Final Workshop: “Biosensors: applications and potential for bioactive compound screening”

Faro (Portugal), 20-21st February 2018.

Encapsulation technologies: Potential and applications



Ana Grenha*
Centre for Marine Sciences – University of Algarve; Centre for Biomedical Research – University of Algarve, Portugal
Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Algarve, Portugal


The process of encapsulation of substances of interest has long been reported. After the first approaches observed in the food industry, the applications have spread to other fields and are currently very diverse, including pharmaceutics, cosmetics and textiles, for instance. In many cases, the initial very simple approach evolved to be, nowadays, real (and complex sometimes) particle engineering. Encapsulation is the process of surrounding substances (molecules) of interest with materials of distinct nature to obtain particulates.


The substances of interest may be solids, liquids or gases and the final outcome may be at the nano or micro scale. Based on that, microparticles or nanoparticles are obtained.

The Drug Delivery Lab at the University of Algarve has been dedicating its research activities to the development of lung drug delivery strategies. The mission of the group starts with the design and development of the delivery systems that will carry the drugs to the desired place in the lung, both at the micro- and the nanoscale. The characterisation of the systems is then performed, including the necessary cell-based studies and, in some and justified cases, in vivo studies are performed. In this talk, data on some approaches led by the team regarding lung drug delivery will be presented. Moreover, an approach performed in the ambit of a collaboration with a group of aquaculture will also be presented. In that case, microencapsulation was used to prevent leaching of low molecular weight products from fish larvae feed.