Wanted: RESEARCHER in Innovative antifouling materials for maritime applications

We are recruiting a highly motivated researcher to be part of the development team within the EU-funded SEAFRONT project (http://seafront-project.eu). The selected candidate is expected to conduct research in the development of new nanomaterials with antifouling and antimicrobial properties. Marine biofouling, the unwanted colonization of marine organisms on surfaces immersed in seawater, has a huge economic and environmental impact in terms of maintenance requirements for marine structures, increased vessel fuel consumption, operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions and spread of non-indigenous species. The SEAFRONT project will aim to significantly advance the control of biofouling and reduce hydrodynamic drag by integrating multiple technology concepts such as surface structure, surface chemistry and bio-active/bio-based fouling control methodologies into one environmentally benign and drag-reducing solution for mobile and stationary maritime applications. In parallel, a combination of laboratory-based performance benchmarking and end-user field trials will be undertaken in order to develop an enhanced fundamental/mechanistic understanding of the coating-biofouling interaction, the impact of this on hydrodynamic drag and to inform technology development and down-selection of promising fouling control solutions. This project aims to facilitate a leap forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from marine transport and the conservation of the marine ecosystem by adopting a multidisciplinary and synergistic approach to fouling control. A background in nanomaterials and anti-fouling properties is preferential. The position is for a period of 6 months, eventually renewable. The candidate can start the position on January 1st, 2015.

 Scientific area: Bionanotechnology

Qualifications:The candidate should have a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology, Materials Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Biomedical engineering or similar.

Research plan: The researcher will be involved in the development, preparation and characterization of nanomaterials with antimicrobial/anti-fouling properties.

Place of work: The work will be performed at Matera, Biocant, Cantanhede. Guidance will be provided by Dra. Cristiana Paulo and Dr. Lino Ferreira.

Terms of employment: The fellowship will be for 6 month, eventually renewable, beginning in January 1st, 2015.

Terms of salary: The gross salary per year will be 22,000 Euros (includes social security).

Evaluation: The candidates will be evaluated according to their CV, experience in the field and interview.

Publication of results: The selected candidate will be notified by email.

Application deadline: The applications can be submitted from December 6th until December 19th 2014. Applications must be submitted through letter including curriculum vitae, copy of degree(s) and recommendation letters. Applications must be submitted through electronic mail to Dra. Cristiana Paulo. Email: Cristiana@matera.pt

Posted in Uncategorized

Public buses in two major cities in Portugal are often contaminated with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Public buses in two major cities in Portugal are often contaminated with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) representing clones dominant in hospitals in the particular geographic area. MRSA contamination of public transport and the transfer of the bacteria to the hands of passengers may represent a route through which hospital-acquired MRSA clones may spread to the community. This issue is exposed in an article recently published in Publico. The article refers a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, where researchers performed a screening of hand touched surfaces of public buses and of the hands of the passengers. The findings of this study indicate that the most contaminated buses are the ones that have stops at the hospitals.

The researchers responsible for this study state that even a daily thorough cleaning of the buses will not solve this issue as long as the prevalence of MRSA in the hospitals continues to be as high as it currently is (over 50%).

Posted in News

Matera collaborates in a project financed by Portugal-China Joint Innovation Centre for Advanced Materials

Following the call for joint project proposals launched by the Portugal-China Joint Innovation Centre for Advanced Materials, that took place between 3rd April and 3rd of May 2013, FCT received 23 proposals and MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology of China of the People´s Republic of China) received 13. 13 joint project proposals were evaluated by an international evaluation panel.
From this call, one research project was selected, submitted by the Portuguese researcher Cristina Martins, from Instituto Nacional de Engenharia Biomédica, and Chinese researcher Jian Ji from Zhejian University. The research area of the selected project is Biomedical Materials, with the title “Biofunctional coatings for cardiovascular interventional devices”.

This project focuses on the development of a new generation of coatings for devices used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Considered one of the main causes of death and disability, cardiovascular diseases affect millions of people all over the world, with over 10 million new patients registered yearly in China. Controlling the inflammation caused by mechanical damage during treatments, promoting the healing of the blood vessels and reducing the incidence of catheter related fungal infections are some of the aims of this project.

The research team behind this project has been collaborating for over a decade, starting in 1997 with the project “Blood contact materials”, under the China-Portugal Sci & Tech agreement.

The research institutions associated with the project will be joined by the companies Zhejiang Zylox Medical Device (China), Matera (Portugal) and by IPATIMUP.

Posted in Uncategorized

Matera among the 50 hottest startups in Portugal 2013

Matera was considered one of the 50 hottest portuguese startups of the year by novaweb.

The criteria used for this ranking were the following:

 1 – Disruptive Factor

How is this startup’s technology different from what exists in the market? Is is a completely new concept or a copycat?

2 – Global Impact

What’s the scale and reach of the startup – is it just for a niche market, or could potentially affect everyone’s lives?

3 – Communication Stratgy and Media Buzz

One of the most difficult things that startups have to dois stand out from the thousands of projects that appear everyday. Have they nailed it? How are their Social Media / Blogs? Do they appear on the news frequently?

4 – Investment Appeal

Startups with a sound business model are more attractive to investors. Has the startup developed a clear way to make revenue that will attract investors? If you were a Business Angel, would you invest in it?

Posted in Social

Recent publication

A possible application of Matera’s antifugal nanoparticles was recently published in the journal Dental Materials. In this paper we propose the incorporation of antifungal nanoparticles in dental resin. The resulting resin composite proved to be highly active against the yeast Candida, while maintaining the original mechanical properties and without being toxic to human cells.

Dental resin is a filling for cavities that is widely used now as an alternative to amalgam. With time, this material can become colonized by yeasts, which may cause infections and the occurence of secondary cavities, in the area surrounding the filling.

You can read the whole story here.

Dental materials

Posted in Publications

FP7 SEAFRONT consortium, in which Matera is a Participant, was recently awarded funding

Marine biofouling, the unwanted colonization of marine organisms on surfaces immersed in seawater has a huge economic and environmental impact in terms of maintenance requirements for marine structures, increased vessel fuel consumption, operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions and spread of non-indigenous species. The SEAFRONT project will aim to significantly advance the control of biofouling and reduce hydrodynamic drag by integrating multiple technology concepts such as surface structure, surface chemistry and bio-active/bio-based fouling control methodologies into one environmentally benign and drag-reducing solution for mobile and stationary maritime applications.

FP7 logo

Posted in News

New publication in Biomaterials Journal

The effect of particles coated with Amphotercin B was thoroughly studied on two human cell types, namely Endothelial Cells, present in the inside of blood vessels, and skin Fibroblasts. The pourposes of this study were to assess in vitro  the safe dose of these nanoparticles and, in a more fundamental perspective, to clarify the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of this kind of particles above the maximum tolerated dose.

The toxicity of the particles was dose dependant and was higher when the cells took up the nanoparticles from the surrounding medium. While Fibroblasts internalized low amounts of nanoparticles and tolerated concentrations as high as 400 μg/mL, Endothelial Cells were internalizing higher amounts of particles and suffered toxic effects from concentrations above 10 μg/mL.

You can find the full text here.

Posted in Publications

Workshop "Bio/Nano e os interfaces com o mercado – Saúde e Materiais"

bics_2013

Posted in Meetings

One out of ten patients in Portuguese hospitals contract hospital-acquired infections

In spite of the increased use of disinfectant  solution, the incidence of hospital-acquired infections in Portugal has been rising in the last years and has reached 10.6%. Last February, the Portuguese government has set a priority for the fight against infections and antibiotic resistant strains.

The prevalence rate for hospital-aquired infections in Portugal was of 8.4% in 2003 and increased to 9.8% in 2009. Read more about this news here.

Posted in News

II International Conference on Antimicrobial Research

Cristiana Paulo presented  part of the work of Matera in the biomedical field at the II International Conference on Antimicrobial Research that took place in Lisbon. She presented the Antifungal Nanoparticles and Surfaces, followed by a proof of concept for the clinical application of these nanoparticles: Antifungal activity of dental resins containing amphotericin B-functionalized silica nanoparticles. Over 400 researchers from 59 different countries attended the event.

Posted in Meetings