iBB
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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Probiotic Therapeutics for Candidiasis

Probiotic Therapeutics for Candidiasis | iBB | Scoop.it
The project "LactoCan – Fostering the development of new probiotic therapeutic approaches for the treatment of candidiasis exploring the Candida-lactobacilii interference" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of LactoCan is to foster the development of new anti-Candida therapies by exploring the intimate, but yet unexplored, interference that exists in vivo between several lactobacilli species that compose the human mycobiome and that are known to play a role in modulating the overgrowth of pathogens, including of Candida spp. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Biological Sciences, is headed by Nuno Mira from BSRG-iBB and involves national/international collaborations with the University of Minho, with INRIA and with the University of Antwerpen. 
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Manufacturing of Therapeutic Exosomes

Manufacturing of Therapeutic Exosomes | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "EXOpro: Development of a scalable manufacturing process for therapeutic human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell-derived exosomes" has been recommended for funding by FCT. The goal of EXOpro is to develop a fully controlled manufacturing process for the production and purification of an effective, safe and fully characterized MSC-derived exosome-based product. Overall, the success of this project is expected to contribute to the development of novel cell-free strategies for  Regenerative Medicine settings. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Chemical Engineering, is headed by Ana Fernandes from SCERG-iBB and Ana Azevedo from BERG-iBB and involves a collaboration with the University of São Paulo.

Photo details: GFP-expressing MSCs by Joana Serra, copyright iBB 2017.

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Scale-up of Cardiomyocyte Production

Scale-up of Cardiomyocyte Production | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "CardioWheel: Upscaling the Production of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Cardiomyocytes using Vertical-Wheel Bioreactors" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of CardioWheel is the application of bioreactor technology for human Pluripotent Stem Cell expansion and cardiomyocyte differentiation in a single process, culturing cells in suspension in the novel single-use Vertical-Wheel Bioreactors. These bioreactors will be characterized using computational fluid dynamics and this knowledge will be used to scale up the culture. The generated cells will be tested for functional and pharmacological activity to demonstrate their applicability in drug discovery and regenerative medicine. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Chemical Engineering, is headed by Carlos Rodrigues and Joaquim Cabral from SCERG-iBB.

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Impact of Microbiome Healing on Fish Larviculture

Impact of Microbiome Healing on Fish Larviculture | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "MicroControl: Exploiting the healing capacity of nature´s microbiomes for improved fish larviculture" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of MicroControl is to develop multi-species cocktails of beneficial fish symbionts to prevent bacterial disease incidence during fish larval rearing, a stage at which fish individuals are highly susceptible to acute outbreaks that pronouncedly impact land-based rearing of hundreds of economically important species. The team will conduct larval rearing trials under “microbiome therapy” to address the effectiveness of the approach in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), the third most cultivated fish species worldwide. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Biological Sciences, is headed by Rodrigo Costa from BSRG-iBB and involves a collaboration with Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera.

 

Photo details: Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) larva, from Sara I.C. Castanho, “The potential of Asparagopsis armata to control the bacterial load associated to live feed to improve Seabream (Sparus aurata) larvae performance”, MSc Thesis., Algarve University, Portugal, June 2014.

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Lactic Acid Bacterial Factories

Lactic Acid Bacterial Factories | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "LactoSynt: Lactic Acid Bacteria as Cell Factories: a Synthetic Biology Approach for Plasmid DNA and Recombinant Protein Production" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of LactoSynt is to engineer lactic acid bacteria and plasmid vectors in order to develop a flexible platform for biomolecule production. Applications in the pharmaceutical field (DNA vaccines, recombinant proteins) are envisaged. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Medical Biotechnology, is headed by Gabriel Monteiro from BERG-iBB and Leonilde Moreira from BSRG-iBB.

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Mixed Regulatory-Metabolic Genome-Scale Models in Yeasts

Mixed Regulatory-Metabolic Genome-Scale Models in Yeasts | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "MIXED-UP: Targeting pathogenesis and engineering cell factories: developing mixed regulatory-metabolic genome-scale models in yeasts" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of MIXED-UP is to develop genomic scale mathematical models that describe the complete metabolic and regulatory networks in yeasts of biotechnological and clinical relevance. These mathematical models will be used for the in silico prediction of the best proteins or pathways to target for the development of improved yeast cell factories. They will also enable the identification of the key regulatory or metabolic steps that constitute the best drug targets, aiming the development of new antifungal drugs for the treatment of superficial and invasive candidiasis. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Industrial Biotechnology, is headed by Miguel Teixeira from BSRG-iBB and involves a consortia of partners from the University of Minho, INESC-ID and IGC.

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Sustainable Bioplastics from Seaweed

Sustainable Bioplastics from Seaweed | iBB | Scoop.it

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable macromolecules produced as reserve materials by bacteria.  PHAs have the potential to replace the main polymers in the plastic market as long as price competitive production processes are developed. The goal of the project "AlgaePlas", which has recently been recommended for funding by FCT, is to use seaweed residues after hydrocolloid extraction, or whole seaweed with no current industrial applications, as novel sugar platforms for PHAs production by marine bacteria. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Industrial Biotechnology, is headed by Teresa Cesário from BERG-iBB and involves collaboration with the University of Minho. The proposal "AlgaePlas: Seaweed biorefinery for the upgrade of carbohydrates to sustainable bioplastics" was submitted in the context of the 2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants.

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Biomolecular Constructs for Cellulose Modification

Biomolecular Constructs for Cellulose Modification | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "CBM-X: Biorecognition as a Tool for the Functionalization of Cellulose-based Materials with Biomolecules and Nanostructures" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of CBM-X is to develop biomolecular constructs for the precise modification of cellulose matrices with nanostructures and/or biomolecules, and for the anchoring of nanocellulose onto a range of materials. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Materials Engineering, is headed by Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB and involves a collaboration with the company NZYTech.

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Engineeering of Mini-Hearts

Engineeering of Mini-Hearts | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "Mini-Hearts: Organoid Engineering for Production of 3D Cardiovascular Microtissues from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cardiotoxicity" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of "Mini-Hearts is to  develop an innovative model of cardiovascular tissue from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) for drug screening, toxicology assays, disease modeling and potentially for Regenerative Medicine applications. The work will explore the new paradigm of organoid engineering by targeting the simultaneous differentiation of hiPSCs into all the cell types of the human myocardium. This will potentially allow the reproduction of the heterogeneity, complexity, maturity and functionality of cardiovascular tissue. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Medical Engineering, is headed by Margarida Diogo from SCERG-iBB.

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Cerebellar Organoids for Ataxia Research

Cerebellar Organoids for Ataxia Research | iBB | Scoop.it

Cerebellar ataxias are characterized by progressive neurodegeneration of the cerebellum. Current knowledge about the disease is based on postmortem studies and animal models that do not fully recapitulate the features of human ataxias. The development of disease models is thus an important unmet medical need. The goal of the project "CEREBEX", which has recently been approved for funding by PORLisboa, is to generate 3D cultures of mature cerebellar neurons to investigate ataxia mechanisms and therapeutic strategies. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Medical Biotechnology, is headed by Joaquim Cabral from SCERG-iBB and involves the collaboration with the Institute for Molecular Medicine. The proposal "CEREBEX - Generation of gene-edited cerebellar organoids for ataxia research" was submitted in the context of the 2017 Call for SR&TD Project Grants.

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