Abstract: Chitosan molecules interact with silica and encapsulate the Antrodia camphorata extract (ACE) polysaccharides to form composite nanoparticles. The nanoparticle suspensions of ACE polysaccharides encapsulated in silica–chitosan and silica nanoparticles approach an average particle size of 210 and 294 nm in solution, respectively. The encapsulation efficiencies of ACE polysaccharides are 66 and 63.5 %, respectively. Scanning electron micrographs confirm the formation of near-spherical nanoparticles. ACE polysaccharides solution had better antioxidative capability than ACE polysaccharides encapsulated in silica or silica–chitosan nanoparticles suspensions. The antioxidant capacity of nanoparticles increases with increasing dissolution time. The antitumor effects of ACE polysaccharides, ACE polysaccharides encapsulated in silica, or silica–chitosan nanoparticles increased with increasing concentration of nanoparticles. This is the first report demonstrating the potential of ACE polysaccharides encapsulated in chitosan–silica nanoparticles for cancer chemoprevention. Furthermore, this study suggests that antiproliferative effect of nanoparticle-encapsulated bioactive could significantly depend on the metabolic activity type of the cell line.