Where Ideas grow

Nanomedicines & Translational Drug Delivery


The group is focused on drug delivery systems, with special attention on nanotechnology, and their application to the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. The group is interested in engineering nanomedicines by identifying novel biological targets, proposing new functional ligands and producing tailored nanoplatforms for the delivery of therapeutic molecules for managing cancer, infection and metabolic diseases.



Our scientific achievements share the keywords of nanomedicine, targeted and multifunctional nanoparticles, 3D cellular models, mucoadhesion, biopharmaceuticals, diabetes, HIV prevention and cancer.

The group contributed to the development of novel nanoformulations of biopharmaceuticals, with emphasis on insulin, GLP-1 and antibodies. In this area, we developed oral insulin and GLP-1 delivery systems comprising nano-in-microparticles with pH sensitive release profile, as well as pulmonary insulin delivery carriers. Further approaches involving the encapsulation of proteins and antibodies into polymeric nanoparticles, in order to preserve their stability, have been proposed.

Anticancer drugs with pharmacokinetic issues have been successfully formulated into surface-functionalized nanoparticles, presenting improved bioavailability.

The group is pioneering the use of nano-in-film platforms for vaginal delivery of microbicide drugs to prevent HIV transmission.

Also, we established various mucosal tissue engineered models to validate nanomedicines and to perform in vitro/in vivo correlation.

The group has attracted direct competitive national funding worth more than 1.2 M€ from FCT and international funding of more than 2.0 M€ from EU. Overall, we participated in collaborative scientific research projects accounting for over 7.0 M€. The group published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, generated patented nanotechnology-based solutions that can be readily translated into clinical testing and established an extensive network of national and international collaborators.

Scanning electron microscope images of insulin-loaded PLGA nanoparticles