Personal tools
You are here: Home / Research / Technology / Nutraceuticals and Delivery

Catarina Duarte Lab


This laboratory uses clean technologies for isolation and development of health promoting products. High pressure methodologies are applied for the extraction of bioactive compounds and preparation of new delivery systems.  



Catarina Duarte
Investigador Auxiliar
PhD 1997 in Physical Chemistry, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Phone (+351) 214469727 | Extension 1727


Research Interests

As the name suggests, this laboratory encompass two different areas of research: Nutraceuticals , related with extraction of natural bioactive ingredients and formulation of functional products with health benefits, and Controlled Delivery associated with the development of adequate systems to overcome barriers to drug’s usefulness, involving particle formation (micro and nano-scale), and incorporation of the active principles in biocompatible and biodegradable matrixes.

The main activities include:

  • Isolation of functional ingredients from several botanical sources. Efficient clean processes are optimized for the extraction of natural high added-value products (antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer compounds, anti-fungal and anti-microbial agents) from solid or liquid materials.
  • Chemical and biological characterization of functional products: in-depth sample analysis, determination of antioxidant capacity (e.g. total phenolics content, ORAC and HORAC values, inhibition of AAPH-induced LDL oxidation.) and determination of (physiological) anti-inflammatory activity. The biological properties of the active components are assessed at cellular level in appropriate cell lines searching for protection responses to environmental stresses and cell death signals.
  • Formulation of new products by incorporation of high value natural extracts, with application in food, nutraceutical and and cosmeceutical industries. Optimization of final formulations in terms of stability/shelf-life, solubility/ bioavailability and compatibility with target final products.
  • Encapsulation and micronization of active compounds using non conventional techniques. Supercritical Fluid technology has been shown to be a viable option with relevant advantages like the use of mild conditions for pharmaceutical processing, minimization of organic solvent and use of environmentally benign nontoxic materials, and production of smaller particles with controllable morphology and narrow size distribution. Also, the unique solvent tuneability of supercritical fluids, from gas-like to liquid-like properties, offers the intriguing possibility of precise control over the processing conditions. Several forms using lipids and/or (biocompatible and/or biodegradable) polymers as carrier materials, have been successfully prepared.


Group Members



Selected Publications

  1. Serra, A.T., Duarte, R.O., Bronze, M. R., Duarte, C.M.M. Identification of bioactive response in traditional cherries from Portugal. Food Chemistry 125 (2011) , 318-325
  2. Ana Teresa Serra, Ana A. Matias, Ana P.C. Almeida, M.R. Bronze, Paula M. Alves, Hermínio C. de Sousa, Catarina M.M. Duarte. Processing cherries (Prunus avium) using supercritical fluid technology. Part 2. Evaluation of SCF extracts as promising natural chemotherapeutical agents. Journal of Supercritical Fluids 55 (2011) 1007–1013
  3. Fernando Yañez, Lahja Martikainen, Mara E. M. Braga, Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo, Angel Concheiro, Catarina M. M. Duarte, Maria H. Gil and Hermínio C. de Sousa Supercritical fluid-assisted preparation of imprinted contact lenses for drug delivery, Acta Biomaterials 7 (2011), 1019-1030.

Nutracêuticos e Libertação Controlada (PT)

Como o nome sugere, este laboratório inclui duas vertentes de investigação diferentes: Nutracêuticos , relacionada com o isolamento de extractos bioactivos a partir de várias fontes naturais e formulação e desenvolvimento de novos produtos funcionais benéficos para a saúde, e Libertação Controlada associada ao desenvolvimento de sistemas adequados à administração eficiente de fármacos ou ingredientes activos, através da optimização de processos de pulverização, impregnação ou micro/nano encapsulação em matrizes poliméricas ou lipidicas, com aplicação nos sectores agro-alimentar, cosmética e farmacêutica.

Neste laboratório são utilizadas tecnologias limpas e grande parte dos projectos desenvolvidos, em colaboração com parceiros nacionais e internacionais, tem como objectivo final a transferência de tecnologia para a indústria.


Document Actions