João Mano

Vice Director

Short CV

João F. Mano, PhD in Chemistry (1996, Technical Univ. Lisbon), D.Sc. in Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells (2012, Univ. Minho), is a full professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Aveiro (Portugal). During his career he has been teaching courses related to biomaterials/polymer science and technology, and tissue engineering, in both undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the director of the Doctoral Program on Biotechnology at the Univ. of Aveiro. He has also an appointment as Invited Professor (classe exceptionelle, since 2014) at University of Lorraine (France), and Visiting Professor in KAIST (South Korea) - 2019 and Adjunct Professor at Ajou University (South Korea) since 2020.  

Since 2022 he is a vice-director at CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, where he is directing the COMPASS Research Group, founded in April 2016. His research focuses on the application of advanced biomaterials and cells to advance multidisciplinary concepts in the field of regenerative and personalized medicine. Specifically, he utilizes biomimetic and nano/micro-technology approaches to develop polymer-based biomaterials and surfaces for the creation of biomedical devices with enhanced structural and multi-functional properties. He also engineers microenvironments to regulate cell behavior and organization, with the goal of clinically applying these technologies in advanced therapies and drug screening, or in the bioengineering of disease models.

João F. Mano is author of 750+ original research or review papers in international journals (36000+ citations, h=96 – Web of Science) and 40+ book chapters. João F. Mano co-edited 9 special issues in international journals and 5 books. João F. Mano has been invited to review manuscripts from 340+ different international journals and to routinely evaluate projects from numerous private and state funding agencies from 19 different countries. He was the LS9 panel chair for the peer review ERC Advanced Grants (2020-2023). João F. Mano supervised or co-supervised 74+ MSc, 26 PhD students, and 40+ post-doctoral fellows. He filed 12 patents (8 as senior inventor). João F. Mano is the co-founder and chairman of: METATISSUE (2018), a company developing human-derived hydrogels for 3D cells culture (5 prizes and owner of two patents); and CELLULARIS Biomodels (2021), a company offering services for cell-based disease models (1 prize and 1 patent).

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Materials Today Bio (Elsevier). He has been also part of a series of scientific societies and editorial boards of 12 international journals. He has been coordinating or involved in many national and European research projects and participated in the organization of scientific events in the area of polymer/materials science and biomaterials/tissue engineering.

Professor João F. Mano has been member of scientific committees, organizing committees, referee and chairman in different international meetings. He was invited to present more than 120 invited/keynote/plenary talks in international conferences including EUROMAT, ESTAC, TERMIS (EU and AP chapters and World conferences), BIOMED, FBPS, NANOMED, COLAOB, ESB, SFB, World Biomaterials Conference, E-MRS, ESAO, EPF, ACS, CBECIMAT, NICE, Inter. HYMA, APME, APCChE, PPM, EPNOE, SELECTBIO, EFB, CRS, ECMNP, PAT, BioIberoamerica, RRB, ScSB, EuChemS, BPP.

João F. Mano has received different honours and awards: (i) fellow of the IUPAC (International Union of Pure

and Applied Chemistry) since 2004; (ii) the Stimulus to Excellence Award by the Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology in 2005; (iii) the Materials Science and Technology Prize, attributed by the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) in 2007 (iv) UNESCO Chair on Biomaterials attributed in 2008 from the University of Havana (Cuba); (v) the major BES innovation award in 2010 (at that time, one of the most recognised innovation prize in Portugal); (vi) recipient an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-AdG), in 2015; (vii) received the title of Professor@Lorraine from the University of Lorraine, France, in 2018; (viii) recipient a Proof of Concept Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-PoC), in 2018; (ix) received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, given by University of Lorraine, in 2019; (x) awarded with a Gutenberg Chair, supported  by the Great East Region of France, in 2020; (xi) recipient a second ERC-AdG, in 2020; (xii) recipient a second ERC-PoC, in 2020; (xiii) elected fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (FEurASc); (xiv) Bluepharma | University of Coimbra Innovation Award 2019; (xv) Inducted Fellow Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE) in 2020; (xvi) Researcher Award University of Aveiro 2020 (first edition); (xvii) George Winter Award 2020: European Society for Biomaterials. (xviii) Madinaveitia-Lourenço Prize, from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021. (xix) elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (FAIMBE), 2022; (xx) received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, given by University of Utrecht, in 2022.


◊ Habilitation in Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells (Univ. of Minho) - 2012

◊ PhD in Chemistry (Technical University of Lisbon) - 1996

◊ Chemical Engineering degree (I.S.T.) - 1992.

Research Area

Bio-inspired materials: We take nature as a source of endless inspiration for the development of novel classes of polymer-based materials and processes, combining chemistry, materials science, and engineering tools.
Cell and Tissue Engineering: Tissue engineering addresses the scarcity of tissues/organs available for repair and transplantation, by adopting multidisciplinary strategies permitting the ex-vivo creation of implantable hybrid constructs through the integration of biomaterials, therapeutic cells and physicochemical signals.
Nano/micro platforms for biomedicine: Our group focuses on the use of an interplay and cutting-edge nano- and micro-technologies for addressing a multitude of biomedical applications, including those in diagnostics and therapy.

Representative Publications (last 5 years)

1- S.C. Santos, C.A. Custódio, J.F. Mano - Photopolymerizable platelet lysate hydrogels for customizable 3D cell culture platforms. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 7, 1800849 (2018).

2- L.F. Santos, A.S. Silva, C.R. Correia, J.F. Mano - Physical immobilization of particles inspired by pollination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 116(12), 5405 (2019).

3- A.R. Sousa, C.M. Cruz, M.B. Oliveira, J.F. Mano - One‐step rapid fabrication of cell‐only living fibers. Advanced Materials, 32(2), 1906305 (2020).

4- A.S. Silva, L.F. Santos, M.C. Mendes, J.F. Mano - Multi-layer pre-vascularized magnetic cell sheets for bone regeneration. Biomaterials 231, 1196648 (2020).

5- C.F. Monteiro, S.C. Santos, C.A. Custódio, J.F. Mano – Human platelet lysates-based hydrogels: a novel personalized 3D platform for spheroid invasion assessment. Advanced Science 7 (7), 1902398 (2020).

6- I.M. Bjørge, M. Salmeron-Sanchez, C.R. Correia, J.F. Mano - Cell behavior within nanogrooved sandwich culture systems. Small, 16 (31), 2001975 (2020).

7- M.D. Neto, A. Stoppa, M.A. Neto, F.J. Oliveira, M.C. Gomes, A.R. Boccaccini, P.A. Levkin, M.B. Oliveira, J.F. Mano - Fabrication of quasi-2D shape-tailored microparticles using wettability contrast-based platforms. Advanced Materials, 33(14), 2007695 (2021).

8- M.M. Maciel, T.R. Correia, V.M. Gaspar, J.M.M. Rodrigues, I.S. Choi, J.F. Mano - Partial coated stem cells with bioinspired silica as new generation of cellular hybrid materials. Advanced Functional Materials, 31(29), 2009619 (2021).

9- M. Zargarzadeh, A.S. Silva, C. Nunes, M.A. Coimbra, C.A. Custódio, J.F. Mano - Self-glucose feeding hydrogels by enzyme empowered degradation for 3D cell culture. Materials Horizons, 9(2), 694-707 (2022).

10- R.C. Gonçalves, S. Vilabril, C.M.S.S. Neves, M.G. Freire, J.A.P. Coutinho, M.B. Oliveira, J.F. Mano - All-aqueous freeform fabrication of perfusable self-standing soft compartments. Advanced Materials, 34(31), 2200352 (2022).


[see complete list of publications in]

Ongoing Supervisions


3D cells colonization in marine-derived hydrogels through controlled micro-channels patterning for bone repair (PROMENADE)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
magnetic; 3D cell colonization; hydrogel

A bioactivated nano-layered hydrogel for dermal regeneration in hard-to-heal ulcers (BioNaNor)

Local CoordinatorOther International
Several strategies have been developed to restore dermal function. These include collagen membranes, decellularized dermis from donors or synthetic graft alternatives. So far, these approaches have been unreliable at best and auto-grafts and transplants (that both create their own problems with donor site morbidity, risk for disease transfer and...

Bioengineered autonomous cell-biomaterials devices for generating humanised micro- tissues for regenerative medicine (ATLAS)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission
New generations of devices for tissue engineering (TE) should rationalize better the physical and biochemical cues operating in tandem during native regeneration, in particular at the scale/organizational-level of the stem cell niche. The understanding and the deconstruction of these factors (e.g. multiple cell types exchanging both paracrine an...

Bioinspired tile-matching to create ultrastructured bone microtissues in a close-to-native fashion (TETRISSUE)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
The driving force behind TETRISSUE is inspired in the fundamentals of the native bone regenerative process and supported by a strong technological character to produce highly vascularized ultrastructured bone replacements. Its innovative character is mainly related with the integration of key elements working in tandem: (1) bioinstructive microp...

Biorrefinaria de microalgas Coccolithophore: uma abordagem para biomateriais sustentaveis (Coccolitho4BioMat)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

BlueGlue: Bioinspired medical adhesives from marine macroalgae derived biopolymers (BLUEGLUE)

CoordinatorOther National
BLUEGLUE project aims to value and promote the sustainable and controlled production of macroalgae, a way that they can be certified and used into the development of products with high added value (biomedical products). The project is aligned with the structures of the circular and biological economy and aims to provide a boost to the emerging i...

Cápsulas esféricas multicompartimentalizadas de alto rendimento para a transplantação de co-culturas multimodais de células estaminais derivadas do tecido adiposo e ilhotas pancreáticas. (TranSphera)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDP/50011/2020)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

CIRCUS - Directing Bone Dynamics Through The Synergistic Action Of Immune Cells With Bioengineered Cell Microfactories Containing Patterned Microplatforms (CIRCUS)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Desenvolvimento de hidrogeis de inspiracao marinha multifuncionais e de elevado desempenho para regeneracao de cartilagem, reticulados com ligacoes nao-covalentes e bio-instrutivas deslizantes. (MARGEL)

CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Desenvolvimento de uma membrana periodontal multicamada composta por blocos inovativos a base de polimeros de origem marinha e enzima para regeneracao guiada de osso que possui mineralizacao enzimatica controlada. (MIMETIc)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Development of 4D wireless thermometry to target tumor ablation (PTDC/NAN-MAT/3901/2020)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Thermography Magnetic Nanoparticles Induced Hyperthermia Bioprinting

Dispositivos Supramoleculares Auto-Regulados baseados na Complementaridade dos Pares de Base do ADN: Uma Tecnologia Biomimética e com Reconheciemnto Molecular para Isolar Células Específicas para Aplicações Biomédicas (SUPRASORT)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Enabling precision chemical methodologies applied to natural -based systems for the development of multifunctional biomedical devices (CHEM2NATURE)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
CHEM2NATURE addresses current limitations of UMINHO in the Chemistry field regarding its scientific know-how and partnerships with world-leading institutions. UMINHO seeks to improve the multifunctionality of natural-origin polymers, often with limited bioactivity and stimuli-responsiveness, and increase the performance of cell-based therapies. ...

European Network of Bioadhesion Expertise: Fundamental Knowledge to Inspire Advanced Bonding Technologies (COST Action CA15216)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Many organisms, ranging from bacteria and fungi to those much larger animals and plants use chemical and mechanical means to attach permanently or temporarily to surfaces. Some bioadhesives have advantages over synthetic counterparts in terms of their ability to function over a wide temperature range, in wet or dry environments, and to form stab...

Extracellular matrix derived products from human placenta to engineer bone microtissues for in vitro disease models (AMNIOGEL)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission

Full human-based multi-scale constructs with jammed regenerative pockets for bone engineering (REBORN)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Engineered bone tissue has many advantages over natural bone grafts, including safety and limitless supply. However, current engineering methods cannot generate large vascularised grafts capable of in vivo integration and remodelling. To address this problem, the EU-funded REBORN project proposes to combine biomaterials based on protein...

Hidrogéis de Lisados de Plaquetas para Regeneração do Miocárdio (BEAT)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Human based bioinks to engineer physiologically relevant tissues (HumanINK)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Bioprinting techniques, which integrate 3D printing with tissue engineering by using living cells encapsulated in natural or synthetic biomaterials as bioinks, are paving the way toward devising many innovating solutions for key biomedical and healthcare challenges and heralds' new frontiers in medicine, pharmaceutical, and food industries.Human...

Human Platelet Lysates-based Scaffolds for Interfacial Multi-tissue Repair (INTERLYNK)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission
InterLynk aims to develop multi-tissue 3D patient-specific scaffolds by providing a portfolio of highly compatible and biofunctional composite inks and biomaterials, and streamlining their co-processing using an upgraded AM equipment. Unprecedented biofunctionality in the synthetic reconstruction of complex interfacial tissues is expected to be ...

Hybrid living bioengineered hierarchical constructs with self-oxygenating capability (O2CELLS)

CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Tissue engineering (TE) has emerged as an alternative solution aiming to provide a surplus of temporary structural supports at the defect site until native tissue is endogenously regenerated and normal function is restored. Although progresses have been made in the last 20 years, it is not yet possible to address all the complexity and (multi)fu...

Hydralazine: Testing an off-label effect in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (HyTherCaP)

Local CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most commonly diagnosed malignancies worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men. In Portugal, it is the most incident cancer and the 3rd cause of death (1, 2). Although most of PCa are clinically indolent, a variable proportion of patients develop castration-resistant PCa (CRPC), an aggre...

Innovative tools to treat and model complex cancer environments (TheraTools)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the TheraTools project will create a multidisciplinary research and training network to focus on the technological development of scientific tools to study malignant tumours localised beyond a biological barrier, as in the case of brain tumours. The TheraTools consortium will provide high-q...

Marine Origin Biopolymers as Innovative Building Blocks from the Sea for the Development of Bioresorbable Multilayered Membranes for guided bone regeneration (BLUETEETH)

CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Natural origin polymers from algae and arthropods can be obtained in large scale, and a great effort has been paid to find applications for such high-added value materials. Periodontal disease is frequent in humans and constitutes, together with dental caries, the principal cause of tooth loss in adults. Currently, one of the available treatment...

Merging Sustainable and Digital Chemical Technologies for The Development of Greener-Bydesign Pharmaceuticals (SusPharma)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Safe- and green-by-design are pre-market design approaches whereby the objectives of minimizing the use of hazardous chemicals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fostering the reuse and recycling of materials in a circular economy are built into product design. SUSPHARMA fits the European need for sustainable development in modern ...

Metabolite-activated 3D stem cell differentiation into bone (BetterBone)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Strategies involving mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) osteogenic differentiation have emerged as promising tools in regenerative medicine. These work by either promoting in situ regeneration, or through newly-fabricated tissue grafts, potentially overcoming clinical complications related to more conventional therapies. However, bioengineered ...

Metodologias eficientes para a conjugação de polissacarídeos naturais com péptidos para obtenção de membranas multifuncionais para regeneração periodontal. (COP2P)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Novel 3D platforms to engineer bone microtissues for in vitro disease models (Microbone)

CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Osteosarcoma is a rare but devastating bone tumour that mainly affects children, adolescents and elderly. This type of tumour is very resistant to therapy, being thus urgent to find new effective treatments. In vitro tumour models can recapitulate many aspects of the natural tumour environment, and could be used to improve the predictive value o...

Produção de Plataformas Microcapsulares 3D+ para Avaliação Laboratorial em Larga Escala de Novas Terapias Combinatórias para o Cancro do Pâncreas (PANGEIA)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Tailored Elastin-like Recombinamers as Advanced Systems for Cell Therapies in Diabetes Mellitus:a Synthetic Biology Approach towards a Bioeffective and Immunoisolated Biosimilar Islet/Cell Niche (ELASTISLET)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
ELASTISLET aims to create a breakthrough development in encapsulation technology and its use in cell and tissue therapies for the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes. ELASTISLET will combine leading technologies in biomaterial design, production and processing, cross-linking/grafting technology and cell therapy, to synergistically integrate them ...


Novel Insights on the Role of Epigenetics in Androgen Receptor's Expression in Prostate Cancer

Camilo, V; Pacheco, MB; Moreira-Silva, F; Outeiro-Pinho, G; Gaspar, VM; Mano, JF; Marques, CJ; Henrique, R; Jerónimo, C
2023, BIOMOLECULES, 13, 10.

Brewer's Spent Yeast Cell Wall Polysaccharides as Vegan and Clean Label Additives for Mayonnaise Formulation

Reis, SF; Fernandes, PAR; Martins, VJ; Gonçalves, S; Ferreira, LP; Gaspar, VM; Figueira, D; Castelo-Branco, D; Mano, JF; Coimbra, MA; Coelho, E
2023, MOLECULES, 28, 8.

Engineering natural based nanocomposite inks via interface interaction for extrusion 3D printing

Maia, JR; Castanheira, E; Rodrigues, JMM; Sobreiro-Almeida, R; Mano, JF
2023, METHODS, 212, 39-57.

Enhanced Maturation of 3D Bioprinted Skeletal Muscle Tissue Constructs Encapsulating Soluble Factor-Releasing Microparticles

de Barros, NR; Darabi, MA; Ma, X; Diltemiz, SE; Ermis, M; Najafabadi, A; Nadine, S; Banton, EA; Mandal, K; Abbasgholizadeh, R; Falcone, N; Mano, JF; Nasiri, R; Herculano, RD; Zhu, YZ; Ostrovidov, S; Lee, JM; Kim, HJ; Hosseini, V; Dokmeci, MR; Ahadian, S; Khademhosseini, A

Advanced 3D Printing Strategies for the Controlled Delivery of Growth Factors

Poerio, A; Mano, J; Cleymand, F

Supramolecular presentation of bioinstructive peptides on soft multilayered nanobiomaterials stimulates neurite outgrowth

Lopes, M; Torrado, M; Barth, D; Santos, SD; Sever-Bahcekapili, M; Tekinay, AB; Guler, MO; Cleymand, F; Pêgo, AP; Borges, J; Mano, JF
2023, BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE, 11, 14, 5012-5024.

Marine-origin polysaccharides-based free-standing multilayered membranes as sustainable nanoreservoirs for controlled drug delivery

Sousa, CFV; Monteiro, LPG; Rodrigues, JMM; Borges, J; Mano, JF
2023, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY B, 11, 28, 6671-6684.

Self-Supporting Hyaluronic Acid-Functionalized G-Quadruplex-Based Perfusable Multicomponent Hydrogels Embedded in Photo-Cross-Linkable Matrices for Bioapplications

Sousa, V; Amaral, AR; Castanheira, EJ; Marques, I; Rodrigues, JMM; Félix, V; Borges, J; Mano, JF
2023, BIOMACROMOLECULES, 24, 7, 3380-3396.

Chitosan-Based Biomaterials: Insights into Chemistry, Properties, Devices, and Their Biomedical Applications

Petroni, S; Tagliaro, I; Antonini, C; D'Arienzo, M; Orsini, SF; Mano, JF; Brancato, V; Borges, J; Cipolla, L
2023, MARINE DRUGS, 21, 3.

Unveiling the Assembly of Neutral Marine Polysaccharides into Electrostatic-Driven Layer-by-Layer Bioassemblies by Chemical Functionalization

Monteiro, LPG; Borges, J; Rodrigues, JMM; Mano, JF
2023, MARINE DRUGS, 21, 2.

Nanofertilizers—synthesis, advantages, and the current status

In Peng Zhang, Iseult Lynch, Jason C. White, Richard D. Handy (Eds.), Nano-Enabled Sustainable and Precision Agriculture
Rodrigues S.M.; Avellan A.; Salvador D.; Rodrigues S.; Miranda M.; Morais B.; Oliveira M.; Mano J.; Lowry G.V.
2023, Nano-enabled Sustainable and Precision Agriculture, 43-77, Elsevier.
ISBN: 978-032391233-4; 978-032399823-9

Animal Protein-based Soft Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications

In Helena S. Azevedo, João F. Mano, João Borges (Eds.), Soft Matter for Biomedical Applications
C. A. Custódio, S. C. Santos, C. F. Monteiro, I. A. Deus, M. C. Gomes, J. F. Mano
2021, Royal Society of Chemistry.
ISBN: 978-1-78801-757-2

Extending the Functionality of Marine-origin Polysaccharides Through Chemical Modification for Biomedical Applications

In Helena S. Azevedo, João F. Mano, João Borges (Eds.), Soft Matter for Biomedical Applications
João M. M. Rodrigues, Edgar J. Castanheira, Dora C. S. Costa, Djenisa H. A. Rocha, João Borges and João F. Mano
2021, 180-204, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
ISBN: 978-1-78801-757-2

Cell-based soft biomaterials

Soft Matter for Biomaterial Applications
A. Sofia Silva, Lúcia F. Santos, Mariana B. Oliveira and João F. Mano
ISBN: 978-1-78801-757-2

Smart Instructive Polymer Substrates for Tissue Engineering

In Maria Rosa Aguilar, Julio San Román (Eds.), Smart Polymers and Their Applications
Catarina A.Custódio, Aránzazudel Campo, Rui L.Reis, João F.Mano
2019, 411-438, Woodhead Publishing .
ISBN: 978-0-08-102416-4

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