Research Lab



Lab Members

Lab leader

Senior Researcher

Junior Researcher

Master Students


Research Interests

Development of nanostructures and nanostructured materials functionalized with DNA, antibodies, or proteins for application in nano-biodiagnostics and biosensors. 


Development of point-of-use tests based on electrochemical and optical biosensors. We use Gold Nanoparticles (AuNPs) due to their unique physical, chemical, and optical properties.

Research Highlights
Development of bionanosensors for ultra-sensitive detection of biomarkers from important diseases


Two different lines of Research:

1) Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) of plasmonic and nanostructured (bio)systems for the development of highly sensitive and disposable detection platforms. We are presently developing a highly sensitive SERS-based immunosensor on a disposable platform;

2) Electrochemical and optical biosensors for IVD and water monitoring, and on proteomic projects aiming at characterizing the response of microbial organisms to stress conditions.


highlight 2020


Representative Projects

  • “NANOMODE - Gold nanoparticle-based molecular detection of metabolic diseases”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding: €232,149, Unit funding: €123,828, Ricardo Franco (PI).
  • “DISERTOX - Disposable SERS microfluidic platforms for food toxin detection”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding: €189,987, Unit funding: €34,560, Ricardo Franco (PI).
  • "NOX AQUA - Smart Solutions to Control Nitrogen Levels in the Aquaculture Industry." EEA Grants, Gabriela Almeida (PI).
  • "New biosensors for the point-of-care study of oral N-metabolism: a cross-sectional study", FCT IP, Gabriela Almeida (PI).

Selected Publications

de Almeida, MP; Rodrigues, C; Novais, A; Grosso, F; Leopold, N; Peixe, L; Franco, R; Pereira, E. 2023. Silver Nanostar-Based SERS for the Discrimination of Clinically Relevant Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae Species and Clones. BIOSENSORS-BASEL, 13, DOI: 10.3390/bios13020149
Oliveira, MJ; Caetano, S; Dalot, A; Sabino, F; Calmeiro, TR; Fortunato, E; Martins, R; Pereira, E; Prudencio, M; Byrne, HJ; Franco, R; Aguas, H. 2023. A simple polystyrene microfluidic device for sensitive and accurate SERS-based detection of infection by malaria parasites. ANALYST, 148, DOI: 10.1039/d3an00971h
Monteiro, T; Moreira, M; Gaspar, SBR; Almeida, MG. 2022. Bilirubin oxidase as a single enzymatic oxygen scavenger for the development of reductase-based biosensors in the open air and its application on a nitrite biosensor. BIOSENSORS & BIOELECTRONICS, 217, DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2022.114720
Enea, M; de Almeida, MP; Dias, A; Ferreira, B; Bernardes, C; Flores, O; Pereira, E; Franco, R. 2022. Improved Gold Nanoprobes for Detection of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms: The Influence of Size. PARTICLE & PARTICLE SYSTEMS CHARACTERIZATION, DOI: 10.1002/ppsc.202200137
Stéphane Besson, M. Gabriela Almeida, Célia M. Silveira. 2022. Nitrite reduction in bacteria: A comprehensive view of nitrite reductases. COORDINATION CHEMISTRY REVIEWS, 464, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2022.214560
Oliveira, MJ; Cunha, I; de Almeida, MP; Calmeiro, T; Fortunato, E; Martins, R; Pereira, L; Byrne, HJ; Pereira, E; Aguas, H; Franco, R. 2021. Reusable and highly sensitive SERS immunoassay utilizing gold nanostars and a cellulose hydrogel-based platform. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, DOI: 10.1039/d1tb01404h
Silveira, CM; Zumpano, R; Moreira, M; de Almeida, MP; Oliveira, MJ; Bento, M; Montez, C; Paixao, I; Franco, R; Pereira, E; Almeida, MG. 2019. Star-Shaped Gold Nanoparticles as Friendly Interfaces for Protein Electrochemistry: the Case Study of Cytochrome c. ChemElectroChem, 6, DOI: 10.1002/celc.201901393