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Pulido Valente Award 2017 distinguishes iMM PhD student

The article "Atomic force microscopy as a tool to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular diseases in patients", conducted by the researcher Ana Filipa Guedes and published in 2016 in Nature Nanotechnology, is the winner of the Pulido Valente Award 2017, which this year was directed to the area of cardiology. The award ceremony will be chaired by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, and will take place on March 1, at 15:00, at the Noble Hall of the Palácio das Laranjeiras, in Lisbon.

A PhD student at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (iMM) has analyzed the interaction between fibrinogen (a blood plasma protein that is decisive in the coagulation process and has been identified as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular diseases) and the red blood cells of patients with chronic heart failure, in order to understand how fibrinogen influences the aggregation of these cells.



In this analysis, performed using a technique in the field of nanotechnology-atomic force microscopy (AFM)-it was found that the force required to break the bond between fibrinogen and red blood cells in patients with chronic heart failure is higher than in healthy people. At follow-up for one year, it was observed that those with higher fibrinogen-red blood cell binding forces, as measured by AFM at the beginning of the study, were more likely to be hospitalized for cardiovascular complications during the following 12 months.

The study demonstrates the relevant contribution of the application of nanomedicine in the field of cardiology, enhancing the identification of new biomarkers for cardiovascular risk assessment and thus improving clinical prognosis.

In 2017, Ana Filipa Guedes also received the Young Biophysicist Award SPBf, by the Portuguese Biophysics Society; in 2016 she was awarded the Best Poster Award, by the Portuguese Biophysics Society and in 2014, the Best Communication Award, by the International Fibrinogen Research Society-France.

The Pulido Valente Science Prize annually distinguishes the best article published in an area of Biomedical Sciences that describes the results of research conducted by a researcher under 35 years old at the date of submission of the application, in a national R&D institution. The amount of this Prize is 10 thousand Euros, co-financed by the Professor Francisco Pulido Valente Foundation and the Foundation for Science and Technology, according to the Protocol established between the two institutions.