NANOBINDERS: NANOpartículas polimétricas Biogenéticas funcionalizadas para absorção de metais em aplicações amigas do ambiente: bioREmedição e bioSensores
The exploration of uranium in Portugal from 1908 to 2001 resulted in huge hotspots of metal exposure. Despite the overall success of conventional remediation works to counteract the associated risks, there are still mine effluents and/or nonpoint discharges (leaching/runoff events) jeopardizing adjacent aquatic systems. Bioremediation has been an excellent alternative, being primarily focused on microbial potential. But the direct use of living organisms may fail to succeed due to their reduced tolerance ranges. As such, the NANOBINDERS project will address the creation of biogenic, biodegradable and non-toxic polymeric nanobeads with high potential for metal biosorption in water - the NANOBINDERS. These nanobeads will be self-tailored inside engineered bacteria, being the biosynthesis optimized through the use of low-cost carbon sources obtained from waste recycling. The bioremediation potential of NANOBINDERS will be validated in small-scale systems set under laboratorial conditions. The NANOBINDERS will be further explored as biosensing elements for the monitoring of bioremediation efficiency, as well as metal exposure in water. In order to accomplish these goals, the project will bring academia and industry together, by gathering experts from different scientific areas and the company EDM (Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, SA).