Colombo Miriam, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry
Colombo Miriam BtBs UNIMIB


room 5010, building U4, tel.: +39 02 6448 3388

lab 2011, building U4, tel. +39 02 6448 3359

see also: Google Scholar, Scopus


NanoBioLab: Lab website - Instagram –  Facebook


My research work contributed to the recent advances of the emerging research field of nanomedicine. In 2020 I have been appointed to lead nanoformulation and nanocosmetic platform within the interdepartmental infrastructure “Nanotechnology for precision medicine and personalized beauty and Healthcare” NanoCosPha. In 2019, I was awarded with the first prize of the “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Premio Giovani Talenti dell'Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca”.

1) I developed novel nanoconstructs based on nanoparticles functionalized with peptides, monoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments, as innovative tools for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Moreover, in the last few years my research interest has been focused on the investigation of new nanoparticles administration routes alternative to the intravenous one, in particular oral, topical and intranasal delivery (Morelli et al. Pharmaceutics, 2019; Musazzi et al. J. Nanobiotechnol. 2017; Salvioni et al. Pharmacol. Res., 2016).

2) I contributed to the invention related to a Patent (WO2014013473-A1) describing the development of a multifunctional nanoconstruct useful for therapeutic purposes with potential in the preclinical and clinical treatment of cancer, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders.

3) Several high-impact publications reporting on the development of new methodologies for the synthesis, loading and bioconjugation of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems. I developed a new platform for tailoring the surface of nanoparticles. (Colombo et al. Nat. Commun. 2016).

4) I am an author of authoritative reviews on the application of nanotechnology in medical research: Vago et al. Pharmacol. Res. 2016; Colombo et al. Chem Soc Rev., 2012 (cited 702); Salvioni et al. Cancers 2019. I’m author of 80 publications: 13 as first author and 12 as corresponding author with an IF of 28 (Google Scholar).

5) I have been the Principal Investigator of a My First AIRC Grant 2014. This grant allowed me to establish a new independent laboratory to conduct my research in nanomedical field and to develop a new targeted nanobased-tool.

The activity is focused on the following research lines
Health research area BtBs UNIMIB

Cancer, Drug Discovery and Pharmacology, Inflammmation and infections, Nanomedicine and Biomaterials

Research group
NanoBiolab research group BtBs UNIMIB

Clinical Biochemistry; Nanomedicine; Cosmetics; Nanoparticles formulation; Drug delivery systems; Targeted therapies; Nano-diagnostics; Cancer, Inflammatory diseases

Research areas

Clinical Biochemistry and Nanobiotechnology

Research interest


Development of novel hybrid drug-loaded nanoparticles (NPs) for selective cancer cells targeting:

-NPs synthesis, characterization and functionalization with biomolecules

-In vitro studies in cells (viability and internalization)

-In vivo studies on tumor bearing mice.



In vivo investigation of topical, oral and inhalatory administration as promising non-invasive delivery options especially for a regional and/or local effect, ameliorating the patient compliance, improving the pharmacokinetics of degradable peptides and proteins, and reducing the frequently.



Development of semisolid formulations (creams, gels…) including nanoparticles loaded with natural or synthetic compounds for cosmetic applications.




a) Drug-loaded biomimetic nanoparticles administered by inhalation for Covid-19 local treatment.

b) development of predictive, diagnostic and prognostic methods for Covid-19 clinical investigation.

c) Innovative protein-based therapy for pulmonary diseases including Covid-19.

Nanotechnology for HIV treatment by two approaches: 1) improving the pharmacokinetic properties of antiretroviral drugs, and 2) assisting drugs to cross the biological barriers (e.g., the blood brain barrier) to target the virus reservoirs.


Bioengineered nanoparticles can be developed to localize, monitor and quantify the early stages of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), particularly Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis inflammatory diseases, and to treat aggressive inflammatory disorders including IBDs, rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, edema, sepsis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Research projects

Select articles

1. M. Colombo, L. Fiandra, G. Alessio, S. Mazzucchelli, M. Nebuloni, C. De Palma, K. Kantner, B. Pelaz, R. Rotem, F. Corsi, W.J. Parak, D. Prosperi. Tumour homing and therapeutic effect of colloidal nanoparticles depend on the number of attached antibodies. Nat. Commun. 2016, 7, 13818.

2. L. Morelli, S. Gimondi, M. Sevieri, L. Salvioni, M. Guizzetti, B. Colzani, L. Palugan, A. Foppoli, L. Talamini, L. Morosi, M. Zucchetti, M.B. Violatto, L. Russo, M. Salmona, D. Prosperi, M. Colombo*, P. Bigini. Monitoring the Fate of Orally Administered PLGA Nanoformulation for Local Delivery of Therapeutic Drugs. Pharmaceutics, 2019, 11, 658. 

3. V. Codullo, E. Cova, L. Pandolfi, S. Breda, M. Morosini, V. Frangipane, M. Malatesta, L. Calderan, M. Cagnone, C.Pacini, L. Cavagna, H. Recalde, J.H.W. Distler, M. Giustra, D. Prosperi, M. Colombo*, F. Meloni, C. Montecucco. Imatinib-loaded gold nanoparticles inhibit proliferation of fibroblasts and macrophages from systemic sclerosis patients and ameliorate experimental bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. J. Controlled Rel., 2019, 310, 198-208.

4. E. Cova, L. Pandolfi, M. Colombo*, V. Frangipane, S. Inghilleri, M. Morosini, S. Mrakic-Sposta, S. Moretti, M. Monti, Y. Pignochino, S. Benvenuti, D. Prosperi, G. Stella, P. Morbini, F. Meloni

Pemetrexed-loaded nanoparticles targeted to malignant pleural mesothelioma cells: an in vitro study. Int. J. Nanomed. 2019, 14, 773.

International and national collaboration

National collaboration:

Sacco hospital: Amedeo Capetti M.D., Giuliano Rizzardini M.D.

IRCCS Maugeri (PV): prof. Fabio Corsi M.D., dr. Carlo Morasso

San Matteo Hospital (Pv): prof Federica Meloni M.D.

University of Milan, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences dr. Luca Palugan, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L. Sacco" prof. Stefano Rusconi M.D.

Mario Negri Institute: dr. Paolo Bigini

CNR biomolecular chemistry lab: dr. Alessandro Gori; ITB dr. Gianluca De Bellis

University of Verona: prof. Laura Calderan


International collaborations:

University of Hamburg, Department of Chemistry prof. Wolfgang Parak

University of Santiago de Compostela, CIQUS: dr. Pablo del Pino

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: prof. Paul S. Kingma M.D.

CIC Biomagune: prof. Luis Liz Marzan

Colombo’s Lab – #MColomboLab_BtBs
last update September 2020