BENG develops research and innovation in the areas of Blue Biotechnology, Biomolecular Engineering and Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology.
The Blue Biotechnology Lab is focused on the discovery of new value-added bioactive compounds from marine-derived actinomycetes from unexplored Atlantic Ocean sites. The group has a collection of 400 marine-derived actinomycetes, with biotechnological potential, for the development of industrial applications, such as wound dressing and antifouling paints and coatings.
The Biomolecular Engineering Lab is focused on the design and discovery of peptidomimetics with biological or synthetic backbones and on the development of self-assembled functional materials, with applications in Bioseparation, Biocatalysis, Sensing & Diagnostics. The group designed a phage-display library based on a small protein scaffold and developed stimuli-responsive gels which serve as gas-sensitive materials for the distinction of volatiles from several sources, the quantification of ethanol in gasoline, and the analysis of food spoilage.
The Biochemical Engineering Lab developed green and resource-efficient innovative technologies for production of PHA biopolymers, linking these processes with wastewater treatment, and successfully patented bioprocesses for the production of microbial polysaccharides based on the use of food and industrial byproducts.
In 2013-2017, BENG has published 160 papers in international journals with 1344 citations, 17 books or book chapters, and 7 patents; supervised 19 PhD theses and 60 MSc theses; participated in 22 international projects (4 of which as PI) and 21 national projects (12 as PI), with an approximate total funding of 5.7MEUR.