Research Lab



Lab Members

Lab leader

Senior Researcher

Junior Researcher

PhD students

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
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
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