The Drug Delivery Laboratory



Building 8, Laboratory 2.22

Faculty of Sciences and Technology

University of Algarve

Phone: +351 289 244 441

Team Members

Ana Grenha (Principal Investigator)

Luis Braz (Researcher)

Jorge Pontes (Researcher)

Flavia Musacchio (PhD student)

Susana Rodrigues (PhD Student)

Ludmylla Cunha (PhD Student)

Filipa Guerreiro (MSc Student)

About the DDL

The Drug Delivery Laboratory (DDL) focus its activities on the development of polymeric based delivery systems for the administration of peptides/proteins, antigens and low molecular weight drugs (antibiotics or anti-inflammatorials). The formulation of delivery systems within the DDL is mainly based on natural polymers abundant in the Algarve, in order to exploit and develop local resources. In drug delivery, different technological approaches are applied by the DDL to overcome biological barriers and natural mechanisms of defence to achieve targeted delivery in relevant pathophysiological environments. In terms of delivery routes, mucosal routes like the nasal and pulmonary, with a particular focus on the latter, are being studied as a way of achieving mucosal and transmucosal delivery, thus allowing both local and systemic therapeutic actions.

Recent Publications (2012-2016)

1. AD Alves, JS Cavaco, F Guerreiro, JP Lourenço, AM Rosa da Costa, A Grenha, 2016. Inhalable antitubercular therapy mediated by locust bean gum microparticles. Molecules, 21, 702: pages 1-22 (invited paper in Topical Collection “Antibiotics & Superbugs: New Strategies to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance”).

2. L Cunha, A Grenha, 2016. Sulphated seaweed polysaccharides as multifunctional materials in drug delivery applications. Marine Drugs, 14 (3), 42. doi:10.3390/md14030042 (invited paper)

3. M Dionísio, L Braz, M Corvo, JP Lourenço, AM Rosa da Costa, A Grenha, 2016. Charged pullulan derivatives for the development of nanocarriers by polyelectrolyte complexation. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 86: 129-138. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.01.054

4. A Grenha, 2015. Exploring the role of polysaccharides in drug delivery. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 21 (33), 4773-4774 (Editorial)

5. S Rodrigues, A Grenha, 2015. Activation of macrophages: Establishing a role for polysaccharides in drug delivery strategies envisaging antibacterial therapy. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 21 (33): 4869-4887 (invited paper in the ambit of special issue “Exploring the Role of Polysaccharides in Drug Delivery”) DOI: 10.2174/1381612821666150820103910

6. S Rodrigues, L Cardoso, AM Rosa da Costa, A Grenha, 2015. Biocompatibility and stability of polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complexes aimed at respiratory delivery. Materials. 8 (9), 5647-5670 (invited paper in the ambit of Special Issue “Therapeutic Delivery Systems for Regenerative Nanomedicine”). DOI:10.3390/ma8095268

7. MA dos Santos, A Grenha, 2015. Polysaccharide nanoparticles for protein and peptide delivery: exploring less known materials. In: R Donev (Ed.) Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology. Vol. 98, Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 223-261 (invited paper). doi:10.1016/bs.apcsb.2014.11.003

8. S Rodrigues, C Cordeiro, B Seijo, C Remuñán López, A Grenha, 2015. Hybrid nanosystems based on natural polymers as protein carriers for respiratory delivery: Stability and toxicological evaluation. Carbohydrate Polymers. 123, 369-380. DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.01.048

9. AR Perestrelo, A Grenha, AM Rosa da Costa, JA Belo, 2014. Locust Bean Gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture. Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications. 40, 336-344. DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2014.04.022

10. R Nunes, S Rodrigues, P Pasko, M Tyszka – Czochara, A Grenha, I Saraiva de Carvalho, 2014. Effect of Erica australis extract on Caco-2 cells, fibroblasts and selected pathogenic bacteria responsible for wound infection. Industrial Crops and Products. 52, 99-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.10.015

11. S Rodrigues, A Grenha, Pullulan-based nanoparticles: future therapeutic applications in transmucosal protein delivery, Therapeutic Delivery, November 2013, 04 (11), 1339-1341. doi:10.4155/tde.13.99

12. M Dionísio, C Cordeiro, C Remuñán López, B Seijo, AM Rosa da Costa, A Grenha, 2013. Pullulan-based nanoparticles as carriers for transmucosal protein delivery. Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 50, 102-113. DOI:10.1016/j.ejps.2013.04.018

13. H Costa, A Grenha, 2013. Natural carriers for application in tuberculosis treatment. J Microencapsulation. 30 (3), 295-306. doi:10.3109/02652048.2012.726283

14. Al-Qadi, A Grenha, C Remuñán-López, 2012. Chitosan and its derivatives as nanocarriers for siRNA delivery. J. Drug Del. Sci. Technol. 22(1), 29-42 (invited review).

15. S Al-Qadi, A Grenha, D Carrión-Recio, B Seijo, C Remuñán-López, 2012. Microencapsulated chitosan nanoparticles for pulmonary protein delivery. In vivo evaluation of insulin-loaded formulations. J. Control. Release. 157, 383-390.

16. A Grenha, 2012. Chitosan nanoparticles: a survey of preparation methods. J. Drug Target. 20(4), 291-300.

17. S Rodrigues, AM Rosa da Costa, A Grenha, 2012. Chitosan/carrageenan nanoparticles: Effect of cross-linking with tripolyphosphate and charge ratios. Carbohyd. Polym. 89(1), 282-289.

18. S Rodrigues, M Dionísio, C Remuñán-López, A Grenha, 2012. Biocompatibility of chitosan carriers with application in drug delivery. J Funct. Biomater. 3, 615-641.

Project Grants

Zebrafeeds – Desenvolvimento de dietas de referência para a padronização da nutrição do peixe-zebra em estudos biomédicos, partnership Universidade do Algarve – SPAROS, Approved for funding by QREN I&DT Co-Promoção 2012-2014.

PTDC/DTP-FTO/0094/2012 – “Fighting TB: Desenvolvimento de sistemas microparticulados para vectorização para os macrófagos alveolares na terapêutica da tuberculose”, Principal Investigator.

PTDC/SAU-FCF/100291/2008 – “EncapsDevice: Development of polymeric nanostructures for nasal and pulmonary delivery of peptides and proteins”, Principal Investigator.

NanoPulmoGen – “Sistemas nanotransportadores microencapsulados para liberación pulmonar de material genético”, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Cármen Remuñán López (IP). Funded by Marco del Plan Nacional de I+D+I 2009 (España).

“Nanotransportadores microencapsulados para administración pulmonar de material genético”, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Cármen Remuñán López (IP). Financiado por Xunta de Galicia (España).

MICALA – “Development of a microencapsulated feed for fish larvae”, partnership Universidade do Algarve – SPAROS, Ana Grenha (PI UAlg). Approved for funding by QREN I&DT Co-Promoção 2010-2012.



AD Alves, FS Pereira, S Rodrigues, F Guerreiro, L Cunha, A Grenha, Process for producing polysaccharide microparticles for alveolar macrophages targeting, microparticles obtained therein and use thereof. PCT/IB2016/052353.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *