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Johns Hopkins University 2006 - 2010 Graduate Research Assistant Kansas State University 2002 - 2003 Plant Supervisor Carboquimica SAS
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review Spanish - Latin American Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2006 - 2010 Kansas State University United States Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 1996 - 2002 Universidad Nacional de Colombia Colombia B.S. Chemical Engineering (Honours)
Date Title Institution Country 2010 - 2011 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Johns Hopkins University United States
Date Title Institution name Country 2017 Six Sigma Advanced Define and Measure Phases University System of Georgia through Coursera United States 2017 Six Sigma and the Organization (Advanced) University System of Georgia through Coursera United States 2016 Professional Engineer/EA5331440 Engineers Australia Australia 2015 New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepren University of Maryland, College Park through Coursera United States 2015 Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketp University of Maryland, College Park through Coursera United States 2014 Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The University of Maryland, College Park through Coursera United States 2014 Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing EAFIT University Colombia
Year Citation 2020 Suarez-Arnedo, A., Torres Figueroa, F., Clavijo, C., Arbelaez, P., Cruz Jimenez, J., & Muñoz-Camargo, C. (2020). An image J plugin for the high throughput image analysis of in vitro scratch wound healing assays. PLoS ONE, 15(7), 1.
2020 Cruz Jimenez, J. C., Mercado-Montoya, M., Ostos, C., & Hernandez, M. (2020). Molecular dynamics simulations of Alzheimer's BACE1 and BACE2 transmembrane domains in neurons: Impact of cholesterol. Revista Facultad de Ingenieria-Universidad de Antioquia, 98, 117-128.
2020 Ortiz-Torres, M. I., Fernández-Niño, M., Cruz Jimenez, J., Capasso, A., Matteocci, F., Patiño, E. J., . . . González Barrios, A. F. (2020). Rational Design of Photo-Electrochemical Hybrid Devices Based on Graphene and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Light-Harvesting Proteins.. Scientific reports, 10(1), 3376.
2020 Acosta, M., Reyes, L. H., Cruz, J. C., & Pradilla, D. (2020). Demulsification of Colombian Heavy Crude Oil (W/O) Emulsions: Insights into the Instability Mechanisms, Chemical Structure, and Performance of Different Commercial Demulsifiers. ENERGY & FUELS, 34(5), 5665-5678.
2020 Campaña, A., Sotelo, D., Oliva, H., Aranguren, A., Ornelas-Soto, N., Cruz, J., & Osma, J. (2020). Fabrication and characterization of a low-cost microfluidic system for the manufacture of alginate-lacasse microcapsules. Polymers, 12(5), 16 pages.
DOI Scopus3 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2020 Patarroyo, J., Florez-Rojas, J., Pradilla, D., Valderrama-Rincón, J., Cruz, J., & Reyes, L. (2020). Formulation and characterization of gelatin-based hydrogels for the encapsulation of kluyveromyces lactis-Applications in packed-bed reactors and probiotics delivery in humans. Polymers, 12(6), 23 pages.
2020 Lopez-Barbosa, N., Garcia, J., Cifuentes, J., Castro, L., Vargas, F., Ostos, C., . . . Cruz, J. (2020). Multifunctional magnetite nanoparticles to enable delivery of siRNA for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s. Drug Delivery, 27(1), 864-875.
2020 Lopez-Barbosa, N., Suárez-Arnedo, A., Cifuentes, J., Gonzalez Barrios, A., Silvera Batista, C., Osma, J., . . . Cruz, J. (2020). Magnetite-OmpA Nanobioconjugates as Cell-Penetrating Vehicles with Endosomal Escape Abilities. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 6(1), 415-424.
DOI Scopus2 WoS1
2020 Mercado-Montoya, M., Cruz-Jiménez, J., & Hernández-Valdivieso, A. (2020). CFD simulation and validation of flow in small arteries to enable further drug delivery studies. Revista Facultad de Ingenieria, (97), 78-86.
2020 Leal, A., Espejo-Mojica, A., Sánchez, O., Ramírez, C., Reyes, L., Cruz, J., & Alméciga-Díaz, C. (2020). Lysosomal storage diseases: current therapies and future alternatives. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 98(7), 931-946.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1
2020 Lopez-Barbosa, N., Campaña, A., Cruz, J., Ornelas-Soto, N., & Osma, J. (2020). Enhanced catalytic dye decolorization by microencapsulation of laccase from P. Sanguineus CS43 in natural and synthetic polymers. Polymers, 12(6), 1353.
2020 Ramírez-acosta, C., Cifuentes, J., Castellanos, M., Moreno, R., Muñoz-camargo, C., Cruz, J., & Reyes, L. (2020). Ph-responsive, cell-penetrating, core/shell magnetite/silver nanoparticles for the delivery of plasmids: Preparation, characterization, and preliminary in vitro evaluation. Pharmaceutics, 12(6), 1-25.
2020 Lopez-Barbosa, N., Florez, S., Cruz, J., Ornelas-Soto, N., & Osma, J. (2020). Congo red decolorization using textile filters and laccase-based nanocomposites in continuous flow bioreactors. Nanomaterials, 10(6), 1-17.
2020 Rangel-Muñoz, N., Suarez-Arnedo, A., Anguita, R., Prats-Ejarque, G., Osma, J. F., Muñoz-Camargo, C., . . . Salazar, V. A. (2020). Magnetite Nanoparticles Functionalized with RNases against Intracellular Infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.. Pharmaceutics, 12(7), 1-25.
2019 Campaña, A., Florez, S., Noguera, M., Fuentes, O., Puentes, P., Cruz, J., & Osma, J. (2019). Enzyme-based electrochemical biosensors for microfluidic platforms to detect pharmaceutical residues in wastewater. Biosensors, 9(1), 21 pages.
DOI Scopus7 WoS7 Europe PMC1
2019 Serna, J., Florez, S., Talero, V., Briceño, J., Muñoz-Camargo, C., & Cruz, J. (2019). Formulation and characterization of a SIS-Based photocrosslinkable bioink. Polymers, 11(3), 10 pages.
DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC1
2019 Perez, J., Cifuentes, J., Cuellar, M., Suarez-Arnedo, A., Cruz, J., & Muñoz-Camargo, C. (2019). Cell-penetrating and antibacterial BUF-II nanobioconjugates: Enhanced potency via immobilization on polyetheramine-modified magnetite nanoparticles. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 14, 8483-8497.
DOI Scopus3 WoS2
2019 Valencia-Rivero, K., Cruz, J., Wagner-Gutierrez, N., D'Amore, A., Miranda, M., López, R., . . . Bricenõ, J. (2019). Evaluation of Microscopic Structure-Function Relationships of PEGylated Small Intestinal Submucosa Vascular Grafts for Arteriovenous Connection. ACS Applied Bio Materials, 2(9), 3706-3721.
2019 Fernández-Niño, M., Rojas, L., Cifuentes, J., Torres, R., Ordonez, A., Cruz, J., . . . Barrios, A. (2019). Insights into the behavior of six rationally designed peptides based on Escherichia coli's OmpA at the water-dodecane interface. PLoS ONE, 14(10), e0223670.
2019 Vasquez, C., Marulanda, M., Sanchez, M., & Cruz Jimenez, J. C. (2019). Simulation and Sustainable Engineering Analysis of Cellulose Production via Ionic Liquids. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 18(3), 1037-1050.
2019 Suarez-Arnedo, A., Narváez, D., Sarmiento, P., Bocanegra, L., Salcedo, F., Muñoz-Camargo, C., . . . Cruz, J. (2019). Tridimensional alginate disks of tunable topologies for mammalian cell encapsulation. Analytical Biochemistry, 574, 31-33.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
2018 Cuellar, M., Cifuentes, J., Perez, J., Suarez-Arnedo, A., Serna, J., Groot, H., . . . Cruz, J. (2018). Novel BUF2-magnetite nanobioconjugates with cell-penetrating abilities. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 13, 8087-8094.
DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC1
2014 Cruz, J. C., Pfromm, P. H., Szoszkiewicz, R., & Rezac, M. E. (2014). Hydrolases on silica surfaces: Coverage-activity-molecular property relationships revealed. PROCESS BIOCHEMISTRY, 49(5), 830-839.
2013 Cruz, J., Mihailescu, M., Wiedman, G., Herman, K., Searson, P. C., Wimley, W. C., & Hristova, K. (2013). A Membrane-Translocating Peptide Penetrates into Bilayers without Significant Bilayer Perturbations. BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 104(11), 2419-2428.
DOI WoS26 Europe PMC19
2012 Stahl, P. J., Cruz, J. C., Li, Y., Yu, S. M., & Hristova, K. (2012). On-the-resin N-terminal modification of long synthetic peptides. ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY, 424(2), 137-139.
DOI WoS10 Europe PMC8
2011 Cruz, J. C., Würges, K., Kramer, M., Pfromm, P. H., Rezac, M. E., & Czermak, P. (2011). Immobilization of enzymes on fumed silica nanoparticles for applications in nonaqueous media.. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 743, 147-160.
DOI Europe PMC3
2010 Kramer, M., Cruz, J. C., Pfromm, P. H., Rezac, M. E., & Czermak, P. (2010). Enantioselective transesterification by Candida antarctica Lipase B immobilized on fumed silica. JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY, 150(1), 80-86.
DOI WoS21 Europe PMC4
2010 Cruz, J. C., Pfromm, P. H., Tomich, J. M., & Rezac, M. E. (2010). Conformational changes and catalytic competency of hydrolases adsorbing on fumed silica nanoparticles: II. Secondary structure. COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-BIOINTERFACES, 81(1), 1-10.
DOI WoS24 Europe PMC3
2010 Cruz, J. C., Pfromm, P. H., Tomich, J. M., & Rezac, M. E. (2010). Conformational changes and catalytic competency of hydrolases adsorbing on fumed silica nanoparticles: I. Tertiary structure. COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-BIOINTERFACES, 79(1), 97-104.
DOI WoS39 Europe PMC10
2009 Cruz, J. C., Pfromm, P. H., & Rezac, M. E. (2009). Immobilization of Candida antarctica Lipase B on fumed silica. PROCESS BIOCHEMISTRY, 44(1), 62-69.
2008 Cruz Jimenez, J. C., Argoti, A., Chou, S. T., & Fan, L. T. (2008). Introducing Stochastic Simulation of Chemical Reactions Using the Gillespie Algorithm and MATLAB: Revisited and Augmented. Chemical Engineering Education, 42(1), 35-46. 2008 Sanchez, O. F., Almeciga-Diaz, C. J., Silva, E., Cruz Jimenez, J. C., Valderrama-Rincon, J. D., & Caicedo, L. A. (2008). Reduction of sulfur levels in kerosene by Pseudomonas sp strain in an airlift reactor. LATIN AMERICAN APPLIED RESEARCH, 38(4), 329-335.
Year Citation 2018 Campaña, A. L., Noguera, M. J., Florez, S. L., Aroca, M. A., Cruz Jimenez, J., & Osma, J. F. (2018). Detection of Pathogens Using Microfluidics and Biosensors. In T. Rinken, & K. Kivirand (Eds.), Biosensing Technologies for the Detection of Pathogens - A Prospective Way for Rapid Analysis. InTech.
Year Citation 2018 Valencia-Rivero, K., Cruz, J., Briceno, J., D'Amore, A., Ye, S., Geest, J., & Wagner, W. (2018). Decreased Platelet Deposition in SIS-Based Vascular Grafts via Covalent Conjugation of RAFT Polymers. In 2018 9th International Seminar of Biomedical Engineering, SIB 2018 - Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-6). online: IEEE.
2018 Suarez-Arnedo, A., Sarmiento, P., Cruz, J., Munoz-Camargo, C., Salcedo, F., Groot, H., & Narvaez, D. (2018). 3D Alginate Hydrogels with Controlled Mechanical Properties for Mammalian Cell Encapsulation. In 2018 9th International Seminar of Biomedical Engineering, SIB 2018 - Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-5). online: IEEE.
2017 Mercado-M, M., Hernandez, A., & Cruz, J. (2017). Permanent magnets to enable highly-targeted drug delivery applications: A computational and experimental study. In IFMBE Proceedings. VII Latin American Congress on Biomedical Engineering, CLAIB 2016 Vol. 60 (pp. 557-560). Singapore: Springer.
2013 Guzman, M. F., Gonzalez, A., & Cruz, J. C. (2013). Multiphysics modeling of graphene-based biohybrid photoelectrochemical cells: an avenue to highly efficient and sustainable ultra-thin batteries. In 2013 PAN AMERICAN HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES (PAHCE) (pp. 1 page). Medellin, COLOMBIA: IEEE. 2011 Cruz, J. C., Mihailescu, M., Wimley, W., & Hristova, K. (2011). Studies of Membrane-Active Peptides Using Neutron Diffraction. In BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Vol. 100 (pp. 334). Baltimore, MD: CELL PRESS.
Year Citation 2020 Pulido, Z., Cifuentes, J., Benincore, E., Garzon, R., Castellanos, M. C., Leal, A., . . . Espejo-Mojica, A. J. (2020). Recombinant hexosaminidases conjugated to magnetite nanoparticles: Alternative therapeutic treatment routes in GM2 fibroblasts. Poster session presented at the meeting of MOLECULAR GENETICS AND METABOLISM. Orlando, FL: ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE.
- Evaluation of a topical treatment against MRSA in a 3D in vitro model of human skin, Miniciencias, National Health Program, Colombia, 230,000 AUD. Role: PI
- Novel antimicrobial and cell-penetrating systems: membrane-active molecules from libraries screened in a high-throughput out system-on-a-chip, Miniciencias, National Health Program, Colombia, 125,000 AUD. Role: Co-PI
- Evaluation of gene therapies for the treatment of Parkinson´s using nanostructured vehicles and CRISPR/Cas9, Miniciencias, National Health Program, Colombia, 125,000 AUD. Role: Co-PI
- Gene therapies for human inborn errors of metabolism via CRISPR/Cas9 and a delivery system based on magnetoliposomes, Miniciencias, National Health Program, Colombia, 175,000 AUD. Role: Co-PI
- Lateral Association of BACE1 and BACE2 Transmembrane Domains in Model Lipid Bilayers to Enable Highly Efficient siRNA-Based Therapies at the Cellular Level: Understanding Lipids in Alzheimer, Miniciencias, National Health Program, Colombia, 125,000 AUD. Role: PI
- Biotransport Phenomena 2012-2020, Biomedical Engineering Department, Uniandes and Universidad de Antioquia.
- Biomaterials, 2017-2020, Biomedical Engineering Department, Uniandes.
- Capstone Design Project I and II, 2016-2017, Biomedical Engineering Department, Uniandes.
- Biotechnology and Biomolecular Engineering, 2017-2020, Biomedical Engineering Department, Uniandes.
- Advanced Engineering of Biomaterials, 2020-Current, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2018 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Synthesis and characterization of bionanocompounds of OmpA and Laccase co- immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles for crude oil in water emulsions demulsification and treatment Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Nathaly Rangel 2018 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Evaluation and characterization of innovative combined porcine small intestinal submucosa and graphene oxide/reduced graphene oxide scaffolds with potential application in electrostimulation therapy to promote cell proliferation in wound healing Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Javier Cifuentes 2018 - 2019 Co-Supervisor 3D in vitro model of the skin (dermoepidermal) by the culture of fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Alejandra Suarez 2018 - 2019 Principal Supervisor The outer membrane protein A as a model for the study of lipid-protein interactions in complex neuronal membranes Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Santiago Cifuentes 2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor FUNCTIONALIZATION AND EVALUATION OF ORGANIC AND INORGANIC ADSORBENTS FOR THE REMOVAL OF CADMIUM IN WASTEWATERS Uniandes Electronics Engineering Master Full Time Ana Campaña 2017 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Cell-penetrating and antibacterial nanobioconjugates based on immobilized BUF-II on polyetheramine (PEA)-modified magnetite nanoparticles Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Jessica Perez 2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Development, characterization and evaluation of a photocrosslinkable methacryloyl-modified decellularized ECM bioink for 3D bioprinting applications Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Julian Serna 2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Fetal Porcine Membranes for the Development of photocrosslinkable bioinks with application in extrusion- based 3D Bioprinting Uniandes Biomedical Engineering Master Full Time Paula Guerrero 2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Computational modeling and experimental testing of the transport of magnetic nanocarriers for applications in targeted drug delivery Universidad de Antioquia Bioengineering Master Full Time Marcela Mercado 2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor SIMULATION AND SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING ANALYSIS OF CELLULOSE PRODUCTION VIA IONIC LIQUIDS Universidad de Antioquia Chemical Engineering Master Full Time Cesar Vasquez
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