Porto, Portugal

Fernando Pessoa University

Porto, Portugal

Universidade Fernando Pessoa is a university located in Porto and Ponte de Lima, Portugal.It was founded in 1996, and it is named for Fernando Pessoa. Wikipedia.

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Patel M.,U S WEST | Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Souto E.B.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Singh K.K.,U S WEST
Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery | Year: 2013

Introduction: With the advancement in the field of medical colloids and interfacial sciences, the life expectancy has been greatly improved. In addition, changes in the human lifestyle resulted in development of various organic and functional disorders. Central nervous system (CNS) disorders are most prevalent and increasing among population worldwide. The neurological disorders are multi-systemic and difficult to treat as portal entry to brain is restricted on account of its anatomical and physiological barrier. Areas covered: The present review discusses the limitations to CNS drug delivery, and the various approaches to bypass the blood brain barrier (BBB), focusing on the potential use of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) for drug targeting to brain. The methods currently in use for SLN production, physicochemical characterization and critical issues related to the formulation development suitable for targeting brain are also discussed. Expert opinion: The potential advantages of the use of SLN over polymeric nanoparticles are due to their lower cytotoxicity, higher drug loading capacity and scalability. In addition, their production is cost effective and the systems provide a drug release in a controlled manner up to several weeks. Drug targeting potential of SLN can be enhanced by attaching ligands to their surface. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.

Aji Alex M.R.,Mahatma Gandhi University | Chacko A.J.,Mahatma Gandhi University | Jose S.,Mahatma Gandhi University | Souto E.B.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2011

The poor orally available lopinavir was successfully encapsulated in glyceryl behenate based solid lipid nanoparticles (Lo-SLN) for its ultimate use to target intestinal lymphatic vessels in combined chemotherapy - the so-called Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART). SLN with mean particle size of 230 nm (polydispersity index, PDI < 0.27) and surface electrical charge of approx. -27 mV, were produced by hot homogenization process followed by ultrasonication. Particles were characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to confirm their solid character and the homogeneous distribution of drug within the lipid matrix. In vitro release studies at pH 6.8 phosphate buffer (PBS) and at pH 1.2 HCl 0.1 N showed a slow release in both media. From the intestinal lymphatic transport study it became evident that SLN increased the cumulative percentage dose of lopinavir secreted into the lymph, which was 4.91-fold higher when compared with a conventional drug solution in methyl cellulose 0.5% (w/v) as suspending agent (Lo-MC). The percentage bioavailability was significantly enhanced. The AUC for the Lo-SLN was 2.13-fold higher than that obtained for the Lo-MC of similar concentration. The accelerated stability studies showed that there was no significant change in the mean particle size and PDI after storage at 25 ± 2 °C/60 ± 5% RH. The shelf life of optimized formulation was assessed based on the remained drug content in the stabilized formulation and was shown to be 21.46 months. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Sa M.J.,Centro Hospitalar Sao Joao | Sa M.J.,Fernando Pessoa University
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2013

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable disease, and despite current pharmacologic treatment being effective in reducing relapse rates and lesion burden, there is little evidence that these treatments work as effectively in preventing disability progression. In such cases, non-pharmacologic techniques such as exercise therapy with rehabilitation purposes may play an important role. This systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) aims at investigating the effects of exercise therapy in MS patients. The electronic database PubMed was searched for studies indexed between February 2004 and June 2012. Studies eligibility criteria included: clinical diagnosis of MS free of exacerbation; and intervention with exercise therapy, measured as activities of daily living (ADL). Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts of the references retrieved. The methodological quality of the RCTs was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale (PEDro scale). The PubMed search resulted in a total of 72 articles, 11 of which were included in this review. The analysis included 591 participants, of which 358 (60.6 %) were women. Patients had a mean age between 37.1 and 54.6 years. Duration of MS since diagnosis was reported in nine of the 11 studies and varied between 5.2 and 15.9 years. According to PEDro scale, nine of the 11 included studies were considered to be of high methodological quality, with scores ranging from 7 to 10. In eight of the 11 included studies, the effectiveness of exercise therapy was compared to standard care, in two it was compared to those on a waiting list, and in one, to control treatment. The results of this review suggest that exercise therapy may have a beneficial effect in patients with MS, and therefore may be recommended for the rehabilitation of these patients. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Doktorovova S.,Royal University | Doktorovova S.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Souto E.B.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Silva A.M.,Royal University
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics | Year: 2014

Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) were developed as alternative to other colloidal carriers. They were designed to overcome lipid nanoemulsions and liposomes in stability and ability to control the release of an encapsulated substance, and at the same time to be better tolerated than polymeric nanoparticles. Since the patenting of SLN discovery, large amount of data became available on the behaviour of these systems in vitro. SLN/NLC have many prerequisites to be a well tolerated carrier - the currently available data seem to confirm it, but there are also some contradictory results. In this review, we collected the available data from cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and hemocompatibility studies in vitro and analysed their outcomes. We also provide a summary of the available data in a form of reference table. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2010

The main aim of pharmaceutical technology research is the design of successful formulations for effective therapy, taking into account several issues including therapeutic requirements and patient compliance. In this regard, several achievements have been reported with colloidal carriers, in particular with lipid nanoparticles, due to their unique physicochemical properties. For several years these carriers have been showing potential success for several administration routes, namely oral, dermal, parenteral, and, more recently, for pulmonary and brain targeting. The present chapter provides a review of the use of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) to modify the release profile and the pharmacokinetic parameters of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) incorporated in these lipid matrices, aiming to modify the API bioavailability, either upwards or downwards depending on the therapeutic requirement. Definitions of the morphological characteristics, surface properties, and polymorphic structures will also be given, emphasizing their influence on the incorporation parameters of the API, such as yield of production, loading capacity, and encapsulation efficiency. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Nunes B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Nunes B.,University of Aveiro
Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2011

Cholinesterase (ChE) is one of the most employed biomarkers in environmental analysis. Among ChEs, potentially the most significant in environmental terms is acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzymatic form that terminates the nerve impulse. Because of its physiological role, AChE has long been considered a highly specific biomarker for organisms exposed to anticholinesterasic agents, primarily agrochemicals (organophosphate and carbamate pesticides). The effects of these pesticides depend upon their selective inhibition of AChE. Because large amounts of such pesticides are employed, it is plausible that they exert neurotoxic effects on some non-target species. Therefore, AChE is among the most valuable of diagnostic tools that can be used to verify exposure to such chemical agents. It is well known that assays are available for use in quantifying AChE in multiple tissues of several test organisms. Enzymes other than AChE (e.g., butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterases) have also been used as putative markers for detecting the environmental presence of contaminating compounds. Researchers must use a step-bystep approach to identify the most prominent cholinesterasic form present in a given species, so that this form can be distinguished from others that may interfere with its use. Such fundamental work must be completed prior to using ChEs for any monitoring to assess for anticholinesterasic effects. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Silva P.J.,Fernando Pessoa University
Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

Substituted pyrroles may be synthesized from selected 1,2-pyridazines through a reductive ring contraction involving the addition of four electrons and four protons. Our density functional theory computations of this reaction mechanism show that the first reduction event must be preceded by the uptake of one proton by 1,2-pyridazine and that the reaction proceeds through a 2e -/3H +-bearing intermediate. In the absence of electron-withdrawing groups able to resonate charge away from the ring, this intermediate lies too high in energy, making the reaction sequence thermodynamically inaccessible. After another two-electron reduction and the addition of two more protons, the original 1,2-pyridazine ring opens. Ring contraction and ammonia elimination then proceed with very small barriers, irrespective of the substituents present in the original 1,2-pyridazine. By establishing the need for electron-withdrawing resonant groups in the 3- and 6-positions to stabilize the critical intermediate in the initial stages of the reaction, this work suggests that the scope of the reductive ring contraction of 1,2-pyridazines may be expanded to pyridazines bearing COCH 3 groups, amides or aryls in these positions. We also explain the lack of reactivity of unsubstituted 1,2-pyridazine and analyze the feasibility of bypassing the high energy 2e -/3H +-intermediate through disproportionation of earlier 2e -/2H +-bearing intermediates. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Rocha A.,Fernando Pessoa University
International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics | Year: 2011

Information Systems and Technologies (IST) in healthcare have evolved gradually, and theories about IST adoption and maturity are sufficiently established in the literature of organizational management. This paper examines the evolution of IST in healthcare. The author introduces concepts associated with maturity models, addresses the generic maturity model for IST management, and presents the main maturity models, specifically focusing on the management of IST in healthcare. Widespread and detailed maturity models are not fully available, and the opportunity to develop new maturity models that focus on IST management in healthcare still exists. Copyright © 2011, IGI Global.

Rocha A.,Fernando Pessoa University
Online Information Review | Year: 2012

Purpose-This paper aims to propose a high-level structure for a global quality evaluation of a website. This structure is based on the characteristics, sub-characteristics and attributes of three main dimensions (content, service, and technical quality) that will substantiate the development of broad website quality evaluation, comparison and improvement methodologies, according to particular sectors of activity and evaluator's perspective. Design/methodology/ approach-Based on the literature and the author's experience a framework is proposed for a global quality evaluation of a website. Findings-Considering the results of some studies, as well as the systematisation of the knowledge available in several bibliographies, website quality can be grouped into three main dimensions: Content quality, service quality, and technical quality. There has not yet been an evaluation methodology that focuses on these three main website quality dimensions in a broad and transversal sense. Originality/value-The paper presents an innovative high-level structure for a global quality evaluation of a website, based on three dimensions not previously considered together. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Rebocho M.F.,Fernando Pessoa University
Aggression and Violent Behavior | Year: 2014

Research on sex offenders has consistently emphasized the role of personal factors, while neglecting to consider the role of environmental and situational factors. The environmental perspective is primarily interested in crime, of which the offender is only one element, and the analysis begins with the location of the crimes, aiming at sorting out patterns in where, when and how crimes occur. Over the past few years there has been an increase in research on rapists' modus operandi, geographic decision-making, and target selection. This article aims at providing a comprehensive review of the work that has been done in the field of rapists' target selection and hunting behavior, from an environmental standpoint. After a brief introduction and review of the theoretical models in environmental criminology, empirical studies are presented that investigate the geography of sex offending, offenders' hunting behavior and hunting process, geographic decision-making in target selection, and the influence of routine activities and offender type in target selection. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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