Isabel Maria Santana Ramos de Freitas Amaral
Email :
Function: Assistant Investigator
Group: Nanobiomaterials for Targeted Therapies
Background: PhD in Engineering Sciences (University of Porto)
Short Biography

Isabel Amaral graduated in Marine Biology at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar in 1987. After working in the field of marine aquaculture as a biologist she undertook a PhD at INEB (Doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering), obtaining the PhD degree in Engineering Sciences with the thesis entitled Chitosan Matrices for Cell-based Bone Regenerative Therapies on February 2006. On March 2006 she joined the research team of INEB Biomaterials for Neurosciences to develop her Pos-Doc project entitled Pre-vascularization of 3-D porous scaffolds as a novel spinal cord injury therapeutic regenerative strategy to enhance adhesion and differentiation of human neural stem cells from embryonic origin, at INEB and at the Institute of Pathology of Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz). In July 2009, she was appointed assistant investigator at INEB (the first three years in the framework of Programa Ciência 2008). At INEB IAmaral has participated in 12 scientific projects in the field of regenerative medicine, as team member as well as principal investigator (I Amaral is the PI of two research projects). Isabel Amaral is also invited professor at the Faculdade de Engenharia do Porto since September 2009, in the framework of the Integrated MSc Course in Bioengineering.

Research interests:

  • Design of hydrogels (based on natural or synthetic polymers) functionalized at the molecular level with adhesive motifs and/or biological signaling molecules to induce survival, migration, and differentiation of neural progenitors following transplantation, and to guide axonal regeneration in the spinal cord.
  • Development of hydrogels incorporating nanoparticles for cell-targeted delivery of antagonists of neurite outgrowth inhibitors.
  • Cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions.
  • Cellular mechanotransduction.

Selected publications:

A.R. Bento, P. Quelhas, M.J. Oliveira, A.P. Pêgo, and I.F. Amaral, Three-dimensional culture of single embryonic stem-derived neural/stem progenitor cells in fibrin hydrogels: neuronal network formation and matrix remodelling. J. Tissue Eng. Regen. Med.. DOI: 10.1002/term.2262.

T.L. Laundos, J. Silva, M. Assunção, P. Quelhas, C. Monteiro, C. Oliveira, M.J. Oliveira, A.P. Pêgo, and I.F. Amaral, Rotary orbital suspension culture of embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem/progenitors: impact of hydrodynamic culture on aggregate yield, morphology, and cell phenotype. J. Tissue Eng. Regen. Med.. DOI: 10.1002/term.2121.

D. Barros, I.F. Amaral, and A.P. Pêgo, Biomimetic Synthetic Self-Assembled Hydrogels for Cell Transplantation. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 15, 2015, 1209-1226. DOI:10.2174/1568026615666150330111057.

I.F. Amaral, I. Neiva, F. Ferreira da Silva, S.R. Sousa, A.M. Piloto, C.D.F. Lopes, M.A. Barbosa, C.J. Kirkpatrick, and A.P. Pêgo, Endothelialisation of chitosan porous conduits via immobilization of a recombinant fibronectin fragment (rhFNIII7-10), Acta Biomaterialia, 9, 2013, 5643–5652.

S.M. Oliveira, I.F. Amaral, M.A. Barbosa, and C.C. Teixeira, Engineering endochondral bone: In vitro studies, Tissue Engineering 15(3), 2009, p. 625-634.

I.F. Amaral, P.L. Granja and M.A. Barbosa, Chemical modification of chitosan via phosphorylation. An XPS, FTIR and SEM study, Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Edition, Vol 16(12), 2005, p. 1575-1593.

CV:  Isabel Maria Santana Ramos de Freitas Amaral CV

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