Three CCMAR researchers receive Tech2Market awards | - CCMAR -

Three CCMAR researchers receive Tech2Market awards


Ana Grenha, Maria Clara Costa and Luisa Custódio have received honorable mentions at the Tech2Market contest promoted by the University of the Algarve. This award not only acknowledges the merit of the technologies developed by these researchers, but it also includes several incentives and tools for technology tranfer. We talked with the researchers to find out more about their technologies and future prospects.



Senior researcher at CCMAR who works on drug delivery strategies

Ana, tell us more about your technology.

It’s related to the treatment of tuberculosis. It consists of a carrier, composed of polysaccharide microparticles, that contains the drugs used to treat this disease and it can be inhaled by the patient. These microparticles have high affinity for the host cells of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis - the alveolar macrophages. Upon inhalation, the microparticles enter the patient's lungs, where they will be phagocytosed (digested) by those alveolar macrophages. This way, they can release the drugs that they transport directly into the infection site.

What is the potential of this technology?

It will improve therapeutic efficacy and possibly reduce the doses and duration of the tuberculosis treatment, reducing side effects and improving patient adherence to treatment.

What opportunities does this award bring?

It will continue the product patenting process, which began in 2015, give more visibility to the product and potentially find an interested party to continue the study and for future marketing.



Maria Clara Costa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Algarve and a Principal Investigator at CCMAR (Environmental Technologies Team of the ECOREACH group).

Prof. Clara, tell us more about your technology.

The technology consists of a process for recovering gold, in the form of nanoparticles, using an effluent from a biological process for the treatment of acid mine waters.

What is the potential of this technology?

The potential lies precisely in using a treated effluent to obtain metallic gold nanoparticles, which makes it an environmentally and economically attractive process.

What opportunities does this award bring? It is a contribution to the implementation of processes that allow us to reuse and take advantage of secondary sources of metals (which is relevant to the sustainability of the planet’s resources). For my research work, it is certainly an incentive and I hope that it will lead to new projects which allow an industrial application of this technology. Note that this technology, invented by me and Dr Ana Assunção, is on the process of being patented at an international level.



Luísa Custódio is a senior researcher at CCMAR since 2010. She works in marine biotechnology, more specifically in the biotechnological applications of marine plants.

Luísa, tell us more about your technologies.

They consist on the development of extracts of marine plants with anti-aging properties for incorporation in cosmetic products and the production of selected medicinal halophyte plants in an integrated system using aquaculture effluents.

What is the potential of this technology?

The production and marketing of innovative cosmetic products and the optimization of a sustainable herbal production system.

What opportunities does this award bring? This award will enable the development and implementation of these technologies, from the establishment of national and international contacts to the establishment of a business plan.