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Moreira, IP, Sato L, Alves C, Palma S, Roque AC.  2021.  Fish gelatin-based films for gas sensing. BIODEVICES 2021 - 14th International Conference on Biomedical Electronics and Devices; Part of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2021. :32–39.: SciTePress Abstract102062.pdf

Electronic noses (e-noses) mimic the complex biological olfactory system, usually including an array of gas sensors to act as the olfactory receptors and a trained computer with signal-processing and pattern recognition tools as the brain. In this work, a new stimuli-responsive material is shown, consisting of self-assembled droplets of liquid crystal and ionic liquid stabilised within a fish gelatin matrix. These materials change their opto/electrical properties upon contact with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). By using an in-house developed e-nose, these new gas-sensing films yield characteristic optical signals for VOCs from different chemical classes. A support vector machine classifier was implemented based on 12 features of the signals. The results show that the films are excellent identifying hydrocarbon VOCs (toluene, heptane and hexane) (95% accuracy) but lower performance was found to other VOCs, resulting in an overall 60.4% accuracy. Even though they are not reusable, these sustainable gas-sensing films are stable throughout time and reproducible, opening several opportunities for future optoelectronic devices and artificial olfaction systems.

Borlido, L, Azevedo AM, Sousa AG, Oliveira PH, Roque ACA, Aires-Barros MR.  2012.  Fishing human monoclonal antibodies from a CHO cell supernatant with boronic acid magnetic particles. Journal of Chromatography B. 903:163-170. AbstractWebsite

In this work we have evaluated the potential of boronic acid functionalized magnetic particles for the one-step capture of a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) from a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell culture supernatant. For comparison, Protein A coated magnetic particles were also used. The most important factor influencing the overall process yield and product purity in boronic acid particles was found to be the binding pH. Basic pH values promoted higher purities while resulting in decreased yields due to the competing effects of molecules such as glucose and lactate present in the cell culture supernatant. After optimization, the particles were successfully used in a multi-cycle purification process of the mAb from the CHO feedstock. Boronic acid particles were able to achieve an average overall yield of 86% with 88% removal of CHO host cell proteins (HCP) when the binding was performed at pH 7.4, while at pH 8.5 these values were 58% and 97%, respectively. In both cases, genomic DNA removal was in excess of 97%. Comparatively, Protein A particles recorded an average overall yield of 80% and an HCP removal greater than 99%. The adsorption of the mAb to the boronic acid particles was shown to be mediated by strong affinity interactions. Overall, boronic acid based purification processes can offer a cost-effective alternative to Protein A as the direct capturing step from the mammalian cell culture.

Sandu, ICA, Roque ACA, Matteini P, Schäfer S, Agati G, Correia CR, Viana JFFP.  2012.  Fluorescence recognition of proteinaceous binders in works of art by a novel integrated system of investigation. Microscopy Research and Technique. 75(3):316-24. AbstractWebsite

Fluorescence microscopy and microspectrofluorometry are important tools in the characterization and identification of proteins, offering a great range of applications in conservation science. Because of their high selectivity and sensitivity, the combination of these techniques can be exploited for improved recognition and quantification of proteinaceous binders in paintings and polychromed works of art. The present article explores an analytical protocol integrating fluorescence microscopy and fluorometry for both identification and mapping of proteinaceous binders (in particular egg and glues) in paint samples. The study has been carried out on historically accurate reconstructions simulating the structure and composition of tempera and oil paints containing these binders. To assess the spatial distribution of specific proteins within the paint layers, cross-sections from the reconstructions were analyzed by fluorescence imaging after staining with an exogenous fluorophore. Reference fluorescence spectra for each layer were acquired by a multichannel spectral analyzer and compared after Gaussian deconvolution. The results obtained demonstrated the effectiveness of the integrated protocol, highlighting the potential for the use of fluorescent staining coupled with microspectrofluorometry as a routine diagnostic tool in conservation science. The current work creates a set of fully characterized reference samples for further comparison with those from actual works of art.

Roque, ACA, Fred A, Gamboa H.  2019.  Foreword, January 2019. BIODEVICES 2019 - 12th International Conference on Biomedical Electronics and Devices, Proceedings; Part of 12th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2019. , Prague: SciTePress
Barbosa, AJM, Roque ACA.  2019.  Free Marine natural products databases for biotechnology and bioengineering. Biotechnology Journal. -(-):-. AbstractWebsite

Marine organisms and microorganisms are a source of natural compounds with unique chemical features. These chemical properties are useful for the discovery of new functions and applications of Marine Natural Products (MNP). To extensively exploit the potential implementations of MNPs, they are gathered in chemical databases consenting their study and screening for applications of biotechnological interest. However, classification of MNPs is currently poor in generic chemical databases. The present availability of free‐access focused MNPs databases is scarce and the molecular diversity of these databases is still very low when compared to paid‐access ones. In this review paper, the current scenario of free‐access MNP databases is presented as well as the hindrances involved in their development, mainly compound dereplication. Examples and opportunities on using freely accessible MNP databases in several important areas of biotechnology are also assessed. The scope of this paper is as well to notify the latent potential of these information sources for the discovery and development of new MNPs in biotechnology, and push future efforts to develop a public domain MNP database freely available for the scientific community.

Barroso, T, Hussain A, Roque ACA, Aguiar‐Ricardo A.  2013.  Functional monolithic platforms: Chromatographic tools for antibody purification. Biotechnology journal. 8(6):671–681. AbstractWebsite

Polymer monoliths are an efficient platform for antibody purification. The use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and engineered antibody structures as therapeutics has increased exponentially over the past few decades. Several approaches use polymer monoliths to purify large quantities of antibody with defined clinical and performance requirements. Functional monolithic supports have attracted a great deal of attention as they offer practical advantages for antibody purification, such as more rapid analysis, smaller sample volume requirements and the opportunity for a greater target molecule enrichment. This review focuses on the development of synthetic and natural polymer-based monoliths for antibody purification. The materials and methods employed in monolith production are discussed, highlighting the properties of each system. We also review the structural characterization techniques available using monolithic systems and their performance under different chromatographic approaches to antibody capture and release. Finally, a summary of monolithic platforms developed for antibody separation is presented, as well as expected trends in research to solve current and future challenges in this field. This review comprises a comprehensive analysis of proposed solutions highlighting the remarkable potential of monolithic platforms.

Dias, AMGC, Roque ACA.  2017.  The future of protein scaffolds as affinity reagents for purification. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 114:481–491., Number 3 Abstract

Affinity purification is one of the most powerful separation techniques extensively employed both at laboratory and production scales. While antibodies still represent the gold standard affinity reagents, others derived from non-immunoglobulin scaffolds emerged as interesting alternatives in particular for affinity purification. The lower costs of production, fast ligand development and high robustness are appealing advantages of non-immunoglobulin scaffolds. These have successfully been used in the affinity purification of relevant targets as antibodies, human serum albumin, transferrin and other biomarkers, as reviewed in this work. Furthermore, a critical assessment on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related with the implementation of non-immunoglobulin scaffolds as ligands in affinity purification are discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.