We are composed of a multidisciplinary research team, with expertise in cell/tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, toxicology and cancer pharmacology, focused on the use of advanced (3D) in vitro models as tools for developing new cell-based therapeutics and studying drug metabolism and mechanisms of diseases (ex.: liver diseases, skin pathologies, lung cancer).
Microphysiological systems have emerged to provide an alternative to in vivo models in basic science and pharmaceutical research. In this group, we seek to understand how physical properties and biochemical cues work together to regulate and modulate cell functions. Ultimately, we aim to generate the grounds for more personalized/indication-specific treatments.
Alternative Cell Models in Toxicology (PI: Joana Miranda & Nuno Oliveira)
The poor predictability of human liver toxicity is still causing high attrition rates of drug candidates in the pharmaceutical industry. Herein, we strategically recreate the microphysiological (3D) environment for the development of relevant in vitromodels (e.g. liver) to study bioactivation and toxicity of xenobiotics, including drugs and environmental carcinogens.
Cancer Toxicology & Pharmacology (PI: Nuno Oliveira)
These advanced models are also explored towards improved efficacy and safety of antineoplastic drugs in cancer, particularly in NSCLC and breast cancer. The goal is the modulation of key cellular events induced by these drugs by resorting to DNA repair inhibitors and redox modulators.
Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (PI: Joana Miranda)
In this research area we explore 3D models of human stem cells for personalized cell-based therapy applications (liver diseases, skin regeneration, rheumatoid arthritis), and the development of new ATMPs. Cells-derived secretome/exosomes, and their paracrine effects, are also exploited towards cell free-based therapies.