Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Group Leader:
Fábio Fernandes


While the most basic function of Biomembranes is compartmentalization, they play significantly more complex roles in cellular signalling. The organization of their lipid and protein components is of critical importance for regulation of these signalling events. Despite this recognized importance, the current understanding of biomembrane organization at the molecular level is rudimentary, given the difficulties in studying these extraordinarily complex and highly dynamic structures.


Our research is focused on the characterization of the structure and organization of Biomembranes. We are particularly interested on the organization of multi-functional lipids such as PI(4,5)P2, whose disfunctions are associated with a plethora of pathologies, including cancer, neuronal and cardiovascular diseases.


Another area of research in our lab is the manipulation of extracellular vesicles for therapeutic purposes, namely in neurodegenerative conditions.


Our research employs a combination of Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy and Spectroscopy tools and our team has extensive expertise on the development and application of these tools in Membrane Biophysics and Cellular Biology. These complementary tools allow us to characterize biomembrane structure at both nano- and micro-scale at high temporal resolution. 


Engineering of Smart Functionalized Exosomes

Development of Fluorescence Microscopy Tools in Membrane Biophysics


Recent Publications


Quantitative FRET Microscopy Reveals a Crucial Role of Cytoskeleton in Promoting PI(4,5)P2 Confinement
M.J. Sarmento, L. Borges-Araújo, S.N. Pinto, N. Bernardes, J. Ricardo, A. Coutinho, M. Prieto, F. Fernandes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences  22, 11727, 2021


Acyl-chain saturation regulates the order of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate nanodomains
L. Borges-Araújo, M.M. Domingues, A. Fedorov, N.C. Santos, M.N. Melo, F. Fernandes, Communications Chemistry 4, 164,  2021



Dr. Fábio Fernandes
Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB)
Department of Bioengineering
Instituto Superior Técnico

Complexo Interdisciplinar
Instituto Superior Técnico
Av. Rovisco Pais,
1049 001 Lisboa, Portugal


+351 218 419 219

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