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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

Aivaras Vilutis
MSc Student

Catarina de Sousa Lopes
PhD Student

Filomena A. Carvalho
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Francisco Xavier Santos Rocha
MSc Student

Inês de Andrade Saraiva
PhD Student

Ivo C. Martins
Staff Scientist

Joana Ricardo
Lab Manager

Maria João Sarmento
Postdoctoral Researcher

Maria Teresa Marote Dias Galvão Ferreira
BSc Student

Pedro Castro
Postdoctoral Researcher

Renata Matinhos
MSc Student

Sónia Gonçalves
Staff Scientist

Teresa Freitas
Lab Technician

Tomás Vieira

Research Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Nanomedicine

Ongoing Research Projects

2020/2021 UVtizer – Multifunctional sanitizer. Coordinator: Nuno Santos. Funding Agency: Lisboa 2020.

2020/2021 PLANTCOVID - Aplicações de extratos de plantas com ação dirigida ao SARS-CoV-2. Coordinator: Pedro Simas. Funding Agency: CCDRs.

2019/2023 SAFE-N-MEDTECH – Safety Testing in the life cycle of nanotechnology-enabled medical technologies for health. Coordinator: Pedro Silva. Funding Agency: European Commission.

2018/2021 When the host cell is not so cosy anymore? A drop off in energy or an increase in toxicity? Coordinator: Filomena Carvalho. Funding Agency: Portugal 2020.

2018/2021 iDNArT - Intelligent DNA nanostructures aimed at brain therapeutics. Coordinator: Nuno Santos. Funding Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.


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
  • Group Leader at iMM since 2008
  • Associate Professor with Habilitation at FMUL
  • Research at the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (1999)
  • PhD at Universidade de Lisboa