Degree: Habilitation


FCUP, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Showing 5 latest publications. Total publications: 106
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1. On the structure and stability of novel cationic DPPC liposomes doped with gemini surfactants, Domínguez-Arca, V; Sabín, J; García-Río, L; Bastos, M Taboada, P; Barbosa, S; Prieto, G in Journal of Molecular Liquids, 2022, ISSN: 0167-7322,  Volume: 366, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref  DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2022.120230 P-00X-PBT

2. Unsupervised bubble calorimetry analysis: Surface tension from isothermal titration calorimetry, Garrido, PF; Bastos, M Velazquez Campoy, A; Amigo, A; Dumas, P; Pineiro, A in JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, 2022, ISSN: 0021-9797,  Volume: 606, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, scopus, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2021.08.115 P-00V-B3P
Abstract Hypothesis: The injection of air into the sample cell of an isothermal titration calorimeter containing a liquid provides a rich-in-information signal, with a periodic contribution arising from the creation, growing and release of bubbles. The identification and analysis of such contributions allow the accurate determination of the surface tension of the target liquid. Experiments: Air is introduced at a constant rate into the sample cell of the calorimeter containing either a pure liquid or a solution. The resulting calorimetric signal is analyzed by a new algorithm, which is implemented into a computational code. Findings: The thermal power generated by our experiments is often noisy, thus hiding the periodic signal arising from the bubbles' formation and release. The new algorithm was tested with a range of different types of calorimetric raw data, some of them apparently being just noise. In all cases, the contribution of the bubbles to the signal was isolated and the corresponding period was successfully determined in an automated way. It is also shown that two reference measurements suffice to calibrate the instrument at a given temperature, regardless the injection rate, allowing the direct determination of surface tension values for the liquid contained in the sample cell. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

3. Partition of antimicrobial D-L-alpha-cyclic peptides into bacterial model membranes, Claro, B; Gonzalez Freire, E; Granja, JR; Garcia Fandino, R; Gallova, J; Uhrikova, D; Fedorov, A; Coutinho, A; Bastos, M in BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-BIOMEMBRANES, 2022, ISSN: 0005-2736,  Volume: 1864, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, scopus, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2021.183729 P-00V-EEZ
Abstract Fluorescence spectroscopy is used to characterize the partition of three second-generation D,L-alpha-cyclic peptides to two lipid model membranes. The peptides have proven antimicrobial activity, particularly against Gram positive bacteria, and the model membranes are formed of either with 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho- (1'- rac-glycerol) (DMPG) or its mixture with 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DMPE), at a molar ratio of (1:1). The peptide's intrinsic fluorescence was used in the Steady State and/or Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy experiments, showing that the peptides bind to the membranes, and the extent of their partition is thereof quantified. The peptide-induced membrane leakage was followed using an encapsulated fluorescent dye. Overall, the partition is mainly driven by electrostatics, but also involves hydrophobic interactions. The introduction of a hydrocarbon tail in one of the residues of the parent peptide, CPR, adjacent to the tryptophan (Trp) residue, significantly improves the partition of the modified peptides, CPRT10 and CPRT14, to both membrane systems. Further, we show that the length of the tail is the main distinguishing factor for the extension of the partition process. The parent peptide induces very limited leakage, at odds with the peptides with tail, that promote fast leakage, increasing in most cases with peptide concentration, and being almost complete for the highest peptide concentration and negatively charged membranes. Overall, the results help the unravelling of the antimicrobial action of these peptides and are well in line with their proven high antimicrobial activity.

4. On the structure and stability of novel cationic DPPC liposomes doped with gemini surfactants, Dominguez Arca, V; Sabin, J; Garcia Rio, L; Bastos, M Taboada, P; Barbosa, S; Prieto, G in JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR LIQUIDS, 2022, ISSN: 0167-7322,  Volume: 366, 
Article,  Indexed in: scopus, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2022.120230 P-00X-4Y3
Abstract A novel formulation of cationic liposomes was studied by mixing dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) with tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide gemini surfactants with different alkane spacer groups lengths attached to their ammonium head-groups. The physicochemical characterization of the cationic liposomes was obtained by combining experimental results from differential scanning microcalorimetry (DSC) with molecular dynamic simulations, in order to understand their structural configuration. An adapted Ising model was used to interpret the results in terms of cooperativity of the phase transitions. The gemini surfactants partition into the lipid bilayer of DPPC liposomes, and the induced changes in colloidal stability and phase transition were analyzed in detail.The DPPC liposomes became positively charged upon gemini surfactant partition, showing increased colloidal stability. Our results show signif-icant differences in structural configuration between gemini surfactants with short and long spacer lengths. While gemini with shorter spacers allocate within the lipid bilayer with both headgroups in the same layer, geminis with longer spacers unexpectedly intercalate in the lipid membrane in a partic-ular zig-zag configuration, with each headgroup located at a different side of the bilayer, altering the cou-pling degree parameters of the membrane's phase transition.The extraordinary increase of colloidal stability of DPPC liposomes with gemini surfactants at very low molar ratio and the possibility to tune the physicochemical properties of the membrane by control de spacer length of the geminis opens new possibilities for cationic liposomal formulations with potential applications in vaccines, drug/gene delivery or biosensing.(c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://

5. Theoretical and experimental studies of complex peptide–membrane systems: general discussion, Aguilar, M; Al Nahas, K; Barrera, F; Bassereau, P; Bastos, M Beales, P; Bechinger, B; Bonev, B; Brand, I; Chattopadhyay, A; Clarke, RJ; DeGrado, W; Deplazes, E; Garcia Saez, AJ; Hoogenboom, B; Lund, R; Milán Rodríguez, P; O’Shea, P; Pabst, G; Pal, S; Roux, A; Sanderson, J; Semeraro, EF; Sengupta, D; Siegel, DP; van 't Hag, L; Vijayakumar, A; Zoranić, L in Faraday Discussions, 2021, ISSN: 1359-6640, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref  DOI: 10.1039/d1fd90066h P-00V-V1Q