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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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NanoPT 2018

NanoPT 2018 | iBB | Scoop.it

The 6th edition of the Nano PT 2018 internacional conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from the 7th to the 9th February 2018. The conference will be held with the purpose of strengthening ties nationally and internationally on Nanotechnology and will encourage industry and universities working on the Nanotechnology field to know each other and to present their research. nanoPT2018 structure will keep the fundamental features of the previous editions, providing a unique opportunity for broad interaction. The conference will cover a broad range of topics on current research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from high level speakers and also an exhibition. nanoPT 2018 is an excellent platform to exchange ideas, networking, find new partners and understand the current state of the art in nanotechnology. Click on title to learn more.

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API Degenotoxification with Adenine-Functionalized Polymers

API Degenotoxification with Adenine-Functionalized Polymers | iBB | Scoop.it
Sulfonate genotoxic impurity (GTIs) pose a high risk for human health due to their ability to alkylate DNA. Removal of such GTIs from pharmaceutical formulations (<1.5 µg/day) is thus a regulatory requirement. In a recent study performed by Teresa Esteves and Frederico Ferreira from BERG-iBB, in collaboration with researchers from Faculty of Pharmacy (UL), propose using a polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer modified with a DNA base to remove sulfonated GTIs. The polymer was able to efficiently remove the GTI from solutions prepared in dichloromethane, removing more than 96% of the impurity as compared to only about 10% for the original non-modified polymer. Click on title to learn more. 
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Use of Silk Fibroin Functionalized with CuSO4 in Microwave-Assisted Knoevenagel Condensation

Use of Silk Fibroin Functionalized with CuSO4 in Microwave-Assisted Knoevenagel Condensation | iBB | Scoop.it

Conventional organic synthesis has greatly contributed to the production of a huge number of molecular precursors of essential materials in modern life. However, these methods are characterized by a strong negative impact when evaluated in terms of sustainability. In the last decade, microwave radiation techniques have been able to perform many of these organic chemistry reactions generally faster, with better yields, and according to the principles of Green Chemistry. In a paper recently published by Luis Fonseca from BERG-iBB and colleagues from university of S. Paulo, silk fibroin fibers functionalized with CuSO4 were tested as a renewable catalyst in combination with microwave radiation to assist Knoveneganel condensation reactions due to its great potential for forming carbon-carbon bonds from a wide range of compounds. Click on title to learn more.

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Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment

Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment | iBB | Scoop.it
The use of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) in the textile and other industrial sectors has been rapidly increasing and their occurrence in wastewater is expected to rise accordingly. However, the fate of NPs during biological wastewater treatment is largely unknown. A recent study led by Nídia Lourenço from BERG-iBB highlighted the potential application of nuclear microscopy to characterize the interaction of silver-NPs (AgNPs) with biological wastewater treatment systems based on aerobic granular sludge (AGS). Elemental maps of AGS samples revealed that the AgNPs were preferentially associated to extracellular polymeric substances, which represents an important step forward regarding their effective removal from textile wastewater.
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Featured Photo: Microscopic Structure of Chromatographic Paper (100X)

Featured Photo: Microscopic Structure of Chromatographic Paper (100X) | iBB | Scoop.it

Description: Microscopic structure of chromatographic paper (100 Xs), featured photo by Ana Rosa and Miguel Prazeres, Copyright BERG-iBB 2016.


Context: BERG researchers led by Miguel Prazeres are developing paper-based biosensors for molecular diagnostics by combining affinity-based anchoring of biomolecules with nanoparticle-based detection. The work is being performed in the context of iBB’s Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering.

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Silica Nanoparticles for Gene Therapy

Silica Nanoparticles for Gene Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it
Alternative gene delivery vehicles to augment the efficiency of transfection both in vitro and in vivo are needed. A collaborative team of researchers from iBB-BERG (Gabriel Monteiro), Centro de Química Estrutural-IST (M.C. Gonçalves) and CESAM, Universidade de Aveiro (I. Domingues) have recently described the optimization of a method to synthesize amino-functionalized silica nanoparticles. These nanparticles were complexed with plasmid DNA to assemble specialized complexes (ORMOPLEXES), which were then characterized by physical and chemical analyses and tested in vitro and in vivo for biological activity. Click on title to read the publication in Materials Science and Engineering: C.

Photo details:  TEM images of ORMOPLEXES.
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Tunable Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) Hollow Microspheres

Tunable Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) Hollow Microspheres | iBB | Scoop.it
The application of PVA-based materials in bioengineering and biomedicine has been increasing, given the low cost and wide availability of PVA. Diffusion limitations may hinder the use of PVA-hydrogels in specific fields, such as biocatalysis or drug delivery. Pedro Fernandes (BERG-iBB) joined researchers from iMed.ULisboa and ICEMS-IST to develop a methodology for the production of PVA-hollow microspheres by cross-linking PVA with boronic acids. The thin-walled microspheres minimized diffusion resistances to small molecules, while presenting high biocompatibility, enzyme encapsulation efficiency and physical stability, as they endured heat sterilization. Successful use of these microspheres in biocatalysis, drug-delivery and tissue engineering is foreseen. Click on title to learn more.
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Gelatin Scaffolds for Skin Tissue Engineering

Gelatin Scaffolds for Skin Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Gelatin’s excellent foaming ability allows the application of in situ gas foaming as a preparation technique for porous scaffold development. Ina  recent publication in the International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials, a team of researchers from BERG-iBB, and from The University of Northampton, report on a new iterative experimental design for the preparation of gellatin scafolds by an in situ gas foaming method . The prepared scaffolds were studied for applying the findings to the future skin tissue engineering scaffolds. The thermal stability, mechanical properties, and pore structure of the scaffolds are reported and their degradation resistance by using collagenase enzyme and their cytotoxicity by using fibroblasts were studied. The results of this study demonstrated that gas foaming method can be modified to produce an interconnected porous structure with enhanced mechanical properties. Click on title to learn more.

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Seminar on Chitosan-Based Nanomaterials by Professor Már Masson

Seminar on Chitosan-Based Nanomaterials by Professor Már Masson | iBB | Scoop.it

Professor Már Masson, a specialist in the area of Medicinal Chemistry and Nanomedicine  will be giving a talk entitled "Chitosan based nanomaterials for drug delivery, antimicrobial action and regenerative therapy" Friday the 9th July, at 12h00m, in Anfiteatro Abreu Faro , IST (Alameda). Már Masson is the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Iceland. The focus of his work is on the synthesis and investigation of small molecules and polymer derivatives for drug delivery and other pharmaceutical applications. He will be hosted by Dr. Ana Paula Serro from  Centro de Quimica Estrutural (CQE).

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Impact of Engineered Nanoparticles on Textile Wastewater Treatment With Aerobic Granular Sludge

Impact of Engineered Nanoparticles on Textile Wastewater Treatment With Aerobic Granular Sludge | iBB | Scoop.it
Nídia Lourenço, will be giving a talk entitled "Impact of engineered nanoparticles on textile wastewater treatment with aerobic granular sludge", Monday the 3rd July, at 12h30m, in room QA1.3, South Tower, IST (Alameda). Nídia Lourenço is a Researcher at BERG-iBB. Her research has focused on the areas of aerobic granular sludge bioreactors for industrial wastewater treatment, biodegradation of textile dyes in sequencing batch reactors or wastewater quality monitoring using spectrometry. The talk is included in the 2nd Edition of iBB seminars.
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Biomolecular Functionalization of Cellulose with Gold Nanoparticles

Biomolecular Functionalization of Cellulose with Gold Nanoparticles | iBB | Scoop.it

Materials with new and improved functionalities can be obtained by modifying cellulose with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In a paper published in the Journal of Molecular Recognition, António Almeida, Ana Rosa, Ana Azevedo and Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB, describe a method to functionalize cellulose with AuNPs that relies on 2 recognition elements: a ZZ-CBM3 fusion that combines a carbohydrate-binding module with the ZZ fragment of protein A and an anti-biotin antibody. Paper and cellulose microparticles with AuNPs immobilized via the ZZ-CBM3:anti-biotin IgG supramolecular complex displayed an intense red color, whereas no color is detected when AuNPs are deposited over the unmodified materials. The method also opens up the way for the development of simple and straightforward paper/cellulose-based tests where detection of a target analyte can be made by direct use of color signaling. Click on title to learn more.

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BIOTECnico Student David Botequim Delivers Talk on Plasmonic Biosensing

BIOTECnico Student David Botequim Delivers Talk on Plasmonic Biosensing | iBB | Scoop.it
David Botequim, a 2nd year student of the BIOTECnico PhD Program presents highlights of his project on Plasmonic Biosensing with Gold Nanorods during the 2nd joint BIOTECnico and AEM PhD Programs workshop that took place at Instituto Superior Técnico on the 15th and 16th February.
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Imprinted Polymers Tailored for Degenotoxification of Pharmaceuticals

Imprinted Polymers Tailored for Degenotoxification of Pharmaceuticals | iBB | Scoop.it
The presence of genotoxic impurities (GTIs) (e.g. reagents, intermediates, side-products) in active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) constitutes a high risk for human health. For this reason, regulatory authorities have established that the intake of these DNA reactive impurities should not exceed the threshold limit of 1.5 µg/day. In a recent study published in the journal Separation and Purification Technology, Teresa Esteves and Frederico Ferreira from BERG-iBB, in collaboration with researchers from Hovione and FCT-UNova, present a novel molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) that is able to efficiently remove the GTI 4-dimethylaminopyridine at concentrations as high as 1 g/L. Two case studies relevant for the pharmaceutical industry are evaluated, and a multistep configuration is proposed comprising a MIP-based step and organic solvent nanofiltration, that reduces GTI content below the limits imposed by law. Click on title to learn more.
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Anti-Candida spp. Activity of Zn Coated with ZnO-nanostructured Flowers

Anti-Candida spp. Activity of Zn Coated with ZnO-nanostructured Flowers | iBB | Scoop.it

Rejection and colonization by microbes are two problematic issues that often require the surgical removal of medical implants with increased risks for patients. In a recent publication in J. Materials Chemistry B, a team of researchers from iBB-BSRG (Nuno Mira, Diana Cunha), IST and Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal have shown that functionalization of Zn surfaces with ZnO-nanostructured 'Anastacia' flowers (NAF) results in improved biomaterials that can potentially overcome these important drawbacks and further boost the use of Zn in biomedical implants. Colonization of the NAF-coated Zn surface by Candida parapsilosis and Candida albicans, two of the more relevant microbial species colonizing medical devices, was significantly reduced on the NAF-coated Zn surface. The ZnO-derived coating is an expeditious strategy to improve the resilience of Zn-based resorbable biomaterials towards Candida spp. colonization, paving the way for the design of bioactive ZnO-derived coatings with potential for clinical applications on bone. Click on title to learn more. 


Photo: ZnO flowers with yeast cells.

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Binding of a Carbohydrate Binding Module-GFP Fusion to Cellulose Microparticles

Binding of a Carbohydrate Binding Module-GFP Fusion to Cellulose Microparticles | iBB | Scoop.it

Fluorescence microscopy photography of carbohydrate binding module-green fluorescent protein (CBM3-GFP) fusions bound to cellulose 20 micron-sized microparticles. The CBM3 is from C. thermocellum. This work was developed as a partnership between a team of BERG-iBB researchers led by Miguel Prazeres and the company NZYTech. The project was funded by Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa, FEDER (project n.º 30270 - “CBM sensor paper”)

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Nanofibers for Biocatalysis

Nanofibers for Biocatalysis | iBB | Scoop.it
Nanofibrous materials are attracting considerable interest as their properties are fit for a wide range of applications, from tissue engineering to separation processes. In a recently published paper, Pedro Fernandes (BERG-iBB) and researchers from iMed.ULisboa and ICEMS-IST put together their expertise to assemble a home-made set-up for enzyme entrapment in polyvinyl alcohol electrospun nanofibers. Using naringinase, a debittering enzyme used for processing of fruit juice as model, the authors were able to operate a packed bed reactor filled with active nanofiber for over 200 hours with no loss of activity, a feature that highlights the potential of their approach. Click on title to learn more. 
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An Integrated Approach for the Detailed Characterization of an Immobilized Enzyme

An Integrated Approach for the Detailed Characterization of an Immobilized Enzyme | iBB | Scoop.it

Enzyme immobilization has been the focus of extensive research over decades, yet empiricism still often prevails over rational design. In a recent publication in the Journal of Molecular Catalysis, a team of researchers from BERG-iBB, Centro de Química Estrutural, Centro de Química-Física Molecular and IN, led by Pedro Fernandes from BERG-iBB, propose a more comprehensive characterization of heterogeneous bioconversion systems as a way of overcoming this pattern. Using the immobilization of invertase on glass substrate for the production of invert sugar syrup through sucrose hydrolysis as a model system,  the team combined a detailed characterization of every step of the immobilization protocol by contact angle measurement, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy with an evaluation of enzyme loading and affinity towards the functionalized substrate using a quartz crystal microbalance. The successful deposition of the different coating reagents and of the enzyme was confirmed by the shifts in surface wettability and roughness. XPS highlighted the over-simplistic nature of common models for chemical interaction between layers.

 

 

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Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas

Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas | iBB | Scoop.it

In a recent paper published in Journal of Bionic Engineering, researchers from BERG-IBB studied the topography and wettability of the underside of English weed (Oxalis pes-caprae) leaves using epoxy replicas created via a two-step casting process. Leaves were found to be close to super hydrophobic due to the presence of a characteristic pattern of irregular 100 µm – 200 µm × 60 µm convex papillae. The water repellency properties of such microstructured surfaces may have important applications, including self-cleaning, anti-microbial and anti-fouling.

 

Photo details: SEM image of an epoxy replica of the leaf of English weed. P.M. Pereira, 2013.

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