Dr. Jackeline Soto Cruz


Dr. Jackeline Soto Cruz

Faculty of Chemistry
University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
Paseo Manuel de Lasdizabal 3
20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

email: jackeline.soto@ehu.eus
Tel:+34 943015324


Jackeline Soto received her BSc in Industrial Chemistry from Universidad Nacional de
Costa Rica in 2014, where she was a collaborating student in different projects involving
geochemistry and air quality, for four years. Then, she completed her Licenciatura in
Polymer Chemistry at Universidad Nacional, focusing on the biosynthesis of gold
nanotriangles and their characterization. This research was carried out under the
supervision of Dr. Oscar Rojas Carrillo from Laboratorio de Investigación y Tecnología de
Polímeros (POLIUNA). She worked on inducing the self-assembly of phospholipids into
liposomes and applying them as a template phase to synthesize gold nanotriangles. During
this time, she was also a collaborating student in a FEES project called Smart Materials. In
this investigation, chitosan was obtained from shrimps, characterized, and applied as
stabilizing agent in multiple systems.

After that, she pursued a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering at
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). At this stage, she developed a biorthogonal method
for optimizing the synthesis of biocompatible microcapsules based on natural conjugates.
This project was carried out under the supervision of Dr. Hougjing Dou from the Institute of
Composite Materials of SJTU. In this research, she designed conjugates based on dextran
and oleic acid, characterized them (surface tensiometer and cytotoxicity analysis) and used
them as primary building blocks in the biosynthesis of microcapsules. In this strategy, a
water-in-oil emulsion was utilized to induce the self-assembly of conjugates and after
crosslinking them, the microcapsules were transferred into water by dialysis without losing
their structural integrity. Finally, these microarchitectures were characterized and used to
encapsulate polymers. In 2020, she moved back to Costa Rica, and she learned how to
purify gold nanotriangles by using centrifugation and depletion-induced flocculation
(micelles with different compositions), highly increasing the concentration of gold
nanotriangles in the medium.

Honors and awards

In 2014, Jackeline was highlighted as ¨Distinguished student¨ for having the highest
average score of the whole student generation. Also, she completed her Licenciatura with
fellowships from FOCAES and Cenat-CONARE. In addition, she was the recipient of the
honor mention Summa Cum Laude by her thesis defense of Licenciatura. Moreover, she
continued her studies in Shaghai with the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM)
fellowship. Nowadays, she is doing a PhD in the University of the Basque Country thanks
to Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual fellowship.


In last years, biomaterials have evolved to meet the demand and high-quality
standards, increasing its specificity and functionality. In the biomedical area, the material
must have many requirements including: a controlled structure, high specificity,
biodegradability, and dynamic functionality to perform specialized functions in the body.
Taking this into consideration, her main interests have been focused on synthesizing self-
assembly biosystems based on biopolymers and phospholipids for improving their
biocompatibility. Under this research line, gold nanotriangles that could respond to an
external stimulus were synthesized, characterized, and can be applied in future smart
systems for drug delivery, early detection or biosensing. Also, a strategy was established
as a robust and efficient method for the construction of microcapsules, starting from fully
natural amphiphilic building blocks. These research projects aimed to understand the
parameters that should be controlled to synthesize gold nanotriangles and microcapsules
from biomaterials. This has been a teamwork effort due to different local, national, and
international collaborations immersed on those projects. After finishing those research projects, she joined the Responsive Polymer Therapeutics Group as a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Marcelo Calderón and Dr. Ana Beloqui in May 2023. Her research will be focused on developing a reproducible methodology to obtain protease-sensitive nanogels, encapsulate and release antibodies, after crossing the blood brain barrier, in the environment of glioblastoma cancer cells.