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Martina Di Francesco

Post Doc

Research Line

Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


via Morego 30, 16163 Genova
+39 01071781261


Martina Di Francesco is a Post Doc in the Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine research line at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia since May 2017. Her research activities focus on the design and the development of polymeric micro- and nano-constructs for delivering of different drugs (anti-inflammatory drugs and/or growth factors), in order to combine therapeutic activity and regenerative medicine.

Dr Di Francesco achieved her MSc Degree in Chemistry and Pharmacology Technology in October 2013 at the “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti – Pescara discussing the thesis “Implantable nanodevices for sustained zero-order release of liposomal nanodrugs”. In this work, she demonstrated that that nanochannels can be exploited to passively control the sustained release of intact liposomes from subcutaneously implantable reservoirs, designed for systemic delivery. Following that, she collaborated with a Pharmacy preparing and checking drugs following pharmacopoeia. In January 2014, she started her PhD in Life Sciences at the University of Catanzaro under the supervision of Prof. Massimo Fresta. Whilst completing her PhD thesis, she joined IIT for an internship leading her to her current position. Her PhD project “Supramolecular vesicular aggregates (SVAs) as innovative nanomedicine for the treatment of solid tumors” was the synthesis of and physical-chemical characterization of innovative supramolecular vesicular aggregates (SVAs) made up from different combinations of hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfactants or lipids for anticancer treatments.

Selected Publications

List of selected publications:

- Di Francesco M, Grande R, Esposito S, Di Marzio L, “Niosomes as a delivery device for  Vitamin A”, Advances in Food Safety and Health, 2014,6, 43-49;

- Di Francesco M, Stancanelli R, Primavera R, Cannavà C, Tommasini S, Ventura CA, “Cyclodextrins in food science”, Advances in Food Safety and Health, 2014, 6, 4-21;

- Primavera R, Di Francesco M, De Cola A, De Laurenzi V, Paolino D, Ciancaioni M, Carafa M, Celia C, Di Ilio C, Di Stefano A, Fresta M, Locatelli M, Di Marzio L, "HPLC–FLD and spectrofluorometer apparatus: How to best detect fluorescent probe-loaded niosomes in biological samples, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2015, 135: 575–580; doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.08.006;

- De Rose RF, Maria Cristiano MC, Celano M, Maggisano V, Vero A, Lombardo GE, Di Francesco M, Paolino D, Russo D, Cosco D, "PDE5 inhibitors-loaded nanovesicles: physico-chemical properties and in vitro antiproliferative activity", Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 92; doi:10.3390/nano6050092;

- Di Francesco M, Primavera R, Fiorito S, Cristiano MC, Taddeo VA, Epifano F, Di Marzio L, Genovese S, Celia C; “Acronychiabaueri Analogue Derivative-loadedUltradeformable Vesicles: Physicochemical Characterization and Potential Applications”, Planta Medica, 2016; doi:10.1055/s-0042-112225;

- D'Angelo V, Tessari F, Bellagamba G, De Luca E, Cifelli R, Celia C, Primavera R, Di Francesco M, Paolino D, Di Marzio L, Locatelli M, “MicroExtraction by Packed Sorbent and HPLC-PDA quantification of multiple anti-inflammatory drugs and fluoroquinolones in human plasma and urine”, Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, 2016; doi:10.1080/14756366.2016.120949;

- Di Francesco M, Celia C, Primavera R, D'Avanzo N, Locatelli M, Fresta M, Cilurzo F, Ventura CA, Paolino D, Di Marzio L, Physicochemical Characterization of pH-responsive and Fusogenic Self-assembled Non-phospholipid Vesicles for a Potential Multiple Targeting Therapy, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2017, 528(1-2):18-32; doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.05.055


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