Jorge João

Class 2019


PhD thesis

Cell-Free Biomanufacturing of Protein Nanocages for Drug Delivery



• Miguel F. Prazeres, Professor @ IST/ULisboa, PT


Proposal summary

Protein nanocages are versatile vehicles for drug delivery. These nanometer scale architectures feature an inner cavity that can be loaded with different drugs. The clinical development of protein nanocages requires large amounts of pure, well-folded assemblies. While cell-based biomanufacturing works well at lab scale, cell-free synthesis is an attractive option for the rapid production of small batches. The major goal of this project is to develop scalable and cost-effective cell-free processes for the biomanufacturing of protein nanocages. A heat shock protein and ferritin will be used as model nanocages. Production of nanocages in E. coli cells and subsequent purification will be set-up and used as benchmark. Cell-free synthesis of the nanocages will be developed and compared with in vivo production. Characterization of nanocages will include in vitro internalization cell assays to check biological activity.



• General Doctoral Training (6 ECTS)

• Advanced Experimental Techniques and methodologies (6 ECTS)

• Bioentrepreneurship (6 ECTS)

• Molecular and Cell Biophysics (6 ECTS)

• Nanobiotechnology (6 ECTS)

• Outreach and Teaching Skills – Department of Bioengineering (6 ECTS)

Advanced courses:

• Champalimaud Research Symposium 2019 – Tissue Environment in Health and Disease, sponsored by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), October 8-10, 2019, Lisbon, Portugal

• Cell Culture-based Viral Vaccines Course, 5th edition, organized in virtual mode by the European Society of Animal Cell Technology (ESACT), September 28 – October 2, 2020 (25 hours)