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Nanotechnologies: cell and biomaterial interactions (NCBI)

Livia Visai, PI


Phone: +39 0382 987725

Web site: Bio4nano lab

Lab members

Livia Visai, PI, Associate Professor

Nora Bloise, Assistant Professor (RTDB)

Elisa Restivo, PhD student in Translational Medicine 

Mohammad Okkeh, PhD student in Translational Medicine 

Cristina Volpini, PhD student in Translational Medicine 

Silvia Strada, research fellow


The application of nanotechnology in medicine is termed Nanomedicine. It uses the properties developed by a material at its nanometric scale 10-9 m which often differ in terms of physics, chemistry or biology from the same material at a bigger scale.

Nanomedicine has the potential to enable early detection and prevention and to drastically improve diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of many diseases that afflict mankind and animal.

Our laboratory is interested in studying the effects exerted by the application of nanotechnology in medicine, specifically in bone remodeling (in particular in microgravity) and in regenerative medicine, in reduction of bacterial/viral infection and in the diagnosis and therapy of cancer and endometriosis.

Furthermore, we have are developping a new 3D in vitro model of liver to study the effect of drugs in order to replace the animal testing following the 3Rs’ principle (

The current research activity of the laboratory focuses on four lines of investigation:

(i) The application of nanotechnology as a new therapeutic treatment for endometriosis: development and biological characterization of nanosystem for in vitro, in 3D and in vivo treatment.

(ii) The application of nanotechnology as a countermeasure to disuse osteoporosis in microgravity: assessment of nanoparticles effect on bone remodeling using the Random Positioning Machine (RPM) and the International Space Station (ISS).

(iii) The application of nanotechnology for the reduction of bacterial/viral infection: characterization of biomaterials/scaffolds containing silver/gold nanoparticles with antibacterial/antiviral function; selection and characterization of human single chain fragment variable (scFv) against bacterial adhesins.

(iv) The application of nanotechnology in the diagnosis and therapy of cancer: development and biological characterization of nanosystem for delivery of anticancer drug in in vitro and in 3D models.


Mucosomes: Intrinsically Mucoadhesive Glycosylated Mucin Nanoparticles as Multi-Drug Delivery Platform. Butnarasu C, Petrini P, Bracotti F, Visai L, Guagliano G, Fiorio Pla A, Sansone E, Petrillo S, Visentin S. Adv Healthc Mater. 2022 May 24:e2200340. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202200340. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35608152

An in vivo Comparison Study Between Strontium Nanoparticles and rhBMP2. Montagna G, Cristofaro F, Fassina L, Bruni G, Cucca L, Kochen A, Divieti Pajevic P, Bragdon B, Visai L, Gerstenfeld L. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2020 Jun 16;8:499. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.00499. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32612980

Combining Biologically Active β-Lactams Integrin Agonists with Poly(l-lactic acid) Nanofibers: Enhancement of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Adhesion. Martelli G, Bloise N, Merlettini A, Bruni G, Visai L, Focarete ML, Giacomini D. Biomacromolecules. 2020 Mar 9;21(3):1157-1170. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01550. Epub 2020 Feb 14. PMID: 32011862

Extra-Small Gold Nanospheres Decorated With a Thiol Functionalized Biodegradable and Biocompatible Linear Polyamidoamine as Nanovectors of Anticancer Molecules. Bloise N, Massironi A, Della Pina C, Alongi J, Siciliani S, Manfredi A, Biggiogera M, Rossi M, Ferruti P, Ranucci E, Visai L. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2020 Mar 4;8:132. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.00132. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32195232

The NATO project: nanoparticle-based countermeasures for microgravity-induced osteoporosis. Cristofaro F, Pani G, Pascucci B, Mariani A, Balsamo M, Donati A, Mascetti G, Rea G, Rizzo AM, Visai L. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 20;9(1):17141. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53481-y. PMID: 31748575