Research Divisions

Mass Spectrometry and Biomedical Analysis

Group LeaderLocation and ContactMembersHistory of the GroupLines of ResearchNotable PublicationsProjectsPhD ThesesNews

Elisa Blanco

Elisa Blanco González is Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry (Faculty of Chemistry) at the Universidad de Oviedo. She was awarded a degree in Chemical Sciences by the Universidad de Oviedo in 1980 and completed a doctorate in the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry at the same university, obtaining her PhD in 1985. Over the course of 1986, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Free University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands). At the beginning of 1987, she rejoined the Universidad de Oviedo as a grant-holder on the Spanish university teacher-training programme (FPU). She obtained the post of University Lecturer in May 1989 and became a University Professor in May 2008. She is currently head of the Mass Spectrometry and Biomedical Analysis research group – a group accredited by the Universidad de Oviedo (Ref: GR- 2016-0017) and affiliated to ISPA – and is coordinator of the PhD Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Structural Analysis and Computational Modelling at the Universidad de Oviedo.

Over the last ten years, her research has focused on developing analytical strategies through the use of separation techniques (HPLC, CE, GC) in conjunction with various detection systems (UV-VIS, ESI-MS, ICP-MS) for identifying different kinds of biomarkers (genomic, proteomic and metabolomic) associated with pathological states and drug response.

She has been principal investigator on 11 research projects and has formed part of the research team for 20 other projects. She has supervised 15 PhD theses and is currently supervising three PhD students. She has published 97 articles in international, peer-reviewed journals and has delivered around 100 presentations at national and international conferences. She is a member of the Sociedad Española de Química Analítica (Spanish Society for Analytical Chemistry), the Sociedad Española de Cromatografía y Técnicas Afines (Spanish Society of Chromatography and Related Techniques) and the Sociedad Española de Química (Spanish Society of Chemistry).

Laboratorios 185 y 191 – Departamento de Química Física y Analítica, Facultad de Química – Universidad de Oviedo.

Laboratorios de Mutagénesis I y II – Área de Genética, Departamento de Biología Funcional, Facultad de Medicina – Universidad de Oviedo.

Avenida Julián Clavería, 8, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

Name Organisation Activity Euraxess classification
Álvarez González, Enol Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Álvarez-Fernández García, Roberto FINBA Research/Teaching R2
Añón Álvarez, María Elena SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Bettmer, Jorg Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Blanco González, Elisa Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R4
Candás Zapico, Silvia Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Corte Rodríguez, Mario FINBA Research R2
Fernández Asensio, Alejandro Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R1
García Cancela, Paula Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
González Morales, Sara Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Gutiérrez Romero, Lucía FINBA Research R1
Montes Bayón, María Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Paz Aparicio, Ana SESPA/Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2
Paz Aparicio, Jose Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2
Rodríguez Pescador, Alonso Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Sierra Zapico, Luisa María Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Suárez Priede, Andrés Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Turiel Fernández, Daniel Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2


The Mass Spectrometry and Biomedical Analysis research group is an accredited Universidad de Oviedo group (Ref: GR-2016-0017) and an ISPA consolidated group within the Biotechnology and Biomedical Analysis division. Its members include two university professors from the analytical chemistry field (Elisa Blanco González and María Montes Bayón) and two university lecturers from analytical chemistry (Jorg Bettmer) and genetics (L. María Sierra Zapico) who have been working together since 2007, when they were granted their first joint research project (MEC-CTQ2007- 60206). During this period, the group has trained several doctoral candidates who have completed their PhDs and currently carry out research in industry and research centres. The group also currently includes two Doctors of Chemistry – Elena Añón Álvarez from the Clinical Biochemistry Division of SESPA and Mario Corte Rodríguez, a postdoctoral researcher for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Universidad de Oviedo – and five PhD students. Additionally, the Group collaborates with Professor María Elena Lastra Bengochea (University Professor in the Inorganic Chemistry Department, Universidad de Oviedo), as well as Professor Juan Llopis González and Dr Cristina Sánchez González from the Department of Physiology in the Pharmacy Faculty of the Universidad de Granada, who are members of the research teams for the MINECO-CTQ2015-69583R and MINECO- CTQ2016-80069-C2-1-R projects, which are the two research projects that the group is currently working on. The group also collaborates with the companies Thermo Fisher Scientific and Teledyne Instruments Inc., and has institutional partnerships with research organisations such as ETH Zürich and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Since the group was created, its research has focused on developing highly sensitive and selective analytical strategies, using mass spectrometry techniques, to solve significant problems in the field of bioanalysis and biomedicine. In recent years, this overarching research objective has been divided into four main lines of research:

Line of Research 1. Development of analytical methodologies for identifying potential biomarkers (epigenetic changes, gene dosage, etc.) of the cellular response to treatment with antitumour drugs such as cisplatin.

Line of Research 2. Development of mass spectrometry methods for studying the biological effect of artificial metal nanoparticles and metal species released by prostheses and implants.

Line of Research 3. Elemental (isotopic) labelling as a new strategy for the quantification of biomolecules (proteins and miRNA) using mass spectrometry techniques.

Line of Research 4. Fine-tuning of analytical strategies for studying the potential improvements in chemotherapy treatments created by the use of nanostructures.

The research conducted by the group over the past five years has been presented in 30 international conference sessions (as invited and plenary speakers) and has resulted in 60 publications in international journals, most of which (over 80%) are within the top quartile of their field.

Development and application of highly sensitive and selective analytical strategies, based on mass spectrometry techniques, for:

  • Studies of possible tumour biomarkers (resistance to cisplatin) in cellular models
  • Analysis of individual cells
  • Studies of elemental labelling in identifying possible tumour biomarkers
  • Evaluation of the transport, distribution and biological effect of nanostructured materials
  1. N. Fernández-Iglesias, J. Bettmer. Synthesis, purification and mass spectrometric characterisation of a fluorescent Au9@BSA nanocluster and its enzymatic digestion by trypsin. Nanoscale, 6 (2014) 716-721.

Impact Factor: 7.760. Quartile and Field: Q1 (Nanoscience and Nanotechnology)


  1. L. López Fernández, E. Blanco González, J. Bettmer. Determination of specific DNA sequences and their hybridisation processes by elemental labelling followed by SEC-ICP-MS detection. Analyst, 139 (2014) 3423-3428.

Impact Factor: 4.107. Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. T. Iglesias, M. Espina, L.M. Sierra, J. Bettmer, E. Blanco-González, M. Montes-Bayón, A. Sanz-Medel. Enhanced detection of DNA sequences using end-point PCR amplification and on-line gel electrophoresis (GE)-ICP-MS: determination of gene copy number variations. Anal. Chem., 86 (2014) 11028-11032.

Impact Factor: 5.636. Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. T. Iglesias, M. Espina, M. Montes-Bayón, L.M. Sierra, E. Blanco-González. Anion exchange chromatography for the determination of 5-methyl-2’-deoxycytidine: application to cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 407 (2015) 2423-2431.

Impact Factor: 3.125. Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. M. Corte Rodríguez, L. López Fernández, A. García Fernández, A. Suárez Rendueles, E. Menendez Pedregal, J. Bettmer, E. Blanco-González, M. Montes-Bayón, M.P. Gamasa, E. Lastra. Elemental and molecular mass spectrometric strategies for probing interactions between DNA and new Ru(II) complexes containing phosphane ligands and either a tris(pyrazol-1-yl)borate or a pyridine bis(oxazoline) ligand. J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 30 (2015) 172-179.

Impact Factor: 3.379 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. M. Corte-Rodríguez, M. Espina, L.M. Sierra, E. Blanco, T. Ames, M. Montes-Bayón, A. Sanz-Medel. Quantitative evaluation of cellular uptake, DNA incorporation and adduct formation in cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines: Comparison of different Pt-containing drugs. Biochem. Pharmacol., 98 (2015) 69-77.

Impact Factor: 5.091 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Pharmacology and Pharmacy)


  1. T. Iglesias, M. Cinti, M. Montes-Bayón, M. R. Fernández de la Campa, E. Blanco-González. Reversed phase and cation exchange liquid chromatography with spectrophotometric and elemental/molecular mass spectrometric detection for S-adenosyl methionine/S-adenosyl homocysteine ratios as methylation index in cell cultures of ovarian cancer. J. Chromatogr. A, 1393 (2015) 89-95.

Impact Factor: 3.926 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. N. Fernández-Iglesias, J. Bettmer. Complementary mass spectrometric techniques for the quantification of the protein corona: A case study on gold nanoparticles and human serum proteins. Nanoscale, 7 (2015) 14324-14331.

Impact Factor: 7.760 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Nanoscience and Nanotechnology)


  1. J. Soto-Alvaredo, F. Dutschke, J. Bettmer, M. Montes-Bayón, D. Pröfrock, A. Prange. Initial results on the coupling of sedimentation field-flow fractionation (SdFFF) to inductively coupled plasma-tandem mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS) for the detection and characterization of TiO2 nanoparticles. J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 31 (2016) 1549-1555.

Impact Factor: 3.379 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. F. J. Alonso-García, D. Turiel-Fernández, E. Blanco-González, M. Montes-Bayón, A. Sanz Medel. Iron speciation, ferritin concentrations and Fe:ferritin ratios in different malignancy breast cáncer cell lines: on the search for cáncer biomarkers. Metallomics, 8 (2016) 1090-1096.

Impact Factor: 3.975 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Chemistry and Biology)


  1. J. Soto-Alvaredo, C. López-Chaves, C. Sánchez-González, M. Montes-Bayón, J. Llopis, J. Bettmer. Speciation of Gold Nanoparticles and Low-Molecular Gold Species in Wistar Rat Tissues by HPLC Coupled to ICP-MS. J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 32(2017) 193-198.

Impact Factor: 3.608 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. J. García-Fernández, J. Bettmer, N. Jakubowski, U. Panne, E. Añón, M. Montes-Bayón, A. Sanz-Medel. The fate of iron nanoparticles used for treatment of iron deficiency in blood using mass-spectrometry based strategies. Microchim. Acta, 184 (2017) 3673-3680.

Impact Factor: 5.705 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. M. Corte Rodríguez, R. Álvarez-Fernández García, E. Blanco-González, J. Bettmer, M. Montes-Bayón. Quantitative evaluation of cisplatin uptake in sensitive and resistant individual cells by single-cell ICP-MS (SC-ICP-MS). Anal. Chem., 89 (2017) 11491-11497.

Impact Factor: 6.042 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. M. Espina, M. Corte-Rodríguez, L. Aguado, M. Montes-Bayón, I.M. Sierra, P. Martínez-Camblor, E. Blanco-González, L.M. Sierra. Cisplatin resistance in cell models: evaluation of metallomic and biological predictive biomarkers to address early therapy failure. Metallomics, 9 (2017) 564-574.

Impact Factor: 4.069 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Chemistry and Biology)


  1. M. Sharar, E. M. Saied, M. Corte-Rodríguez, C. Arenz, M. Montes-Bayón, M.W. Linscheid. Elemental Labelling and Mass Spectrometry for the Specific Detection of Sulfenic Acid Groups in Model Peptides: A Proof of Concept. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 409 (2017) 2015-2027.

Impact Factor: 3.307 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. E. Cuyàs, S. Fernández-Arroyo, S. Verdura, R. Álvarez-Fernández García, J. Stursa, L. Werner, E. Blanco-González, M. Montes-Bayón, J. Joven, B. Viollet, J. Neuzil, J.A. Menéndez. Metformin regulates global DNA methylation via mitochrondial one-carbon metabolism. Oncogene, 37 (2017)  963-970.

Impact Factor: 6.854 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Oncology)


  1. M. Montes-Bayón, M. Sharar, M. Corte-Rodríguez. Trends on (Elemental and Molecular) Mass Spectrometry based strategies for Speciation and Metallomics. TRAC-Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 104 (2018) 4-10

Impact Factor: 7.034 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. A. Fernández Asensio, T. Iglesias, A. Cotarelo, M. Espina, E. Blanco-González, L.M. Sierra y M. Montes-Bayón. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction in combination with gel electrophoresis-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: A powerful tool for the determination of gene copy number variations and gene expression changes. Anal. Chim. Acta,  1023 (2018) 64-73.

Impact Factor: 5.123 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)


  1. C. Lopez-Chaves, J. Soto-Alvaredo, M. Montes-Bayon, J. Bettmer, J. Llopis, C. Sanchez-Gonzalez. Gold nanoparticles: Distribution, bioaccumulation and toxicity. In vitro and in vivo studies. Nanomedicine: NBM, 14 (2018) 1-12.

Impact Factor: 6.50 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Nanoscience and Nanotechnology)


  1. S. Candas-Zapico, D.J. Kutscher, M. Montes-Bayón, J. Bettmer. Single particle analysis of TiO2 in candy products using triple quadrupole ICP-MS. Talanta, 180 (2018) 309-315.

Impact Factor: 4.244 Quartile and Field: Q1 (Analytical Chemistry)

Principal Investigator Title Funding Body Duration Amount
Alfredo Sanz-Medel / Elisa Blanco González New instrumentation and bio/nanotechnological amplification strategies for determining biomarkers and early diagnosis of cancer. Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad-MINECO-CTQ2013-49032-C2-1-R 1-01-2014 to 31-12-2016. €361,790
Elisa Blanco González Development of new bioanalytical strategies for the quantitative monitoring of modifications to DNA/RNA – gene expression, number of copies and epigenetic changes – in tumour processes, using mass spectrometry techniques.  (GRUPIN14-010) Consejería de Economía y Empleo del Principado de Asturias – FICYT .FC-15- GRUPIN14-010 1-01-2015 to 31-12-2017. €131,200
Jörg Bettmer / Elena Lastra MiRNA as a biological marker. Development of elemental spectrometry methods: Synthesis of metallic compounds with antitumour activity and study of their occurrence in miRNA. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. MINECO- CTQ2015-69583-R 1-01-2016 to 31-12-2018 €72,600
Elisa Blanco González / María Montes Bayón Development of new methodologies for analysing nanostructured oncometabolites and metallopharmaceuticals, and evaluating their biological response and usefulness in clinical practice. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. MINECO-CTQ2016-80069-C2-1-R 30-12-2016 to 29-12-2019 €127,000
PhD Student Supervisors Title Date Classification
Tobias Konz Alfredo Sanz-Medel / María Montes-Bayón Development and validation of quantitative methods for the analysis of clinical biomarkers of iron metabolism applying stable isotopes 25/4/2014 International honours and Outstanding PhD thesis award
Nafisa Rizzini Ansari Renato Campello Cordeiro / Jörg Bettmer Application of bunodosoma caissarum and perna perna in metal biomonitoring studies: Characterisation of bioaccumulation in microcosms and special dynamics in Guanabara Bay, Brazil. 27-4-2015 International Honours from Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil (co-supervision with Universidad de Oviedo)
Lucía C. López Fernández Jorg Bettmer / Elisa Blanco-González Development of analytical methodologies for identifying molecules of nucleic acid, based on the ICP-MS technique 20-3-2015  
Tomás José Gutiérrez García Elisa Blanco-González / María Montes Bayón Development of new analytical methodologies for studying antiretroviral drugs and bone resorption            inhibitors 21-6-2016  
Juan Soto Alvaredo Jorg Bettmer y María Montes-Bayón Development of mass spectrometry methods for identifying metal and metal oxide nanoparticles 22-07-2016 International honours
Tamara Iglesias González Elisa Blanco-González / María Montes-Bayón New analytical strategies for studying possible biomarkers for resistance to cisplatin in cellular models. 12-2016  
Juan Gómez Espina Elisa Blanco-González / Alfredo Sanz-Medel Development of new analytical strategies, based on the use of mass spectrometry techniques, for identifying biomarkers for oxidative stress in biological fluids. 06-2017  
Marta Espina Fernández Luisa María Sierra Zapico Resistance to cisplatin: the significance of precise analysis of the damage caused to DNA and its repair, and of the methylation of DNA in specific genomes and sequences. 06-2017  
Nerea Fernández Iglesias Jorg Bettmer / María Montes-Bayón Characterisation of proteins conjugated to metal nanoparticles through the use of mass spectrometry and microscopy techniques 07-2017  
Mario Corte Rodríguez Elisa Blanco González / María Montes-Bayón The use of metallopharmaceuticals as potential antitumour agents: Studies of their incorporation and reactivity in cellular models 09-2017 International honours and ISPA prize
Mona Sharar María Montes-Bayón / Michael W. Linscheid. Molecular and Elemental MS approaches for monitoring oxidation processes in proteins 10-2017 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Carlos López Chaves Cristina Sánchez González / Jorg Bettmer Study of the bioavailability, metabolic alterations and changes to the oxidation state caused by exposure to gold nanoparticles 11/5/2018 International honours
Ioana M. Abbas María Montes-Bayón Development of LC-MS/MS methods for the quantitative determination of hepcidin-25, a key regulator of iron metabolism 12/7/2018 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin