Livia Santas

Livia Rocha Dos Santos

Independent Research Fellow

Science and Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Lívia Santos is as an Independent Research Fellow in Musculoskeletal Biology in the School of Science and Technology.

Career overview

Prior to her current position, Dr Santos worked in world-class research groups, the 3Bs Research Group, University of Minho & European Headquarters for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Portugal (2014-2006) and the Stevens Group, Imperial College London (2012-2014). At 3Bs, she developed an immunomodulatory biomaterial to facilitate tendon gliding while reducing the formation of post-operative peritendinous adhesions. She also taught the modules of Tissue Engineering and Biocompatibility Labs (Integrated MSc in Biomedical Engineering, University of Minho). At Imperial, she received a highly prestigious Intra-European Marie Curie Fellowship (Marie Curie actions FP7) to investigate bone angiogenesis. In this period she also characterised the genetic cargo of microvesicles shed by bone cells using miRNA PCR arrays. While an active member, the Stevens group received the prizes Research Group of the Year 2014 and Best European Research Group Led by PI Under 40s. Before these positions, Dr Santos received a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) to conduct research at Biosckin - Molecular and Cellular Therapies SA & Faculty of Engineering of Porto (2008-20012). In this period, she developed and tested an injectable bone to fill critical size bone defects and invented an artificial cornea fringe made of reinforced calcium phosphate aiming to restore the vision in patients with corneal blindness.

Dr Santos obtained a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2008 from the University of Minho, Portugal. She was supervised by Joana Azeredo, Associate Professor of the MIT-Portugal Program.

Research areas

Dr Santos has multidisciplinary interests spanning across biology and engineering. Her current research focuses on establishing cell culture models relevant for ageing research and organ-on-a-chip technology.


  • Santos L, Elliott-Sale KJ, Sale C. Exercise and bone health across the lifespan. Biogerontology 2017;18:931–946
  • Babo PS, Pires RL, Santos L, Franco A, Rodrigues F, Leonor I, Reis RL and Gomes ME. Platelet Lysate-Loaded Photocrosslinkable Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels for Periodontal Endogenous Regenerative Technology. ACS Biomaterials Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2017;3:1359–1369
  • Santos L, Silva MA, Gonçalves AI, Pesqueira T, Rodrigues MT, Reis RL and Gomes ME. In vitro and in vivo assessment of magnetically actuated biomaterials and prospects in tendon healing. Nanomedicine 2016;11;1107–1122
  • Santos L, Fuhrmann GR, Juenet M, Horejs C-M, Campagnolo P, Stevens MM. Extracellular stiffness modulates the expression of functional proteins and growth factors in endothelial cells. Advanced Healthcare Materials 20152015;4:2056–2063
  • Santos L, Reis RL and Gomes ME. Harnessing magnetic-mechano actuation in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. CELL Trends in Biotechnology 2015;33:41-49
  • Rekha N, Santos L, Awasthi S, von Erlach T, Chow LW, Bertazzo B, Stevens MM. Extracellular vesicles derived from preosteoblasts influence embryonic stem cell differentiation. Stem Cells and Development 2014;23:1625-35
  • Santos L, Ferraz MP, Shirosaki Y, Lopes MA, Fernandes MH, Osaka A, Santos JD. Degradation studies and biological behaviour of an artificial cornea material. Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences 2011;52:4274-4281

See all of Livia Santos's publications...

Press expertise

  • Regenerative medicine
  • Exercise and stem/ bone cells
  • Bone ageing