Sustainable Nanochemistry

Polymer Theranostics & Bioenergy

Our research is conducted in the organic chemistry lab located in the old Chemistry Building at Instituto Superior Técnico, in the heart of Lisbon. Our lab is part of the Biospectroscopy and Interfaces group at Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), which is a Research Unit of IST-UL. iBB was rated “Excellent” in the last international evaluation of the Portuguese Research Units, and it is an internationally recognised research center. iBB offers state-of-the-art facilities, namely optical spectroscopy and microscopy laboratories, and human cell culture facilities including stem cell culture facilities. The imaging infrastructures are part of the Portuguese Platform of Bioimaging, a research infrastructure of strategic interest for open-access to resources of bio-imaging. Ongoing research in sustainable nanochemistry is focused in three main topics: green chemistry (mechanochemistry, sonochemistry, catalysis), nanomedicine (polymer therapeutics, cancer theranostics and radiotheranostics, regenerative nanomedicine) and molecular electronics (non-traditional intrinsic luminescence, organic supercapacitors, sensors). Selected publications are shown below, for more information see the dendrimers and publications sections.

Participation in COST actions
CA17140 - Nano2Clinic: Cancer Nanomedicine - From the bench to the bedside.


In our lab we are fully committed with the principles of green chemistry. Our reactions are performed in solventless conditions, in water or using alternative solvents. We are equipped with a sonochemical reactor (260 W) and a PM100 planetary ball mill with 50 mL stain less steel and zirconium oxide reactors, with standard and aeration covers.

R. Viveiros et al. ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2019 ,7, 15445 [Green MIPs]
M.B. Gawande et al. ChemSusChem 2014, 7, 24 [Review]
M.B. Gawande et al. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 5522 [Review]
M.B. Gawande et al.
Green Chem. 2013, 15, 1226 [Nanocatalysis]
R.B. Restani et al.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 5162 [PURE dendrimers synthesis]

In the last few years we have been focused in the development of novel nanosystems based on polyurea dendrimers for dug and gene delivery. Undergoing research work explore polyurea dendrimers scaffolds for antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and antimalarial (blood stage, collaboration with IHMT) nanotherapeutics. Ovarian cancer theranostics with special focus in early detection is also a top priority under a collaborative work with IPOLGF and CEDOC.
R.B. Restani et al. Part. Part. Syst. Charact. 2020  [Pulmonary hypertension]

I. Santos et al. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2523 [Ovarian cancer therapeutics]
R.B. Restani et al.
ChemistryOpen, 2018, 7, 772 [Pulmonary delivery]
R.B. Restani et al.
Part. Part. Syst. Charact. 2016, 33, 851 [Pulmonary delivery]
A.S. Silva et al. Int. J. Pharm. 2017, 519, 240 [Lung cancer theranostics]
A.S. Silva et al. RSC Adv. 2016, 6, 33631 [Lung cancer theranostics]
R.B. Restani et al. Macromol. Biosci. 2015, 15, 1045 [Drug nanodelivery]
R.B. Restani et al. RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 54872 [siRNA nanodelivery]

The research developed in the last years has been dedicated to the synthesis of polymer-based fluorescent  sensors. The undergoing research work is devoted to the synthesis of fullerene-based oxygen and temperature luminescent  sensors and novel polymer architectures for the construction of biomimetic electronics, especially jelly photodiodes. The development of microbial fuel cells using organic supercapacitor electrodes is a recent undergoing work in collaboration with ITQB-UNL.
R.F. Pires et al.
J. Appl. Pol. Sci. 2019 [Jelly photodiodes]
A. Bragança et al.
Part. Part. Syst. Charact. 2015, 32, 98 [Explosives sensor]
A. Lourenço, et al.
RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 63338 [Bisphenol A sensor]
V.P. Raje et al.
Biosen. Bioelectron. 2013, 39, 64 [Intracellular zinc and copper sensor]
C. Ribeiro
et al. Biosen. Bioelectron. 2010, 26, 1662 [Fluoride sensor]