Carla Vilela
  Auxiliary Researcher  
  extension: 34724  
  department: Chemistry  
  office: 29.2.25  
  group: 4 - biorefineries, biobased materials and recycling
  line: 3 - sustainability
  direct url:  
  research group: BioPol4fun - Innovation in BioPolymer based Functional Materials and Bioactive Compounds  
Short CV

Carla Vilela, born in Aveiro (Portugal), graduated in Chemical Engineering in 2004 and obtained a MSc degree in Materials Science and Engineering (EMMS) in 2008 at the University of Aveiro (UAVR, Portugal). During her MSc studies, she was awarded with a merit grant from the Joint European Masters Programme in Materials Science (EMMS).

In 2008, CVilela started working as a grant holder on a National project (034/7.1/ADI/NOR) with Association Network for Competence in Polymers (Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, FEUP, Portugal), which set the stage for the beginning of her PhD studies at UAVR (PhD grant SFRH/BD/44884/2008 awarded by the Portuguese Foundation from Science and Technology (FCT)) concerning the valorisation of vegetable oils as sources of novel macromolecular materials derived from renewable resources.

After finishing her PhD in 2012, she participated as a grant holder in the National project PTDC/QUI-QUI/120982/2010 – Creating value from bio-wastes: suberin extraction and biotransformation in biocompatible ionic liquids aiming on novel biomaterials and compounds (University NOVA of Lisbon, Portugal). From June 2013 to December 2018, she was a post-doctoral researcher at CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials holding a postdoctoral fellowship (SFRH/BPD/84168/2012) awarded by FCT.

Currently, she is an Assistant Researcher (reasearch contract CEECIND/00263/2018 awarded by FCT) and her main research interests include the engineering of eco-friendly nanocellulose-based nanostructured conductive membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells, and the development of macromolecular-based materials containing biopolymers and bioactive molecules for diverse applications (e.g., drug delivery, wound healing and active packaging). She already supervised 7 BSc, 7 MSc and 3 PhD Erasmus students, and 1 post-doctoral researcher. Her current research team includes 1 research fellow, 2 MSc and 3 PhD students.

CVilela is the author of 59 SCI papers (h-index: 21; citations: +1500), 1 book, 5 book chapters, 2 datasets, 6 abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society, 5 conference proceedings, and more than 75 communications in national and international conferences . She has acted as invited Guest Editor for Applied Science (2018), Materials (2019-2020) and Nanomaterials (2019-2020) journals (MDPI), and is an active reviewer for international journals (e.g. Carbohydr. Polym., Sci. Reports, Environ. Sci. Technol., ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., ACS Nano).

CVilela is an Editorial Board Member of the open access journals Cogent Chemistry (Taylor & Francis Group) and Polysaccharides (MDPI), Associate Editor of Chemisrty Africa (Springer Nature) and Topic Editor of Nanomaterials (MDPI). She was a participant of the COST Action FP1405 (ActInPak, 2015-2019), and is a member of the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) and the Portuguese Materials Society (SPM).

Present Research Group

BioPol4fun - Innovation in biopolymer based functional materials and bioactive compounds cor_com_centro_preto.png

Follow the group activities at: 

Scientific Interests


Selected Publications


Main present collaborators

Portuguese Collaborators

- CICECO, UA: Carmen S.R. Freire, Armando J.D. Silvestre, Filipe M.L. Figueiredo, Paulo R. Claro, Mariela Nolasco

- TEMA, UA: Gil Gonçalves

- CESAM, UA: Helena Oliveira, Adelaide Almeida

International Collaborators

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel: Zvi Hayouda

research projects

National projects

- National project 034/7.1/ADI/NOR (2008, TEAM MEMBER): Synthesis of resins from fatty acids / vegetable oils.

- National project PTDC/QUI-QUI/120982/2010 (2013, TEAM MEMBER): Creating value from bio-wastes: suberin extraction and biotransformation in biocompatible ionic liquids aiming on novel biomaterials and compounds .

- National project CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-031289 (2018-2021, TEAM MEMBER): NANOBIOINKS – Engineering bio-based nanofibers for the development of high-performance nanostructured bioinks for 3-D bioprinting (in progress).

European projects

- European Project SUSTAINPACK IP-500311-2 (2004-2008, TEAM MEMBER): Innovation and Sustainable Development in the Fibre-based Packaging Value Chain.

- European project H2020-BBI-JTI-201 ID:8837527 (2019-2023, TEAM MEMBER): GRETE - Green chemicals and technologies for the wood-to-textile value chain (in progress).

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL, Oxford, UK)

- Beamtime at TOSCA instrument, experiment number: 1820360 (November 16-20, 2018, TEAM MEMBER): Structural characterization of cellulose-based nanocomposites by inelastic neutron scattering.

- Beamtime at TOSCA instrument, experiment number: 1920244 (November 13-18, 2019, TEAM MEMBER): API-DES: improving drug solubility with deep eutectic solvents by inelastic neutron scattering.

COST Actions

- Participation in the COST Action FP1405: Active and intelligent fibre-based packaging – innovation and market introduction (ActInPak, (2015-2019).

- Participation in the COST Action CA18220: European network of FURan based chemicals and materials FOR a Sustainable development (2019-2023, in progress).

Journal Covers


Editorial activities

2018-present: Editorial Board Member of Cogent Chemistry (Cogent OA, Taylor & Francis Group) in the Materials Chemistry section.

2019-present:  Editorial Board Member as topic editor of Nanomaterials (MDPI).

2020-present: Editorial Board Member of Polysaccharides (MDPI).

2020-present: Associate Editor of Chemistry Africa (Springer Nature) in the Biomacromolecules & Biomass section.

2018: Guest editor for Applied Sciences (MDPI) of the Special Issue on Bacterial Cellulose Composites (

2019-2020: Guest editor for Materials (MDPI) of the Special Issue on Advanced biopolymer-based nanocomposites and hybrid materials (

2019-2020: Guest editor for Nanomaterials (MDPI) of the Special Issue on Nanocellulose-based materials for active food packaging (

Latest News

ongoing scientific supervisions