CBIOS develops Integrated Health Strategies by applying the competence of all it’s members in five research domains:

Modeling Systems (MoSys)

The MoSys research explores several transversal competences and applications within CBIOS. Physiological models, that is, frameworks used to investigate various components of mechanisms in health and disease are our main focus.  In vivo (animal or human), in vitro, and more recently, in silico models are here constructed to look deeper into those processes. Variables are preferably obtained by non-invasive technologies, where the skin is a major modelling resource. Advanced data analysis (machine – learning algoritms, physiological computing) is also an additional resource regularly applied.
Applications are extensive, from basic physiology – pharmacology and therapeutics, including pharmacokinetics for drug development and efficiency studies.

Scientific topics

  • Skin physiology, including the “barrier”
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Microcirculation, movement and muscular performance
  • Impact of complementary and Integrative practices (massage) on microcirculatory physiology

Contact: Luís Monteiro Rodrigues

Development of Delivery Systems (DDS)

The DDS research domain is mainly focused on the development of drug delivery systems and also on technologies or devices to deliver non-drug products (including food supplements and cosmetics).

DDS domain aims the successful delivery of active agents in a controlled and targeted manner and the development of advanced and innovative systems for a variety of applications (skin and infectious diseases, cancer, diabetes).

DDS research includes the development of micro- and nanoparticle delivery systems, semi-solid dosage forms, formulation of lipid-based carriers, subcutaneous implants and the application of natural origin-based materials for drug and non-drug delivery systems.

Scientific topics

  • Topical and Transdermal drug delivery
  • Applicability of Ionic Liquids in delivery systems
  • Methods of micro and nanoencapsulation of drugs and bioactives for cosmetics
  • Formulation strategies and novel ingredients for cosmetics

Contact: Catarina Rosado

Natural Bioactives (Bio.Natural)

The Natural Bioactives (Bio.Natural) mission lies in promoting the knowledge on the multiple applications offered by natural products in the development of new bioactive substances for a variety of applications.

Our research focus on the phytochemical profile and biological activity of natural sources, mainly medicinal plants, to identify natural products as bioactive agents. The discovery of new bioactive molecules as drug leads isolated from medicinal plants and the valorisation through chemical transformations by rational drug design and semi-synthesis is also key point of our research.

We also promote scientific dissemination and support scientific training of students and young graduates.

Scientific topics

  • Chemistry of Natural Products: Extraction, fractionation, isolation and structural characterization of compounds from natural sources, mainly from medicinal plants.
  • Drug Design: Development of new bioactive molecules design through hemi-synthesis from natural compounds for structure-activity relationships.
  • Biological activity evaluation: antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, evaluation of general toxicity through Artemia salina and Saccharomyces cerevisiae models in extracts, natural or synthetic compounds.

Contact: Patricia Rijo

Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms

The research in Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms at CBIOS is committed to the study of potential novel drugs and functional ingredients. This ranges from the identification of therapeutic targets to the safety and efficacy evaluation of bioactive compounds.
In this framework, compounds for potential cutaneous applications are a major theme of our research. We are also interested in exploring the redox pathways involved in cancer etiology and progression and in modulating them using redox-active compounds with potential therapeutic applications.

Scientific topics

  • Cancer redox biology
  • Redox-active therapeutics
  • Impact of food bioactives on cancer etiology and progression
  • Safety and efficacy assessment of potential novel drugs and functional ingredients for skin applications

Contact: Ana Sofia Fernandes

Nutrition and Health Promotion

The Nutrition and Health Promotion domain aims to foster research on dietary interventions and healthy lifestyles that contribute to the improvement of the populations’ well-being.

This research domain is expected to increase knowledge about the impact of food supplements and novel foods on health, from effects on specific organs and pathologies to the well-being of individuals.

Research lines included in this domain range from new product development, to the study of nutrition-related and well-being promotion health services, helping to translate this knowledge into innovative health practices and services.

Scientific topics

  • Health services research
  • Nutritional health during lifetime/ of populations
  • Health and wellbeing promotion
  • Food supplementation outcome research

Contact: Cíntia Ferreira Pêgo e João Pedro Gregório /