3B’s Research Group

The ICVS/3B’s Associate Laboratory (LA) of UMinho is the result from a strategic partnership built and consolidated over the past years between two complementary R&D Units: the ICVS – Life and Health Sciences Research Institute; and the 3B´s Research Group – Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics. This LA, classified as Excellent by FCT, promotes a strong interface between Health Sciences & Technologies, maximizing the development of innovative biomaterials, diagnostic strategies, regenerative approaches and therapeutic products. It has generated several spin-off companies, and has strong links with an academic clinical center and health care providers.

The 3B’s Research Group (3B’s) was established in 1999 and formally recognized by the FCT as “Excellent” since 2003. Based on its track record: 3B’s is one of the most productive (in terms of papers and of IP) and cited groups in Portugal. 3B’s is world-wide recognized for the development of novel biomaterials (hydrogels, scaffolds, membranes, nano/microparticles, smart/functional surfaces) from natural polymers including marine origin polymers for applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering of bone, cartilage, skin, intervertebral disc, tendon, meniscus and neurological tissues. The group has developed several non-conventional processing techniques compatible with the sensitive materials and cells, i.e. allowing the fabrication of integrated biomaterials. On the other hand, stem cell research is devoted to the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells from different sources and origins towards the lineages of interest either using conventional methodologies or combined with scaffolds/biological signals.

The activities of 3B’s cover a series of multidisciplinary aspects with the goal of developing new advanced therapies for the regeneration of human tissues. The main research activity of the group is at the interface between materials engineering, life sciences and biotechnology. This highly interdisciplinary research is carried out by an international team composed by +150 researchers (+65 PhD holders) from about 20 different nationalities.

3B´s leads the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, with headquarters installed in a state of the art building in Avepark, Taipas. The research infrastructure possesses facilities specifically designed to execute state of the art tissue engineering related research, going from new materials synthesis, to novel materials processing routes, stem cells isolation and differentiation, and in vitro and in vivo biological testing. 3B´s also coordinates the newly approved TEAMING initiative The Discoveries Center for Regenerative and Precision Medicine.

3B’s Research Group has coordinated several large (+20) EU research projects under FP6, FP7 and the ongoing H2020 programs, including 4 ERC grants (2 AdG, 2 CoG), 1NoE, 1 TEAMING, 2 TWIINING, 1 ERA-Chair and several other major international projects.


In FlexPol, 3B´s will be leading the WP3, performing the antimicrobial testing of the produced films, as well as the cytotoxic evaluation. The FlexPol films will be evaluated following the international ISO standards.


Nuno M. Neves
Phone +351-253-510905 or +351-253-510900
Fax +351-253-510909
3B´s Research Group
Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics
Dept. of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho
AvePark, Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia
Zona Industrial da Gandra
4805-017 Barco GMR, Guimarães, Portugal