The Molecular Biophysics and Biotechnology Group: Innovative Therapies and Delivery Strategies at the Chemistry department of the Faculty of Pharmacy of Porto University (FFUP) has long experience on the study of molecular interactions of bioactive compounds or nanoparticles with membrane mimetic models. Overall, the work on this topic has provided significant results that aid unravelling the mechanisms of action and toxicity of drugs and nanoparticles related with their interaction with membrane phospholipids. We also work in the design and synthesis of drug delivery systems for different applications based on liposomes, lipid and polymeric nanoparticles and nanotubes. Our area of interest also includes the coupling of these structures with quantum dots and metal nanoparticles for diagnosis purposes, which is achieved by collaborations with other groups that work on nanofabrication. Cellular studies that comprise cell proliferation studies, viability and cytotoxicity of nanostructures are also well established techniques.
To sum up, the research activities encompass work that covers the interface between chemistry, chemical biology, physics and medicine in order to improve and develop new drug delivery systems combining different types of nanoparticles and untangle the mechanisms of action that are behind the toxic and therapeutic effects of these structures and drugs.
Our laboratory is well-equipped with several spectroscopic instruments used either in the study of molecular interactions with membranes or in characterization of nanosystems such as: photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), flow cytometry, time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, Brewster Angle Microscopy (BAM) or infrared reflectance absorbance spectroscopy (IRRAS), among others.