Where Ideas Grow
Isabel Amaral
Associate Researcher

Isabel Amaral graduated in Marine Biology at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar in 1987. After working in the field of marine aquaculture as a biologist she undertook a PhD at INEB (Doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering), obtaining the PhD degree in Engineering Sciences with the thesis entitled Chitosan Matrices for Cell-based Bone Regenerative Therapies on February 2006. On March 2006 she joined the research team of INEB Biomaterials for Neurosciences to develop her Pos-Doc project entitled Pre-vascularization of 3-D porous scaffolds as a novel spinal cord injury therapeutic regenerative strategy to enhance adhesion and differentiation of human neural stem cells from embryonic origin, at INEB and at the Institute of Pathology of Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz). In July 2009, she was appointed assistant investigator at INEB (the first three years in the framework of Programa Ciência 2008). At INEB IAmaral has participated in 14 scientific projects in the field of regenerative medicine, as team member as well as principal investigator (I Amaral is the PI of two research projects). Isabel Amaral is also invited professor at the Faculdade de Engenharia do Porto since September 2009, in the framework of the Integrated MSc Course in Bioengineering.

Research interests:

  • Functionalization of hydrogel matrices (natural or synthetic-based) at the molecular level with cell adhesive motifs and/or migration cues for transplantation of neural progenitors and to guide axonal regeneration in the CNS.
  • Design of self-assembled hydrogels for application in regenerative therapies of the CNS.
  • 3-D hydrogel platforms for neural tissue engineering
  • Cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in 3D microenvironment
  • Cellular mechanotransduction.

Selected Publications

Silva J., Bento A.R., Barros D., Laundos T.L., Sousa S.R., Quelhas P., Sousa M.M., Pêgo A.P., Amaral I.F.,
Fibrin functionalization with synthetic adhesive ligands interacting with a6ß1 integrin receptor enhance neurite outgrowth of embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem/progenitors. Acta Biomaterialia59:243-256, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 13] [IF: 6,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.07.013 SCOPUS: 85023776762.

Bento A.R., Quelhas P., Oliveira M.J., Pêgo A.P., Amaral I.F.,
Three-dimensional culture of single embryonic stem-derived neural/stem progenitor cells in fibrin hydrogels: neuronal network formation and matrix remodelling. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine11(12):3494-3507, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 20] [IF: 4,1]
DOI: 10.1002/term.2262 SCOPUS: 85007489760.

Laundos T.L., Silva J., Assunção M., Quelhas P., Monteiro C., Oliveira C., Oliveira M.J., Pêgo A.P., Amaral I.F.,
Rotary orbital suspension culture of embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem/progenitor cells: impact of hydrodynamic culture on aggregate yield, morphology and cell phenotype. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine11(8):2227-2240, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 5] [IF: 4,1]
DOI: 10.1002/term.2121 SCOPUS: 84975769766.

Barros D., Amaral I.F., Pêgo A.P.,
Biomimetic synthetic self-assembled hydrogels for cell transplantation. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry15(13):1209-1226, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 13] [IF: 2,9]
DOI: 10.2174/1568026615666150330111057 SCOPUS: 84929622149.

Amaral I.F., Neiva I., Ferreira Da Silva F., Sousa S.R., Piloto A.M., Lopes C.D.F., Barbosa M.A., Kirkpatrick C.J., Pêgo A.P.,
Endothelialization of chitosan porous conduits via immobilization of a recombinant fibronectin fragment (rhFNIII7-10). Acta Biomaterialia9(3):5643-5652, 2013. [Journal: Article] [CI: 16] [IF: 5,7]
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.10.029 SCOPUS: 84873199566.

Vasconcelos D.P., Costa M., Amaral I.F., Barbosa M.A., Águas A.P., Barbosa J.N.,
Modulation of the inflammatory response to chitosan through M2 macrophage polarization using pro-resolution mediators. Biomaterials37:116-123, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 111] [IF: 8,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.10.035 SCOPUS: 84922253992.

Amaral I.F., Unger R.E., Fuchs S., Mendonça A.M., Sousa S.R., Barbosa M.A., Pêgo A.P., Kirkpatrick C.J.,
Fibronectin-mediated endothelialisation of chitosan porous matrices. Biomaterials30(29):5465-5475, 2009. [Journal: Article] [CI: 37] [IF: 7,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.06.056 SCOPUS: 68549107574.

Oliveira S.M., Mijares D.Q., Turner G., Amaral I.F., Barbosa M.A., Teixeira C.C.,
Engineering endochondral bone: In vivo studies. Tissue Engineering - Part A15(3):635-643, 2009. [Journal: Article] [CI: 50] [IF: 4,7 (*)]
DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2008.0052 SCOPUS: 64549096039.

Amaral I.F., Granja P.L., Barbosa M.A.,
Chemical modification of chitosan by phosphorylation: An XPS, FT-IR and SEM study. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition16(12):1575-1593, 2005. [Journal: Article] [CI: 353] [IF: 1,4]
DOI: 10.1163/156856205774576736 SCOPUS: 33644875542.

Amaral I.F., Lamghari M., Sousa S.R., Sampaio P., Barbosa M.A.,
Rat bone marrow stromal cell osteogenic differentiation and fibronectin adsorption on chitosan membranes: The effect of the degree of acetylation. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A75(2):387-397, 2005. [Journal: Article] [CI: 68] [IF: 3,7 (*)]
DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.30436 SCOPUS: 26844551535.