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Personale Strutture


Professore Ordinario





Since 2017: professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, where I teaches “Technology of delivery and controlled release of drugs” and a module of “Delivery and formulation of Biotech drugs” to undergraduated and PhD stundents.
2014-2017: associate professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova.
2004-2014: assistant professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova.
2004: Ph.D. in “Pharmaceutical Sciences”, University of Padova.
2003: research contract by the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Padova.
2002: visiting scientist at the University of Paris-Sud XI (Prof. P. Couvreur) and at I.B.M.C of the University of Strasbourg. Development of cyclodextrin based macromolecular carriers for the delivery of anticancer drugs.
2000: training fellowship at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Padua to investigate "Macromolecular systems for drug delivery".
1998-1999: training fellowship at Center for Innovative Biotechnologies (CRIBI) in Padova
1998: degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies.
I authored 46 peer-reviewed publications, 3 book chapters, 3 international patents and over 80 posters and oral presentations at international symposiums and 5 invited lectures. I have served as Guest Editor for the Journal of Drug Delivery.

2016: member of the internation team of the ITN Marie Curie project Ocuther for the treatment of eye deseases.
2009: recipient of a three-years grant from European Commission in the framework of the FP VII (NanoSCI ERAnet). The project aimed at investigating nanocarriers for siRNA delivery to silence key proteins in the cancer development using pH responsive copolymers.
2005 and 2008: invited scientist at Northeastern University - Boston (USA), Prof. V. Torchilin. He investigated responsive micelles and targeted liposomes for site-selective drug delivery to the tumor tissue and the brain.

Since the beginning of my career my interest has been focused on the development of supramolecular drug delivery systems. I started my investigations on the structure/function relationship of polypeptides with biological activity. The experience acquired was exploited later on for the conjugation of proteins with biocompatible polymers developing original methods for the site-specific conjugation through "grafting-to" and "growing-from" procedures. I also investigated polymer/protein physical assembling which allowed for the modulation of the pharmacokinetic profile of therapeutic proteins.
My interests in the last years have focused on the development of “smart” nanocarriers for drug and oligonucleotides delivery to the tumour. In collaboration with Prof V. Torchilin, I have developed pH sensitive micelles and liposomes for site-selective delivery of anticancer drugs. With Prof. Torchilin I also designed nanocarriers capable of actively targeting the central nervous system.
The experience acquired in USA laboratories has open the investigation of a variety of responsive platforms for drug delivery with the aim to improve the site-selectivity of the nanocarriers and to locally and temporally control the release of loaded drugs.
I provided a remarkable contribution for the advancement of drug nano-vehicles with enhanced "homing" capacity conferred by the cross-talk of surface functional components.


Orari di ricevimento

  • Il Venerdi' dalle 10:00 alle 11:00
    presso ufficio primo piano Edificio B, Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco


1. Salmaso S, Semenzato A, Caliceti P, Hoebeke J, Sonvico F, Dubernet C, Couvreur P. (2004). Specific antitumor targetable beta-cyclodextrin-poly(ethylene glycol)-folic acid drug delivery bioconjugate. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 15: 997-1004.
2. Sawant R.M., Hurley J.P, Salmaso S., Kale A, Tolcheva E, Levchenko T.S, Torchilin V.P. (2006). "Smart" drug delivery systems: double-targeted pH-responsive pharmaceutical nanocarriers. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 17: 943-949.
4. Salmaso S., Semenzato A., Bersani S., Matricardi P., Rossi F., Caliceti P. (2007) Cyclodextrin/PEG based hydrogels for multi-drug delivery. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 345: 42-50.
5. Salmaso S., Bersani S., Semenzato A., Caliceti P. (2007) New cyclodextrin bioconjugates for active tumour targeting. Journal of Drug Targeting. 15: 379-390.
6. Salmaso S., Schrepfer R., Cavallaro G., Bersani S., Caboi F., Giammona G., Tonon G., Caliceti P. (2008). Supramolecular association of recombinat human growth hormone with hydrophobized polyhydroxyethylaspartamides. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 68: 656-666.
8. Salmaso S., Caliceti P., Amendola V., Meneghetti M., Magnusson J.P., Pasparakisc G. and Alexander C. (2009) Cell up-take control of gold nanoparticles functionalized with a thermoresponsive polymer. J. Mater. Chem. 19: 1608-1615.
9. Salmaso S., Pappalardo J. S., Sawant R. R., Musacchio T., Rockwell K., Caliceti P. and Torchilin V. P. (2009) Targeting Glioma Cells in Vitro with Ascorbate-Conjugated Pharmaceutical Nanocarriers. Bioconjugate Chem. 20: 2348-2355.
10. Salmaso S, Bersani S, Scomparin A, Mastrotto F, Scherpfer R, Tonon G, Caliceti P. (2009) Tailored PEG for rh-G-CSF Analogue Site-Specific Conjugation. Bioconjug. Chem. 20: 1179-1185.
12. Salmaso S., Bersani S., Pirazzini M., and Caliceti P. (2011) pH-sensitive PEG-based micelles for tumor targeting J Drug Target 19: 303-313.
13. Mastrotto F., Caliceti P., Amendola V., Bersani S., Magnusson J.P., Meneghetti M., Mantovani G., Alexander C. and Salmaso, S.* (2011) Polymer control of ligand display on gold nanoparticles for multimodal switchable cell targeting. Chem. Commun. 47: 9846-89848.
14. Salmaso S., Bersani S, Mastrotto F., Tonon G., Schrepfer R., Genovese S., Caliceti P. (2012) Self-assembling nanocomposites for protein delivery: Supramolecular interactions between PEG-cholane and rh-G-CSF. Journal of Controlled Release. 162: 176-184.
15. Ravazzolo E., Salmaso S.*, Mastrotto F., Bersani S., Gallon E., Caliceti P. (2013)
pH responsive lipid core micelles for tumour targeting. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 83: 346–357
16. Matini T., Spain S., Mantovani G., Vicent M., Sanchis J., Gallon E., Mastrotto F., Salmaso S., Caliceti P. and Alexander C. (2013) Synthesis and characterization of variable conformation pH responsive block co-polymers for nucleic acid delivery and targeted cell entry. Polym. Chem. Accepted
17. Bersani S., Vila-Caballer M., Brazzale C., Barattin M., Salmaso S. (2014)pH-sensitive stearoyl-PEG-poly(methacryloyl sulfadimethoxine) decorated liposomes for the delivery of gemcitabine to cancer cells. Eur J Pharm Biopharm DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2014.08.005
18. Salmaso S, Bersani S, Scomparin A, Balasso A, Brazzale C, Barattin M, Caliceti P. (2014)
A novel soluble supramolecular system for sustained rh-GH delivery. J Control Release.194: 168-177

Area di ricerca

Novel pharmacologically active molecules have been developed in the last decades. In particular, much attention has been dedicated to the search for new anticancer small drugs with high activity, low toxicity and appropriate biopharmaceutical features. Another class of drugs that has recently attracted lot of interest is represented by biopharmaceutics, namely proteins and oligonucleotides. Although these classes of drugs are quite different, they share some common unfavorable issues: poor biopharmaceutical features. For this reason, the development of innovative drug delivery systems is one of the major challenges of the pharmaceutical technology.
Nanotechnology offers exciting opportunities for the development of drug delivery systems that can improve the drug biopharmaceutical properties and guarantee for the selective and controlled release at target sites in the body.
My studies are focused on the development of innovative systems for the delivery of anticancer drugs and biotechnological active molecules.
1) Development of metal particle based nanovectors for multimodal tissue recognition for tumor therapy and diagnosis. Gold nanoparticles can be decorated with polymers sensitive to microenvironmental stimuli (pH and temperature) and targeting molecules that precisely biorecognize the cancer tissue. The decoration of the surface with functional and biological agents provide for enhanced site-selectivity as a consequence of bio-sensing of the surrounding environment. Promising results showed their potential applications for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
2) Study of microenvironmental stimuli responsive micelles, liposomes, polymersomes. Studies are undergoing aimed at developing vesicular systems (micelles, liposomes and polymersomes) assembled with responsive materials and targeting agents for the controlled release of anticancer drugs and siRNA. The results obtained so far have opened fascinating perspectives for the development of “smart” anti-cancer drug and oligonucleotide vehicles. Vesicles are also investigated for subcellular compartment targeting to induce novel unexplored mechanism of drug activity.
3) Bioconjugates for the delivery of drugs. This research line is aimed at investigating polymer bioconjugates for the delivery of drugs. A set of derivatives were generated using cyclodextrins that have been modified with targeting agents and PEG-alkyl chains; they showed high capacity to encapsulate anticancer drugs. The cyclodextrin based carriers have been found to selectively deliver drugs to tumor cells while preserving the chemical stability of the drug.
4) Formulation of proteins using biocompatible nanoparticle and micelles. Polymeric particles and micelles obtained with amphiphilic polymers are exploited to physically encapsulate therapeutically relevant peptides and cytokines with poor biopharmaceutical profile and to modulate their pharmacokinetic profiles.
5) Development of targeted nanocarriers to cross the blood brain barrier. Novel strategies to cross the BBB and deliver drugs are under investigation using receptor targeted colloidal systems as scaffold.
6) Coating of flat surfaces with “smart” polymers and components with cell biorecognition capacity. This investigation is aimed at precisely modulate the interface properties of devices to precisely control biorecognition of approaching cells, cell adhesion and cell sorting by applying external physical stimuli.

Tesi proposte

The research group led by Prof Salmaso is focused on the development of carriers for the delivery of drugs and biopharmaceutics. Availability for experimental master thesis for 2021 on the following projects:
• Development of responsive gold nanoparticles for anticancer drug delivery. Novel gold nanoparticles will be designed and assembled by combining functional polymers bearing anticancer drugs for the intracellular delivery. Furthermore, gold nanoparticles will be tested for external stimuli activation to leverage the anticancer activities of drugs
• Development of multifunctional liposomes and micelles for anticancer drug delivery. Lipidic vesicles will be prepared with a variety of functional coating agents to promote selective biodistribution of drugs in the cancer and access to the intracellular space. Special emphasis will be dedicated to generate and characterize novel amphiphilic polymers for liposome coating, targeting units and/or cell penetration enhancers. This carriers will also be explored for the administration of drugs through non conventional administration routes: nasal, intravescical, cutaneous, etc.
• Development of lipoplexes for the intracellular delivery of siRNA for treatment of cancer. This technology is also explored for the set up of new generation of vaccines for prophilaxis of infectious diseases and also for cancer treatment.
• Development of lipid based particles using innovative formulation strategies, namelly microfluidics, for the formulation of therapeutic peptides.