Marine Molecular Bioengineering | - CCMAR -

Marine Molecular Bioengineering

Short Title 

The Marine Molecular Bioengineering (MBB) research group integrates a range of cross-disciplinary expertise that focuses on the integration of biology with biophysics and bioengineering.

The current main objective of the MMB group is the development and application of nano- and bio-technological tools and materials, including their toxicological assessment, to marine sciences.




The MMB group contributes with bioengineering and fundamental research methodologies and tools to the general CCMAR research in marine biology, currently with the main focus on nanotechnological methodologies and applications to environment and human health issues.

The current activities of the MMB group include the development of polymeric-based nano and microcarriers for drug delivery, the development of biosensor and calorimetric techniques for both basic and applied research, the characterisation of model membranes for various applications, and the toxicological assessment of new drugs and materials.

MMB is comprised of five researchers with different backgrounds but complementary expertises shared through four labs: Bioengineering and Molecular Energetics, Drug Delivery, Biomembranes, and Pharmacogenomics and Molecular Toxicology. MMB also runs the new CCMAR Biological Spectroscopy Lab, dedicated to fundamental and applied research on biophysical-chemistry, namely on photosynthesis of marine organisms.

Within these labs, the group has the combined expertises and experimental facilities to address both the fundamental and technological aspects of the sustainable exploration of marine materials, aiming at unlocking their potential to the objectives above.



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Coordenador Posição
Rui Borges Senior Researcher
Nome Posição
Ana Grenha Senior Researcher
Filipa Raquel Horta Guerreiro PhD Student
Flávia Garcez Musacchio
Jorge Filipe Rodrigues Pontes PhD Student
Jorge Martins Senior Researcher
Luis Braz Investigador
Noelia Flórez Fernández Postdoc
Vera Ribeiro Senior Researcher
Ver em grelha
Retrato de Ana Grenha
Senior Researcher
Retrato de Filipa Raquel Horta Guerreiro
PhD Student
Retrato de Jorge Filipe Rodrigues Pontes
PhD Student
Retrato de Jorge Martins
Senior Researcher
Retrato de Luis Braz
Retrato de Noelia Flórez Fernández
Retrato de Vera Ribeiro
Senior Researcher
Todas publicações
Costa CQV, Cruz J, Martins J, et al. Fluorescence sensing of microplastics on surfaces. Environmental Chemistry Letters. 2021. doi:10.1007/s10311-020-01136-0
Bebianno MJ, Rocha TL, Pontes JF, Amaral AC, Grenha A. Potential Ecotoxicological Risk of Nanopharmaceuticals in the Aquatic Environment. In: Nanopharmaceuticals: Principles And Applications Vol. 2. Nanopharmaceuticals: Principles and Applications Vol. 2. Springer International Publishing; 2020:289 - 317. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-44921-610.1007/978-3-030-44921-6_8
Pontes JF, Braz L, Guerreiro F, et al. Sulphated locust bean gum-coated lipid nanocapsules as potential lung delivery carriers. Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery. 2020;33(2). doi:
Pontes JF, Grenha A. Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Lung Drug Delivery. Nanomaterials. 2020;10(2):183. doi:10.3390/nano10020183
Guerreiro F, Pontes JF, da Costa AMRosa, Grenha A. Spray-drying of konjac glucomannan to produce microparticles for an application as antitubercular drug carriers. Powder Technology. 2019;342:246-252. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2018.09.068
Martins J, Cristo J. Electron-transfer reactions within lipid bilayers take place in a medium whose averaged dielectric constant is higher than commonly assumed. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2018;120:S140. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.04.461
Braz L, Grenha A, Ferreira D, da Costa AMRosa, Gamazo C, Sarmento B. Chitosan/sulfated locust bean gum nanoparticles: In vitro and in vivo evaluation towards an application in oral immunization. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2017;96:786 - 797. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.12.076
Rodrigues S, Alves AD, Cavaco JS, et al. Dual antibiotherapy of tuberculosis mediated by inhalable locust bean gum microparticles. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2017;529(1-2):433-441. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.06.088
Alves AD, Cavaco JS, Guerreiro F, Lourenço JP, da Costa AMRosa, Grenha A. Inhalable Antitubercular Therapy Mediated by Locust Bean Gum Microparticles. Molecules. 2016;21(6). doi:10.3390/molecules21060702
Cunha L, Grenha A. Sulfated Seaweed Polysaccharides as Multifunctional Materials in Drug Delivery Applications. Marine Drugs. 2016;14(3):42. doi:10.3390/md14030042
Dionísio M, Braz L, Corvo M, Lourenço JP, Grenha A, da Costa AMRosa. Charged pullulan derivatives for the development of nanocarriers by polyelectrolyte complexation. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2016;86:129 - 138. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.01.054
Santos MA dos, Grenha A. Advances In Protein Chemistry And Structural Biologyprotein And Peptide Nanoparticles For Drug Deliverypolysaccharide Nanoparticles For Protein And Peptide Delivery. Vol. 98. Elsevier; 2015:223 - 261. doi:10.1016/bs.apcsb.2014.11.003
Ebadzad G, Medeira C, Maia I, Martins J, Cravador A. Induction of defence responses by cinnamomins against Phytophthora cinnamomi in Quercus suber and Quercus ilex subs. rotundifolia. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 2015;143(4):705 - 723. doi:10.1007/s10658-015-0721-9
Rodrigues S, Grenha A. Activation of Macrophages: Establishing a Role for Polysaccharides in Drug Delivery Strategies Envisaging Antibacterial Therapy. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2015;21(33):4869 - 4887. doi:10.2174/1381612821666150820103910
Rodrigues S, Cardoso L, da Costa A, Grenha A. Biocompatibility and Stability of Polysaccharide Polyelectrolyte Complexes Aimed at Respiratory Delivery. Materials. 2015;8(9):5647 - 5670. doi:10.3390/ma8095268
Rodrigues S, Cordeiro C, Seijo B, Remuñán-López C, Grenha A. Hybrid nanosystems based on natural polymers as protein carriers for respiratory delivery: Stability and toxicological evaluation. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2015;123:369 - 380. doi:10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.01.048
Correia JC, Massart J, de Boer JFreark, et al. Bioenergetic cues shift FXR splicing towards FXRα2 to modulate hepatic lipolysis and fatty acid metabolism. Molecular Metabolism. 2015;4(12):891 - 902. doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2015.09.005
Grenha A. Editorial (Thematic Issue: Exploring the Role of Polysaccharides in Drug Delivery). Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2015;21(33):4773 - 4774. doi:10.2174/1381612821999150903143853
Canto AMTM do, Santos PD, Martins J, Loura LMS. Behavior of pyrene as a polarity probe in palmitoylsphingomyelin and palmitoylsphingomyelin/cholesterol bilayers: A molecular dynamics simulation study. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2015;480:296 - 306. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfa.2014.12.012
Mouffouk F, Dornelle D, Lopes A, et al. Self-assembled polymeric nanoparticles as new, smart contrast agents for cancer early detection using magnetic resonance imaging. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2014:63. doi:10.2147/IJN.S71190
Perestrelo ARubina, Grenha A, da Costa AMRosa, Belo JAntónio. Locust bean gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture. Materials Science and Engineering: C. 2014;40:336 - 344. doi:10.1016/j.msec.2014.04.022
Nunes R, Rodrigues S, Pasko P, Tyszka-Czochara M, Grenha A, de Carvalho ISaraiva. Effect of Erica australis extract on Caco-2 cells, fibroblasts and selected pathogenic bacteria responsible for wound infection. Industrial Crops and Products. 2014;52:99 - 104. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.10.015
Loura LMS, Canto AMTMarti, Martins J. Sensing hydration and behavior of pyrene in POPC and POPC/cholesterol bilayers: A molecular dynamics study. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes. 2013;1828(3):1094 - 1101. doi:10.1016/j.bbamem.2012.12.014
Costa H, Grenha A. Natural carriers for application in tuberculosis treatment. Journal of Microencapsulation. 2013;30(3):295 - 306. doi:10.3109/02652048.2012.726283
Ribeiro AL, Ribeiro V. Drug Metabolism and Transport Under Hypoxia. Current Drug Metabolism. 2013;14(9):969 - 975. doi:10.2174/1389200211314090003
Grenha A, Rodrigues S. Pullulan-based nanoparticles: future therapeutic applications in transmucosal protein delivery. Therapeutic Delivery. 2013;4(11):1339 - 1341. doi:10.4155/tde.13.99
Dionísio M, Cordeiro C, Remuñán-López C, Seijo B, da Costa AMRosa, Grenha A. Pullulan-based nanoparticles as carriers for transmucosal protein delivery. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013;50(1):102 - 113. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2013.04.018
Rodrigues S, Dionísio M, López CRemuñán, Grenha A. Biocompatibility of Chitosan Carriers with Application in Drug Delivery. Journal of Functional Biomaterials. 2012;3(4):615 - 641. doi:10.3390/jfb3030615
Grenha A, Dionísio M. Locust bean gum: Exploring its potential for biopharmaceutical applications. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences. 2012;4(3):175. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.99013
Rodrigues S, da Costa AMRosa, Grenha A. Chitosan/carrageenan nanoparticles: Effect of cross-linking with tripolyphosphate and charge ratios. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2012;89(1):282 - 289. doi:10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.03.010
Grenha A. Chitosan nanoparticles: a survey of preparation methods. Journal of Drug Targeting. 2012;20(4):291 - 300. doi:10.3109/1061186X.2011.654121
Al-Qadi S, Grenha A, Carrión-Recio D, Seijo B, Remuñán-López C. Microencapsulated chitosan nanoparticles for pulmonary protein delivery: In vivo evaluation of insulin-loaded formulations. Journal of Controlled Release. 2012;157(3):383 - 390. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.08.008
Martins J, Arrais D, Manuel M. Can pyrene be localized inside lipid bilayers by simultaneously measuring Py values, and fulfilling the excimer formation conditions?. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 2012;165(8):866 - 869. doi:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2012.03.005
Mouffouk F, da Costa AMRosa, Martins J, Zourob M, Abu-Salah KMustafa, Alrokayan SA. Development of a highly sensitive bacteria detection assay using fluorescent pH-responsive polymeric micelles. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2011;26(8):3517 - 3523. doi:10.1016/j.bios.2011.01.037
Félix RC, Müller P, Ribeiro V, Ranson H, Silveira H. Plasmodium infection alters Anopheles gambiae detoxification gene expression. BMC Genomics. 2010;11(1):312. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-312
Manuel M, Martins J. Partitioning of 1-pyrenesulfonate into zwitterionic and mixed zwitterionic/anionic fluid phospholipid bilayers. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 2008;154(2):79 - 86. doi:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2008.04.007
Arrais D, Martins J. Bilayer polarity and its thermal dependency in the ℓo and ℓd phases of binary phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol mixtures. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes. 2007;1768(11):2914 - 2922. doi:10.1016/j.bbamem.2007.08.012
Melo E, Martins J. Kinetics of bimolecular reactions in model bilayers and biological membranes. A critical review. Biophysical Chemistry. 2006;123(2-3):77 - 94. doi:10.1016/j.bpc.2006.05.003
Ramos S, Manuel M, Tiago T, et al. Decavanadate interactions with actin: Inhibition of G-actin polymerization and stabilization of decameric vanadate. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2006;100(11):1734 - 1743. doi:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2006.06.007
Martins J, Melo E, K. Naqvi R. Reappraisal of four different approaches for finding the mean reaction time in the multi-trap variant of the Adam–Delbrück problem. The Journal of Chemical Physics. 2004;120(19):9390 - 9393. doi:10.1063/1.1711592
Tipo de Evento 
Outros Eventos
Esta sexta-feira, a nossa doutoranda Susana Rodrigues, irá apresentar e defender a sua tese na Universidade do Algarve às 14:30h.
Sex, 20/12/2019
Anfiteatro Teresa Gamito | Building 1 | Gambelas Campus 
Tipo de Evento 
Evento Científico
Este workshop reúne investigadores e estudantes (graduação, PhD) interessados em gênese de cristal, energética molecular e ciências marinhas no dia 4 de junho de 2019 | Auditório Verde | Edifício 8...
Ter, 04/06/2019
Green Auditorium | Building 8 | Gambelas Campus | University of Algarve
A nossa investigadora Ana Grenha ganhou o Prémio SPP Robalo Cordeiro 2020 atribuído ao seu novo projeto “Imunização por via inalatória – Uma estratégia para as doenças respiratórias”.
A equipa ganhou o prémio (ex-aequo) com o trabalho “Terapêutica inalável da tuberculose: um alinhamento da via de administração do fármaco com a via de infeção”, partilhado com outro projeto.
Este foi o primeiro ano que a Universidade do Algarve atribuiu este prémio no valor de 5 mil euros.