Catarina Gonçalves

Staff Researcher

Food Processing and Nutrition

Catarina Gonçalves is currently a staff researcher in the Food Processing and Nutrition Group. She works on the risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials for oral administration, focusing on how nanomaterials behave (safety and efficacy) under human digestive conditions. A microfluidic-based device is being developed to simulate the complete gastrointestinal tract, including a cell-based module (Caco-2 and HT29-MTX cell lines derived from the human intestinal epithelium) to predict biological responses. Catarina also performs in vitro cytotoxicity tests, assessing cell viability, membrane integrity, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses.

Catarina holds a Diploma (2004) in Chemical Engineering from ISEP, Porto and a PhD degree (2010) in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. As a postdoctoral researcher (2010-2016) at the Centre of Biological Engineering in Braga, she worked on the chemical modification of natural polymers for nanogels preparation (through self-assembly) and their physic-chemical characterization, nanoencapsulation and release studies (small molecules and proteins), cytotoxicity evaluation and in vivo biodistribution studies (mice and rat models). Catarina also worked with radiolabeled nanogels stabilizing γ-Fe2O3 for use as a dual-modality probe, combining SPECT and MRI.

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