Paulo Zagalo

PhD Student (PD/BD/142767/2018) (2018-2022)
PhD Programme: Radiation Biology and Biophysics Doctoral Training Programme (RaBBiT)
Field of Expertise: Thin-films and Sensor Science

Research Areas

PhD Thesis: "Study of Sensor Devices for the Detection of Emergent Contaminants in Water Bodies"

PhD Adviser: Prof. Doutor Paulo Ribeiro and Prof.ª Doutora Maria de Fátima Raposo

The detection of pollutants’ traces in environment is a major issue, particularly in water supplies, water courses and aquifers, which are known to be mainly, contaminated by pesticides, industrial products, pharmaceuticals personal care products (PPCPs) and many other emergent products like estrogen. The continuous use and natural excretion of estrogens has a pernicious impact in the environment, affecting the reproductive fitness of living beings. In order to expeditiously meet the monitoring estrogens in environmental water bodies, efforts must be done towards the development dedicated biosensors capable of detecting traces of estrogens, as no commercial sensors for monitoring and detecting these pollutants have been developed so far as an alternative to traditional costly and time-consuming analytical methods. Under this compliance, this project, is focused on the research of novel approaches towards the detection of estrogens in aqueous complex solutions, as the ones found in environmental water bodies, by exploring arrays of sensor devices based on estrogen targeted microimprinted polymers and/or sensitive molecular layers and using electrical or optical transducing. In addition of this study it is also expected to find solutions to those molecules that suffer degradation and that are also present in the environment.

Keywords: PPCP, sensors, estrogen, environment, water contamination, nanotechnology