Sara Horta - ESR1

Novel concepts in support of improving clinical management of RTIs: Distinguishing viral from bacterial pneumonia

A unique antibody screening platform based on Digital Microfluidics

For community acquired Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI), the greatest clinical need for the physician to be able to rapidly distinguish patients presenting with viral RTI from those with bacterial RTI. Viruses not always have dsDNA, making the development of a nucleic acid based assay challenging. Proteins provide an excellent alternative target, attainable by antibody-based tests. Those tests do not require target amplification, making them inherently fast, an important criterion for primary care settings. Developing a highly multiplexed antibody-based test capable of working directly on the clinical sample is however challenging. In this project, the candidate will further develop an antibody screening platform based on digital Microfluidics to enable selection of highly specific viral and bacterial antibodies. Using this, a multiplexed bioassay will be developed capable of detecting specific viral and bacterial proteins, in a solution derived directly from a clinical sample. This bioassay will be integrated on the OSTE+ polymer lateral flow platform technology developed by ESR 2.





I desire to improve the current diagnostic methods of respiratory and autoimmune diseases using microfluidic devices. Presently, my research focusses on the development of a digital platform for antibody screening in single B cells from patients with an autoimmune disorder.





University of Aveiro, Portugal
MSc in Clinical Biochemistry 2012





  • Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)
    Micro and Nanosystems (MST) Department
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)
    Clinical Microfluidics Lab, SciLifeLab (
    Tomtebodavägen 23A
    17165 Solna, Sweden


  • Lucília Pereira, Sara Horta, Rita Mateus, Mafalda Videira.“Implications of Akt2/Twist crosstalk on breast cancer metastatic outcome”.  Drug Discovery Today (2015) 1152–1158. DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2015.06.010
  • Sara Horta, Ana Lúcia Agostinho, Rita Mateus, Lucília Pereira, Carolina Pereira, Liliana Capinha, Slavomira Doktorovova, Alexandra Brito, Mafalda Videira. “Looking out for cancer stem cells’ properties: the value-driving role of CD44 for personalized medicines”. Journal Current Cancer Drug Targets 14 (2015) 832-849. DOI: 10.2174/1568009614666141111154713
  • Sara Horta, Maria C. Barreto, Ana Pepe, Joana Campos, Abel Oliva. “Highly sensitive method for diagnosis of subclinical Babesia ovis infection”. Tick and Tick-borne diseases 5(2014) 902-906. DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2014.07.005
  • Raquel Nunes da Silva, Ana Cristina Silva, Elisabete Maciel, Cláudia Simões, Sara Horta, Paula Laranjeira, Artur Paiva, Pedro Domingues, M. Rosário Domingues.“Evaluation of the capacity of oxidized phosphatidylserines to induce the expression of cytokines in monocytes and dendritic cells”.  Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 525 (2012) 9–15. DOI: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jun 7
  • Filipa L. Sousa, Sara Horta, Magda Santos, Sílvia M. Rocha, Tito Trindade.“Release behavior of trans,trans-farnesol entrapped in amorphous silica capsules”.  Results in Pharma Sciences 2 (2012) 52–56. DOI: 10.1016/j.rinphs.2012.07.001

Looking for interesting collaborations?