biomedical and biomimetic materials


group coordinator

Mara Guadalupe Freire Martins


general aims

1) Development of biomaterials for:

   a) Bone and other tissues regeneration, drug delivery and cement substitution applications

  • Glass-polymer composites and glass-based scaffolds for localized drug delivery
  • Calcium phosphates of improved thermal stability, mechanical and osteoinductive properties
  • Bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics for osteoinductive and dentistry applications
  • Porous scaffolds with partially resorptive, osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties
  • Nanoparticle reinforced bioactive PMMA bone cements and novel PMMA-co-EHA-glass composites
  • Pastes for rapid production of tailored scaffolds for surgical repair of craniofacial traumas
  • Applications in immobilization of cells
  • Hybrid organic-inorganic materials for biomedical applications, including Ca-phosphonate MOFs explored for treating osteoporosis, calcification and Paget disease
  • Degradable polymers (membrane or fibre forms, neutral or piezoelectric) for hard and soft tissue surgery, in regenerative medicine interventions.

   b) Environmental applications

  • Environmental remediation and use of native plants for phytostabilization of contaminated zones
  • Synthesis of Si-containing materials for the biodegradation of toxic environmental pollutants

2) Development of new bio-inorganic systems and toxicity studies

  • Synthesis and cyclodextrin encapsulation of new anti-tumoral agents for osteosarcoma; incorporation into polymeric or metal bone grafts for direct local action
  • Polysaccharide encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles for use as contrast agents in magnetic resonance and drug delivery
  • Metallopharmaceuticals with phytoaromatic ligands for cytotoxic action
  • Multinuclear copper and iron complexes for inhibiting DNA replication: a new strategy in the design of metal-based anticancer drugs

3) Analytical tools for biological systems: novel avenues for assessing in vitro and in vivo materials performance

  • Metabolic profiling (metabolomics) of cells/biofluids/tissues for assessing biomaterial's (e.g. nanomaterials, carrier or support materials) interactions with living organisms: new strategies for biotoxicity and mechanisms of action evaluation
  • Metabolomics for assessing the effects of environmental hazards (e.g. pesticides, metals, graphene) on model plant systems, selected human cell lines and marine species
  • Monitoring in vitro and in vivo the efficacy of drugs, drug delivery systems and radiotherapy through the metabolic effects on cell/animal models
  • Metabolomics for disease diagnosis and treatment planning and follow-up (e.g. applications to cancer, pregnancy and newborn diseases, nutritional unbalances).