sustentabilidade e saúde


coordenador da linha

Ana Maria Pissarra Coelho Gil



The Thematic Strand 3 comprises two major axes, Sustainability and Health.

1) SUSTAINABILITY axis is grounded on the implementation of the forest-based biorefinery, recycling of industrial
wastes and urban mining, and environmental remediation and water treatment, as follows.

  • 'Biorefinery' related activities address the: characterization of agro-forest biomass; extraction of valuable components using benign processes; conversion of biomass components into platform chemicals/fine chemicals and biofuels, focusing on the development of efficient catalytic and biotechnological processes; development of novel polymeric materials based on biomass-derived monomers and new polysaccharide-based materials and composites, including functional materials bearing inorganic nanophases.
  • 'Recycling and Urban Mining' focuses on the: recycling of industrial, agricultural and fisheries wastes for the production of new (bio)materials, electroceramics and magnetic materials by cost-effective processes; development of photocatalytic coatings for pollutants removal and antimicrobial activity; extraction of compounds from disposed drugs and waste foods; recovery of metals and rare-earths from electronic wastes.
  • 'Environmental Remediation and Water Treatment' comprises: capture and conversion of CO2; use of novel adsorbents for pollution control, and water treatment; study of the toxicity and of the environmental impact of the novel materials prepared, and solvents developed or used in the process under study.

2) HEALTH axis encompasses the development of novel biomaterials for regenerative medicine, nanoparticles for in
vitro and in-vivo applications, drugs and drug delivery, and analytical tools for diagnosis, as follows.

  • 'Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine' develops: new osteoinductive materials based on calcium phosphates, bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics, new composite scaffolds polymer-nanostructured ceramics for tissue engineering hybrid organic-inorganic materials for biomedical applications; biodegradable polymeric films for tissue growth strategies, and piezoelectric polymer platforms for neural regenerative approaches.
  • 'Nanoparticles for In-Vitro and In-Vivo Applications' covers the use of surface-modified nanostructures, multimodal nanoparticles and polymer nanocomposites for imaging, as hyperthermia mediators and photodriven applications.
  • 'Drugs and Drug Delivery' addresses mainly the development of novel antitumoral drugs based on metallopharmaceuticals and the delivery of these and other drugs, either directly or by encapsulation in polysaccharides, glass polymer composites and microporous silicates.
  • 'Analytical Tools' focuses on the use of metabolomics for assessing in vitro and in vivo interactions of (bio)materials with living organisms and for developing new clinical diagnosis methodologies.


objectivos gerais


1) Biorefinery

   a) Materials from renewable resources

  • Synthesis of polyesters from 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid alternatives to TA
  • Conversion of agro-forest residues into bacterial cellulose and PHAs
  • Development of functional (nano)composites based on (nano)cellulose fibers and other natural (polysaccharides, proteins) or synthetic polymers (by blending or in situ polymerization), graphenes, nanowires and inorganic nanoparticles
  • Development of innovative polymers and composites from cork residues and lignins

   b) Value-added compounds and commodities from renewable resources

  • Extraction and characterization of components from wood, algae, agro-forest and food industry residues using Environmentally Friendly Extraction (in water, ionic liquids and SC-CO2)
  • Novel systems using aqueous ionic liquid solutions for extraction and purification of immunoglobulin Y and G from egg yolk and hybridoma cell cultures
  • Modeling, scale-up (to CCC and SMB) and economic analysis of these processes
  • Conversion of carbohydrates into furanic compounds, using polyfunctional heterogeneous catalysis
  • Production of biofuels from biomass residues

2) Recycling and Urban Mining

  • Recycling of mining-rejects to recover valuable species (silica, TiO2)
  • Extraction of valuable species (metals, rare earths) from electronic waste
  • Extraction of compounds from disposed drugs and waste foods
  • Recycling of metal-finishing industries wastes into inorganic pigments
  • Recycling of pulp wastes as raw materials for building products

3) Environmental Remediation and Water Treatment

  • Eco-efficient materials for a healthier indoor environment: hygrothermal regulation and removal of air contaminants
  • Study of the interactions of ILs and nanoparticles with biomolecules and model organisms to evaluate their toxicity and environmental impact
  • Synthesis of Si-bearing materials for pollutants biodegradation
  • Photocatalytic nanocoatings and surface functionalized nanomaterials for removing and monitoring water/soil pollutants
  • TM silicates for remediating Hg, Cd, Pb contaminated waters



1) Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine

  • Novel Ca-phosphates osteoinductive materials of improved thermal stability, bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics
  • Composite scaffolds of biocompatible polymeric matrices filled with nanostructured ceramics for tissue engineering
  • Pastes for rapid production of tailored scaffolds for craniofacial traumas surgical repair

2) Nanoparticles for In-Vitro and In-Vivo Applications

  • Nanoparticles as platforms or polymer matrices fillers in: i) optical detection of (bio)analytes in SERS and as plasmonic responsive systems; ii) multifunctional thermally-sensitive bionanocomposites with remotely controlled contactless capability for drug delivery, hyperthermia and tissue adhesives; iii) chemically modified CNTs and graphene for photodriven applications
  • Multimodal nanoparticles consisting of (i) inorganic core (imaging reporter and/or carrier); (ii) surrounding layer (for surface charge modification, solubility and biocompatibility, PEG for increasing in-vivo circulation time…); (iii) molecules with high target affinity. Ln-based nanothermometry: heater-thermometer nanoplatforms to be used in hyperthermia.

3) Drugs and Drug Delivery

  • Drug delivery by polysaccharide encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles, glass-polymer composites, and microporous silicates.
  • Antitumoral drugs based on: i) metallopharmaceuticals with phytoaromatic ligands; ii) multinuclear Cu and Fe complexes for DNA replication inibition; iii) cyclodextrins encapsulated or incorporated into polymeric or metal bone grafts for direct local action.

4) Analytical Tools

  • Metabolomics of cells/biofluids/tissues for: i) assessing biomaterial's interactions with living organisms and the effect of environmental hazards (metals, graphene) on model plants, human cell lines and marine species; ii) disease diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up.