Hybrid nanoparticles for biomedicine

Hybrid nanoparticles for biomedicine

Description of the activity

Biocompatible nanoparticles (NPs) able to carry therapeutic molecules inside cancer cells represent an excellent strategy to increase drug efficacy. In addition, targeted therapy can limit the mutual interactions between the drug and normal tissues, thus reducing systemic toxicity. We focused our attention on inorganic diatomite NPs (DNPs) obtained from diatoms and made of a natural biosilica. DNPs have been explored as drug delivery systems thanks to their advantageous properties, including high surface-to-volume ratio, long half-life, and chemical stability in physiological conditions. DNPs can be easily prepared in the size range of 100–400 nm and possess nanopores able to load a wide range of therapeutic compounds, including aptamers, chemotherapeutic agents, and small molecules. The easy-to-tune surface of DNPs offer the opportunity to perform several surface functionalization strategies to enhance their biocompatibility, intracellular uptake, and improve drug loading and delivery efficiency. Recently, we moved a crucial step forward devising a hybrid nanosystem constituted by a DNP decorated with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and capped with a gelatin (Gel) layer for Galunisertib (LY2157299, LY) delivery in colocancer (CRC) cells and concurrent quantification of LY release at the single-cell level with attogram-scale resolution via SERS imaging.

Involved personnel

I. Rea | L. de Stefano | C. Tramontano | G. Chianese

National and International Collaborations


  • Functional nanomaterials and interfaces Lab
  • Optical characterization and biosensors Lab