NanoSiliCal Devices is a spin-off at the University of Calabria, founded in 2014 by the research team made up by Dr. Luigi Pasqua, Prof. Antonella Leggio and Dr Catia Morelli. It aims to develop nanostructured products that may be exploited as smart anticancer therapies, basing its activities on the results of experimental studies, gained in the last 10 years, that haveled to several International Patent Applications and publications on international journals with high impact factor. Research and development activities are the aim of the innovative nature of NanoSiliCal Devices.

NanoSiliCal Devices produces multi-functional nano-structured systems, based on mesoporous silica (Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles, MSNs), for the intracellular release of biologically active molecules. MSNs are highly versatile systems, since different kinds of organic ligands can be grafted on the MSNs surface to provide hybrid and multifunctional solutions of high therapeutic interest, which are able to target specific tissues, e.g by selectively directing a drug to cancer cells.

NanoSiliCal Devices is the result of several studies based on properties, synthesis, characterization and biological validation of mesoporous silicas.These studies involve a modular method of synthesis of mesoporous silica based micro-and nano-systems that could be used for drug delivery. Mesoporous silica nanodevices (MSN) bearing a targeting molecule on the outer surface and a specific drug linked within the pores, as vehicles for targeting and release of biologically active molecules, are developed to be employed in targeted therapy. This is an excellent drug delivery system based on Receptor-specific ligand on the external surface and drug inside the pores.

The main application of our products is the targeted chemotherapy, whose main purpose is to reduce drug doses, to improve therapeutic efficacy and to reduce toxic and side effects. To this aim, we create and develop new vehicles that could be used in targeted therapy, by releasing antineoplastic drugs directly inside the cancer cells, thus preventing and minimizing their effects on healthy tissues. The administration of antineoplastic drugs produces high toxicity that limits the therapeutic effect and reduces patients adherence to therapy; the use of subtherapeutic doses could cause the development of drug resistance due to biochemical changes or change in the mechanisms of drug elimination and/or uptake.

Our TeamWho’s behind the scenes?

Dr. Luigi Pasqua
NanoSiliCal Devices’ Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), he planes and supervises hybrid multifunctional organic-inorganic mesoporous silica preparation and characterization for the intracellular release of drugs.
Prof. Antonella Leggio
She designs and supervises on the production and characterization of pro-drugs to be combined with mesoporous silica micro- and nano-systems.
Dr. Catia Morelli
She designs and coordinates in vitro and in vivo experiments, in order to define functionalized MSNs’ biocompatibility, bio-distribution, pharmacokinetics and efficacy.


The NanoSiliCal Devices is an innovative start-up and a spin-off at the University of Calabria, founded by three members: Luigi Pasqua (CEO), Antonella Leggio (CRO) and Catia Morelli (CRO); its Administrative and Operational headquarters office are located at the University of Calabria.

PerfectionThe laboratories

The headquarters of NanoSiliCal Devices is housed, together with other ones, within an area of the Department of Pharmacy and Health and Nutritional Sciences, committed to technology transfer. The laboratories are provided of all instruments for the production of chemical and physical tests.

QualityWhy NanoSiliCal Devices

Mesoporous silica frameworks could be modified and matched with different molecular structures to respond to stimulation or to induce themselves biological reactions. Mesoporous silicas could be an highly qualified instrument and an innovative approach to solve different types of problems.

MilestonesBrief History of Our Company

April, 2017

NanoSilical Devices welcomes its first foreign investor, Mr. Mohammed A. Al Emadi

March, 2014

NanoSiliCal Devices s.r.l. is founded