Carla Vilela

Principal Researcher


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 a Principal Researcher (research contract awarded by FCT, CEECIND/00263/2018) and a Principal Investigator of two national R&D projects (PTDC/BII-BIO/1901/2021 and CENTRO-01-0247-FEDER-113565) at CICECO, 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 30 students (at BSc, MSc and PhD levels), 1 post-doctoral researcher and 3 research fellows. Her current research team includes 1 post-doctoral researcher, and 1 MSc and 6 PhD students.

CVilela is the author of 79 SCI papers (h-index: 28; citations: +2900), 3 books, 5 book chapters, 2 datasets, 6 patents, 8 abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society, 10 conference proceedings, and more than 100 communications in national and international conferences . She has acted as invited Guest Editor for Applied Science (2018), Materials (2019-2021) and Nanomaterials (2019-2021) journals (MDPI), and is an active reviewer for international journals (e.g. Nature Commun., Carbohydr. Polym., Sci. Reports, Environ. Sci. Technol., ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., ACS Nano).

CVilela is an Associate Editor of Chemisrty Africa (Springer Nature), Editorial Board Member of Cogent Chemistry (Taylor & Francis Group) and Polysaccharides (MDPI), and Topical Advisory Panel Member 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).

Research group

BioPol4fun - Innovation in biopolymer based functional materials and bioactive compounds


Follow the group activities at: 

Selected Publications


Ongoing Supervisions



Bacterial nanocellulose-hyaluronic acid microneedle patches for skin applications: In vitro and in vivo evaluation

Fonseca, DFS; Vilela, C; Pinto, RJB; Bastos, V; Oliveira, H; Catarino, J; Faisca, P; Rosado, C; Silvestre, AJD; Freire, CSR
ISBN: 1873-0191

Bacterial Nanocellulose toward Green Cosmetics: Recent Progresses and Challenges

Almeida, T; Silvestre, AJD; Vilela, C; Freire, CSR
ISBN: 1422-0067

Special Issue: Advanced Biopolymer-Based Nanocomposites and Hybrid Materials

Silvestre, AJD; Freire, CSR; Vilela, C
2021, MATERIALS, 14, 3.
ISBN: 1996-1944

Bio-based sustainable films from the Algerian Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes powder: Effect of plasticizer content

Makhloufi, N; Chougui, N; Rezgui, F; Benramdane, E; Freire, CSR; Vilela, C; Silvestre, AJD
ISBN: 1097-4628

Biobased films of nanocellulose and mango leaf extract for active food packaging: Supercritical impregnation versus solvent casting

Bastante, CC; Silva, NHCS; Cardoso, LC; Serrano, CM; de la Ossa, EJM; Freire, CSR; Vilela, C
ISBN: 1873-7137

Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells

Pinto, RJB; Lameirinhas, NS; Guedes, G; da Silva, GRH; Oskoei, P; Spirk, S; Oliveira, H; Duarte, IF; Vilela, C; Freire, CSR
2021, NANOMATERIALS, 11, 8.
ISBN: 2079-4991

Effect of the Micronization of Pulp Fibers on the Properties of Green Composites

Valente, BFA; Silvestre, AJD; Neto, CP; Vilela, C; Freire, CSR
2021, MOLECULES, 26, 18.
ISBN: 1420-3049

Spherical Cellulose Micro and Nanoparticles: A Review of Recent Developments and Applications

Carvalho, JPF; Silva, ACQ; Silvestre, AJD; Freire, CSR; Vilela, C
2021, NANOMATERIALS, 11, 10.
ISBN: 2079-4991

Poly(4-styrene sulfonic acid)/bacterial cellulose membranes: Electrochemical performance in a single-chamber microbial fuel cell

Vilela, C; Cordeiro, DM; Vilas Boas, J; Barbosa, P; Nolasco, M; Vaz, PD; Rudic, S; Ribeiro-Claro, P; Silvestre, AJD; Oliveira, VB; Pinto, AMFR; Figueiredo, FML; Freire, CSR
2020, Bioresource Technology Reports, 9, 100376.

Multifunctional nanofibrous patches composed of nanocellulose and lysozyme nanofibers for cutaneous wound healing

Nuno H.C.S. Silva, Patrícia Garrido-Pascual, Catarina Moreirinha, Adelaide Almeida, Teodoro Palomares, Ana Alonso-Varona, Carla Vilela, Carmen S.R. Freire
2020, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 165, 1198-1210.

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