Soft and

Mathematical modelling and simulation of Physical processes in Biological systems

Biology & Physics

Physics is often needed to understand several processes in Biological systems. For example, when cells migrate, responding to paracrine factors that diffuse in their microenvironment, they exert forces in the matrix, are able to cleave and mechanically deform matrix fibres, and to push themselves to invade new regions. Solid tumor development is strongly dependent on the local pressure exerted by healthy tissue, as well as on nutrient and oxygen delivery provided by the neighbouring vascular network. Blood is pumped by the heart thanks to electrochemical waves that regulate the concerted tissue compression. To better understand these and other biological processes from cell to organism scale, it is pivotal the development of quantitative models that integrate biological, biochemical and physical processes. This is our focus and passion.


Congratulations to Marcos

May 2023

Marcos Gouveia has just finished his Ph.D. with a very impressive viva!!

Tânia Sousa is the SPBf Young Biophysicist of 2023

Apr 2023

Tânia has been awarded the SPBf Prize for Young Biophysicist 2023 for the work “How abundant are superoxide and hydrogen peroxide in the vasculature lumen, how far can they reach?”

Forces between erythrocytes

Feb 2023

Juliana has created a model for the adhesion forces between two red blood cells. This work resulted from a collaboration with Nuno Santo’s group at IMM and with Aurora Hernández-Machado from the University of Barcelona

Hydrogen Peroxide levels in vessels: advection & diffusion

Nov 2022

Tânia and Marcos’ work introduces a quantitative understanding of hydrogen peroxide concentrations in different vessels, and highlights how it can mediate endothelial cell-cell communication. Published in Redox Biology. A great sequel to our previous work on H2O2 levels at the cell membrane vicinity, and the result of a fruitful collaboration with Armindo Salvador’s group.

Modelling cell-cell bioelectric communication in tumor growth

Jun 2022

We present a model that tracks cell bioelectric polarisation during tissue growth. Can the bioelectric state of the cell be at the onset of tumor development?

Analysis of structure and mechanics of diabetic extracellular matrices

Jan 2022

Did you know that diabetes alters the structure and mechanical properties of extracellular matrices? In this work we quantify these alterations in diverse tissues.

Quantitative dynamics of keratin aggregation

Jan 2022

The processes behind keratin aggregation remain elusive. In this work we use quantitative models to demonstrate that aggregate formation results from asymmetric binding between wild-type and mutant keratins. A ground-braking collaboration with Mirjana Liović’s group!

New Opportunity!!

Nov 2021

We have two Ph.D. scholarships open calls in the context of Prototera, on modelling the effects of radiobiological therapy in breast cancer and on modelling proton therapy in prostate cancer.

Analysis of moving mitochondria in axons

Nov 2021

Great characterisation of mitochondria movement in axons done by Maurício has been published in The FASEB Journal. In collaboration with Teresa Oliveira and Paulo Oliveira’s group.

Angiogenesis & Nano

Oct 2021

Rui, Marcos and Ana Isabel have developed a mathematical model for angiogenesis in glioblastomas to understand the role of encapsulated anti-VEGF delivery in regulating tumor progression. This work is the result of a collaboration with INL and I3S and is published in Journal of Controlled Release.

Tumor Invades

Oct 2021

Here it is João and Valéria’s 3D cellular Potts Model on urothelium tumor development. It is published in Informatics and Medicine Unlocked.

Multiscale Tumor

Jun 2021

Sahar’s work on a multiscale cellular Potts model for tumor growth was published on PLoS Computational Biology. Wonderful!!

Summer in Coimbra

Aug/Sep 2021

Summer school and scholarships under Verão com Ciência FCT Program.


Jun 2021

João has published his work on cellular membrane depolarisation during tumor growth. Can bioelectricity be used in future cancer therapies?


Jun 2021

Several talks at SMB 2021. Excellent online experience allowing for the participation of several group members.

Well Done!!

Jun 2021

Best contributed presentation for Sahar in ESCI conference 2021. Congratulations!!

Great Talks!

Jun 2021

Strong participation in ESCI conference 2021. We have presented 6 talks in a wide range of topics.

A New Beginning

Jul 2020

Maurício has defended his PhD. thesis in “Multi-phase-field models for biological systems”. Approved with praise and distinction. Congratulations!