MICRA-NANO-MAGNETIC: New analytical microsystems based on magnetic nanostructures for the detection of environmental toxicants

Daniel Matatagui Cruz obtained his bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2007 and a master’s degree in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnologies in 2008, both from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM).  That same year he joined the Institute of Applied Physics (IFA) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), where he completed his PhD in the Sensors group.  In 2012, he obtained the degree of Ph. cum laude by the UAM for his research work “Mass sensors for the detection of chemical and biological warfare agents”. In 2013, with a post-doctoral fellowship, he joined the centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where two years later he established himself as a researcher.

On 1 September 2018, he returned to Spain as a ComFuturo researcher at the Institute of Physical and Information Technologies (ITEFI) of the CSIC, where he is developing his project “New analytical microsystems based on magnetic nanostructures for the detection of environmental toxins” within the framework of the research line of the “Development of new gas detection sensors and devices“.

Project Summary

Many of the chemical species found in the atmosphere of a multitude of populations and industries have side effects on humans and in many cases can trigger irreversible diseases.

Currently, there are many commercial systems for analysing chemical species in the environment, but often the systems with high sensitivity and selectivity are very costly, robust and difficult to handle, or conversely the microsystems of analysis based on chemical sensors have a low cost and are easy to handle, but in general lack sufficient sensitivity, selectivity or reliability for their application to real problems.

Therefore, any low-cost system capable of performing chemical species monitoring in a reliable manner will have a strong economic impact and greatly improve the citizens’ quality of life.

This project aims to develop devices that can detect very small changes in the magnetic properties of nanostructures when they interact with different chemical species, innovating in the field of chemical sensors by taking advantage of the inherent properties of magnetic nanomaterials.

Finally, the results may lead to functional and miniaturised systems for the analysis of chemical species, that can compete with conventional analysis systems and which may have important repercussions in the fields of health and the environment.

Application: The key objective of the project is to innovate chemical sensors by taking advantage of the inherent properties of nanostructured magnetic materials. These sensors will be integrated into advanced instrumentation to develop novel embedded analytical microsystems that are reliable, portable, very low cost, with very high sensitivity and a short response time, allowing detection and monitoring of toxic substances in the environment.

Scientific output derived from the ComFuturo MICRA-NANO-MAGNETIC Project

Scientific articles

  • D. Matatagui; F.A. Bahos; I. Gràcia; M.C. Horrillo (2019). Portable Low-Cost Electronic Nose Based on Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for the Detection of BTX Vapors in Air. SENSORS. DOI: 10.3390/s19245406


  • F.A. Bahos; A. Sainz-Vidal; C. Sánchez-Pérez; J.M. Saniger; I. Gràcia; M.M. Saniger-Alba; D. Matatagui (2018). ZIF Nanocrystal-Based Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Electronic Nose to Detect Diabetes in Human Breath. BIOSENSORS. DOI: 10.3390/bios9010004


Works presented at conferences


  • D. Matatagui; I. Gràcia; M.C. Horrillo. Response of a saw sensor array based on nanoparticles for measuring ammonia in the environment. SENSORNETS 2020. Poster. Valletta, Malta. 28/02/2020-29/02/2020


  • D. MatataguiNanomaterials based Gas Sensors. COMCAPLA 2018. Invited oral presentation. Mérida, Mexico. 20/11/2018-23/11/2018


  • J.R. Fragoso-Mora, Oleg Kolokoltsev, M.C. Horrillo, D. MatataguiTheoretical Analysis of Elastic Sensitivity for Different Love Wave Propagation Modes. 12th Spanish Conference on Electron Devices (CDE). Poster. Salamanca, Spain. 14/11/2018-16/11/2018


Registered patent applications

  • M.C. Horrillo Güemes, D. Matatagui Cruz, M.P. Marín Palacios, E. Navarro Palma, J. López Sánchez, A. Peña Moreno (2020). Sensor químico resistivo para la detección de muy bajas concentraciones de NO2 a temperatura ambiente basado en partículas nanoestructuradas en dominios de unas pocas capas atómicas de grafeno obtenidas por molienda mecánica de alta energía. Application number: 202030712. CSIC-UCM


  • M.P. Marín Palacios, E. Navarro Palma, J. López Sánchez, A. Peña Moreno, M.C. Horrillo Güemes, D. Matatagui Cruz (2020). Obtención a gran escala en un solo paso y a temperatura ambiente de material compuesto por pocas láminas de grafeno con un alto grado de defectos mediante molienda mecánica seca oscilatoria de alta energía. Application number: 202030709. UCM – CSIC