Why choosing our systems

The mesoporous silica micro- and nano-particles are ideal candidates for the development of systems for target drug delivery , because they are easily synthesized , versatile , biocompatible and soluble in biological fluids.

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About NanoSiliCal Devices

NanoSiliCal Devices is a spin-off at the University of Calabria and an innovative start-up , founded in 2014; it aims to develop nanostructured products that may be exploited as smart anticancer therapies.

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Biotechnology market shows a growing trend and it will further increase in the next years. The highly innovative technologies offered by NanoSiliCal Devices might be a very important opportunity to potential investors, collaboration partners and licensees from the international biopharmaceutical industry.

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Our products

Our products technology is based on science of materials, providing nanostructured particles that can be administered intravenously, and, through the bloodstream, they can reach cancer cells, interact with them through a biological process and release a drug within. This leads to reduction of therapeutic doses, with a consequent therapeutic efficacy improvement and without toxic and side effects.

Our products

MSN carriers of a pro-drug and a targeting function

Mesoporous silica-based nanodevices (MSN) bearing a targeting molecule on the outer surface and an antineoplastic pro-drug linked within the pores by means of a pH-sensitive bond, as vehicles for targeting and release of biologically active molecules, are developed to be employed in targeted therapy. Suitable nanostructuring of matter better than with polymers because of nanoarchitecture and surface reactivity. Their pH-sensitive bond provides pro-drug (a biologically inactive form) delivery through the bloodstream (pH 7.4), until nanosystems reach the target tissue (pH 4-5), where they release the active form of the drug.

MSN for drug targeting with avidin-biotin system

Mesoporous silicas micro- or nanosystems anchored, through an avidin group, to a biotin-linked specific molecule (such as a monoclonal antibody, directed against a tumor marker). The system, conjugated to a drug with pH sensitive release control, is able to promote a ligand-mediated internalization into cells, causing their death.

Fluorescent MSNs for imaging diagnostics

Mesoporous silicas micro- or nano-systems linked with a highly specific ligand and a fluorescent marker that allows the visualization of target cells.

MSNs linked to plasmidic DNA

Mesoporous silicas micro- or nanosystems coupled to a specific functional group and with pores able to include plasmidic DNA, coding for proteins that have to be expressed in cellular systems (e.g. in basic experimental research), or in a specific organism, in case of deficits associated to a particular disease (gene therapy).

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Update on Silica-Based Mesoporous Materials for Biomedical Applications

Author: Luigi Pasqua; Editore: Smithers Rapra Technology; 2011 ISBN 10: 1847355072 / ISBN 13: 9781847355072

This book provides an insightful understanding of the mesoporous silica structure and its special properties. The details of synthesis and modification strategies are discussed by reviewing the open literature. The discussion concerning the potential of mesoporous silica in modern biomedical applications will be related to a critical analysis in the field of material science. This book will help the reader rapidly develop the necessary tools to follow the design of the different mesoporous silica-based devices presented in the various studies. The structure of the different devices is examined in detail and the relationship between the structure and the expected activity are discussed. It will also assist in the ability to design new therapeutic devices in a field where the applications seem to be without limits.


Our team

Dr. Luigi Pasqua (CEO)
Assistant Professor from 09/01/2007 (enabled the role of Associate Professor from January 2014) in the field of Materials Science and Technology (SSD ING-IND/22) at Chemical Engineering and Materials Departments, University of Calabria up to 12/31/2012, and, later, at Territory Planning and Chemical Engineering Departments of the same University. Dr. Pasqua has broad experience in the design, synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials. In particular, his research is focused on hybrid multifunctional silica-based mesoporous systems, potentially useful for drug delivery or in sensors field.
Prof. Antonella Leggio
Associate professor from 11/01/2010 in Organic Chemistry (CHIM / 06) at the Department of Pharmacy and Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Calabria. She gained 20 years’ experience in organic- and bio-molecules synthesis and characterization and in their further processing to produce pharmacological functional analogs. Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Luigi Pasqua and Dr. Catia Morelli, she started to study structural and reactivity properties of nanoparticles for their functionalization with organic ligands, useful in cancer drugs targeting.
Dr. Catia Morelli
PhD and research fellow at the Department of Pharmacy and Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Calabria. She has more than 15 years’ gained experience in the molecular oncology field. She spent four years at the Kimmel Cancer Institute (KCC), Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) in Philadelphia, for a training period, hosted at the laboratory of Prof. Eva Surmacz. Her research interests have always been focused on the growth factors activated pathways both in breast solid tumors and metastases. More recently, Dr. Morelli established interdisciplinary collaborations with Dr. Luigi Pasqua and Prof. Antonella Leggio, by studying the biological effects of anti-cancer strategies based on the use of nanostructured materials, designed as potential platforms for targeted drug therapy.

A message by our CEO

Dr Luigi Pasqua, NanoSiliCal Devices' CEO, explains research and development innovative activities of our company.

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