The main purpose of this course is to raise awareness towards the increasing relevance of nanotechnology, with particular emphasis on nanotechnology in biomedical applications.


In particular, it is intended to stimulate the students’ understanding of concepts and underlying mechanisms of nanotechnology applications in biodiagnostics and construction of biosensors, within a broader field of developments in clinical diagnostics and biomedicine research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Ricardo Ramos Franco Tavares, Pedro Miguel Ribeiro Viana Baptista


Weekly - 4

Total - 50

Teaching language



General knowledge of physics, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology


“Nanobiotechnology: Concepts, Applications and Perspectives”

C.M. Niemeyer, C.A. Mirkin (Eds.), 2004, Wiley-VCH, Weinhein, Germany


“Materials Chemistry”

B.D. Fahlman, 2007, Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands


“Bionanotechnology”, D.S. Goodsell, 2004, Wiley-Liss, Hoboken, NJ, USA

Teaching method

Lectures will have a duration 2 h duration and will include problem solving. Each week, the first 2 hours will be taught by the Lecturers, and the second 2 hours will be taught by invited experts or groups of three students will present their Seminars.

Evaluation method

Two written tests including all matters taught by the Professors and invited experts (each test corresponds to 25% of the final grade). Alternatively, this evaluation component of 50% can be obtained in an examination after the end of classes (“Recurso”). The seminar presented by the students corresponds to 40% of the final grade and takes into consideration the presentation, the discussion and the documentation submitted. The discussion period after each of the student’s Seminars counts by 10% of the final grade and takes into consideration questions posed by the audience students to their colleagues presenting.

To pass, you need to have a grade of, at least, 9.5 as average of the two tests. There is no minimal grade for each test. If you miss the test you will have zero in that test.

“Recurso” Examination: Only for students that had less than 9.5 in the average of the two tests. To pass, these students need to have a grade of, at least 9.5, in this Exam, that counts 50% for their final grade.

If you want to improve your grade on this 50%, you can apply and pay the tax for “Melhoria” and will have an ORAL Examination including questions about ALL the syllabus of the course (namely, classes taught by Professors, experts Seminars and Seminar presentation of all groups).

Discussion period after each Techniques Seminar- 10% of the final grade: This part of the grade will reflect the questions posed by colleagues during the discussion periods of Seminars. For each question, the Professors will immediately communicate orally its score. The score will be determined by the importance of the question and its relevance for the Seminar just presented.

3 points – Very good/Excellent question

2 points – Good question

1 point – Question without  a ”nano” content

Please note that questions about medical curiosities, or others such as, “I didn’t understand that figure...”, “Please explain better (...)”, “Did you like to work on this subject?” or any others that do not imply any effort for understanding the Seminar, will not be scored.

Each group needs to ask 4 questions along the 5 students’ Seminar sessions. The grade at this component will be calculated by the formula:

(Sum of the scores of the 4 questions)/12 * 20

Subject matter

Historic perspective on the origin of Nanotechnology


Scale effect and properties of nanomaterials.


Nanofabrication: bottom-up vs. top-down approach


Microscopy for nanomaterials characterisation (TEM, SEM, SPR)


Bionanotechnology and Bionanomachines


Nanoparticles for clinical applications


Nanotechnology and Green Chemistry




Construction of nanostructures


                Surface functionalisation





                DNA based nanostructures




            Protein based nanostructures


Bionanodetection applications


                DNA & RNA (cross-linking vs. non-cross-linking)


Nanoparticles for drug delivery and nanovectors for gene therapy.