This site uses cookes. By using this site you are consenting to their use according to our Cookie policy.

i agree
Biomembranes & Nanomedicine

Biochemical and biophysical processes occurring at the level of the membranes of human cells, as well as of their viral and bacterial pathogens. Study of the two steps of the life cycle of enveloped viruses (mainly HIV-1 and dengue virus) that involve biomembranes - the entrance of the virus or its content into the target cell and the assembly of new virions. Study of the binding of fibrinogen to the erythrocyte membrane and its relevance as cardiovascular risk factor.

Pre-clinical evaluation of the membrane activity and mechanism of action at the molecular level of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) and cell-penetrating peptides (CPP). On the Nanotechnology/Nanomedicine area, we are also working on the development of innovative biosensor systems, with improved selectivity and sensitivity (e.g., nanoparticles and amyloid-based biosensors).

Research Team

Ana Martins
PhD Student

Ana Tomás
Postdoctoral Researcher

André R. Ribeiro
MSc Student

Anna Reichel
Postdoctoral Researcher

Catarina S. Lopes
PhD Student

Constança Amaral
PhD Student

Filomena A. Carvalho
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Guilherme Ribeiro da Silva
MSc Student

Inês Silva
MSc Student

Ivo C. Martins
Staff Scientist

Marcin Makowski
PhD Student

Marco M. Domingues
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Maria João Sarmento
Postdoctoral Researcher

Nelly Silva
PhD Student

Patrícia M. Carvalho
PhD Student

Patrícia M. Silva
PhD Student

Raquel Rebordão

Sónia Gonçalves
Staff Scientist

Teresa Freitas
Lab Technician

Ítala Silva
PhD Student

Catarina A. Matos
MSc Student

Research Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Nanomedicine

Ongoing Research Projects

2016/2019 Broad-spectrum antiviral peptides against respiratory viruses. Coordinator: N.C. Santos. Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/BBB-BQB/3494/2014.

2016/2019 Molecular interactions of circulating fibrinogen as a risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies. Coordinator: F.A. Carvalho. Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/BBB-BMD/6307/2014.

2015/2020 Engineering protease-resistant alpha-beta peptides for broad-spectrum antivirals. Coordinator: N.C. Santos. Agency: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA.

2015/2019 Innovative peptides against cancer and pathogenic bacteria, with advances in science, biopharmaceutical drug. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Comissão Europeia. Reference: INPACT.

2014/2017 Análises moleculares comparativas de peptídeos cíclicos e lineares com atividades imunomodulatórias e antimicrobianas. Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) Ciência sem Fronteiras Project 300965/2014, Brazil. Coordinator: N.C. Santos.

2010/2016 The interplay between lipid droplets, RNA and the capsid protein during dengue virus assembly and encapsidation, FCG, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Frontiers in Life Sciences Research Prize. Coordinator: I.C. Martins.

2014/2016 Multi-target HIV entry inhibitors delivery by cationic liposomes. Coordinator: Ana Salomé Rocha do Nascimento Veiga. Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, IP. Reference: VIH/SAU/0047/2011.

2014/2016 DELIN: An innovative approach to deliver dual targeting HIV entry inhibitors using cationic liposomes, FCT/ HIVERA (European Union). Reference: HIVERA/0002/2013. Coordinator: M. Castanho.

2013/2018 The Role of Fibrin Clot Structure in Thrombosis. Coordinator: N.C. Santos. Coordinator Institution: Project of the British Heart Foundation.

2010/2016 Atomic force microscopy-based molecular recognition of fibrinogen receptors in platelets and erythrocytes. Applications in health and disease. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Prize Stimulus to Research. Coordinator: N.C. Santos.

2015/2016 Assessment of the changes on fibrinogen-induced erythrocyte-erythrocyte adhesion on different cardiovascular pathologies by AFM-based force spectroscopy. Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon. Coordinator: F.A. Carvalho.


  • 2017 Best Talk at the 2nd Meeting of the CQUL, Lisboa, Portugal (Mário Felício)
  • 2017 Best Poster Award at the 2nd Meeting of the CQUL, Lisboa, Portugal (Ana Martins)
  • 2017 ULisboa / Caixa Geral de Depósitos Prize in the Biology, Biological Engineering, Biochemistry and Biotechnology fields (Nuno C. Santos)
  • 2017 EMBO short-term fellowship at A*STAR Agency, Singapore (Ana Martins)
  • 2017 Young Biophysicist of the Year Prize from the Portuguese Biophysical Society (Ana Filipa Guedes)
  • 2017 COHiTEC 2016 Edition - winner - seed funding from Caixa Capital VC  (Ivo Martins, Ana Martins, Patrícia Carvalho)​
  • 2016 Best Poster Award at the 5th International Iberian Biophysics Congress, Porto, Portugal (Ana Filipa Guedes)
  • 2016 Beca a la Excelencia Formativa Prize from Fundación Grupo Siro, Spain (Patrícia Carvalho)
  • 2016 R&D PhD internship award from Luso American Development Foundation (FLAD) for an internship at Columbia University Medical Center, Nova Iorque, EUA (Marcelo Augusto)
  • 2016 PROLAB award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for an internship at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA (Bárbara Gomes)
  • 2016 Wiley Young investigator Award for Best Presentation (2nd place) at AFM Biomed Conference, Porto, Portugal (Filomena Carvalho)
  • 2015 Beca a la Excelencia Formativa Prize from Fundación Grupo Siro, Spain (Patrícia Carvalho)
  • 2015 Best Poster Award at the EBSA 2015, Dresden, Germany (André Faustino).
  • 2014 Best Talk - Young Investigator Travel Award, XXIIIrd International Fibrinogen Workshop, Marseille, France (Ana Filipa Guedes)
  • 2013 Best Poster Award at the EBSA 2013, Lisbon, Portugal (André Faustino).
  • 2010 Research Programme in Frontiers of Life Sciences from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Ivo Martins).
  • 2009 Gulbenkian Prize to Stimulus for Research 2009 (Marco M. Domingues).
  • 2005 José Luís Champalimaud Prize on HIV Research (Applied Research and Technologies area).
  • 2004 José Luís Champalimaud Prize on HIV Research (Basic Research area).
  • 2001 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Prize (for researchers under 31).

Selected Publications

  • Guedes AF, Carvalho FA, Malho I, Lousada N, Sargento L, Santos NC (2016) Atomic force microscopy as a tool to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular diseases in patients. Nature Nanotechnol., 11, 687-692, DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.52 (IF = 35.267).
  • Vigant F, Santos NC, Lee B (2015) Broad-spectrum antivirals against viral fusion, Nat Rev Microbiol, 13, 426-437, DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro3475 (IF: 23.574).
  • Faustino AF, Carvalho FA, Martins IC, Castanho MARB, Mohana-Borges R, Almeida FCL, Da Poian AT, Santos NC (2014) Dengue virus capsid protein interacts specifically with very low density lipoproteins, Nanomedicine (NBM), 10, 247 255. DOI:10.1016/j.nano.2013.06.004 (IF: 6.155).
  • Hauser CAE, Maurer-Stroh S, Martins IC (2014) Amyloid-based nanosensors and nanodevices. Chem. Soc. Rev., 43, 5326-5345, DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00082J (IF: 33.383).
  • Carvalho FA, Connell S, Miltenberger-Miltenyi G, Pereira SV, Tavares A, Ariëns RAS, Santos NC (2010) Atomic force microscopy-based molecular recognition of a fibrinogen receptor on human erythrocytes. ACS Nano 4, 4609-4620. DOI: 10.1021/nn1009648 (IF: 12.881).
group leader :
Nuno C. Santos