Anabela Alves, Portuguese finalist

Anabela Alves was born in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, in 1981. She finished her primary and secondary education in her hometown before moving to Aveiro to get a Biology degree from the University of Aveiro. In 2007, she was awarded a doctoral grant from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia to develop her research in 3 B’s Research Group, University of Minho, on ‘Development of innovative tissue engineering scaffolds from algae polysaccharides’. She is inquisitive and likes reading and cooking.

Valorization of renewable marine residues: Converting natural biopolymers into potential biomaterials

Marine organisms produce a multitude of biopolymers with a wide range of properties. These marine origin polysaccharides are increasingly being studied and used in areas such as biomedicine, where synthetic polymers have traditionally been the materials of choice. They can easily be obtained from renewable marine residues and are biocompatible, biodegradable and often have biological activity.

Particularly interesting systems are obtained by modifying these polymers, tuning their properties to a specific application in order to find the best response of the material in a specific biological system. By exploiting these strategies, we can establish a bridge between waste management and satisfying the demands of emerging biomedical technologies.