BioPhysics Laboratory

Biophysics and Biomedical Applications Laboratory

The Biophysics Team investigates the biomolecular effects of radiation in cells by means of metabolomics and imaging techniques.

Both nuclear and electronic magnetic resonance, chromatography techniques and computational chemistry are employed to discover the molecular basis of radiotherapy in order to better orient and personalize the treatment.

Main Activities

Radiation experiments on cancerous cells assisted by GEANT4 simulations
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance experiments for the analysis of cell lysates and structural determination of biomarkers
Electron Paramagnetic Resonance evaluation of reactive oxygen species created by water radiolysis using spin-traps


Earth-field MRI and NMR Terranova system
High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography
UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
Biological Safety Cabinet
Inverted Microscope
Electrophoresis system
Cells incubator with built-in shaker
Particle Sizer


Molecular imaging of radiation effects, metabolic networks involved in the cellular response to radiation
Free-radical generation effects of radiation in water and HDO as a nuclear spin polarisation source for biomarkers
Magnetic resonance methods for biomarker follow-up
New biomarkers for radiation effects


PN-III-P4-ID-PCE2020-2642 "Water hyperpolarization for radiation biomarker detection"
ELI_09/01.10.2020 "CELLI - Advanced biological methods for the detection of normal and pre-leukemic cells' response after FLASH irradiation at ELI-NP"
PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-4212 "Molecular responses of irradiated cells with laser-generated particle beams at different doses and dose-rates"
SGS-ERC-RO-NO-2019-0010 "Preliminary experiments for defining hyperpolarised magnetic resonance in radiobiology" collaboration with University of Cambridge
PN-III-P1-1.1-PD2019-0778 "Propolis extracts effects on biomimetic lipid membranes" (PI B. Zorila, Supervision P. Vasos)
Hyperpolarized 2D Spectroscopy

Hyperpolarized 2D Spectroscopy

Starting from hyperpolarized HDO, two-dimensional (2D) proton correlation maps of a peptide, either free in solution or interacting with liposomes, can be acquired in less than 60s, much faster than previous measurements which took hours to perform. Sensitivity-enhanced 2D proton correlation spectroscopy is a useful and straightforward tool for biochemistry and structural biology, as it does not recur to nitrogen-15 or carbon-13 isotope enrichment (Journal of the American Chemical Society 141, 12448-12452, (09/2019))

Radiobiology with Hyperpolarized Metabolites

Radiobiology with Hyperpolarized Metabolites

Recent studies showed that the timescales on which radiation doses are delivered in radiotherapy influences the cellular response. Upon radiation, reactive molecules are generated and persist, in various forms. Suitable molecular markers have to be adopted to monitor radiation effects, addressing relevant endogenous molecules that are accessible for investigation by noninvasive procedures and enable translation to clinical imaging. High sensitivity has to be attained for imaging molecular biomarkers as demonstrated recently by the use of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) for biomolecular observations in vivo and polarization storage in the form of long-lived states (Medical Physics, 46: e726-e734 (10/2019))

ROS Evaluation using Spin-traps

ROS Evaluation using Spin-traps

Spectroscopic investigations of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) created by irradiation with high-power laser and particle beams. Quantitative assessments are performed using spin-trap molecules and are backed by GEANT4-DNA simulations.

Selective Long-lived Coherences

Structural Biology

DNA damaged induced by high-energy particles lies at the heart of radiotherapy. In order to better orient the treatment, one needs to understand the detailed effects of particle beams upon biomolecules. New NMR techniques are investigated that can offer richer information about the structural modifications of proteins after irradiation. The prolonged lifetime of long-lived states and long-lived coherences is a powerful tool in increasing resolution of NMR experiments used for protein structure determination. (Scientific Reports, 9, 17118, (11/2019))

NMR methods for molecular biomarkers

NMR methods for molecular biomarkers

New NMR experiments are designed in order to follow the biological transformations of metabolites in order to evaluate cells’ response upon irradiation with high-intensity high-dose radiation


Name Position Info
Paul VASOS Head of Group CV     Info     Info
Dr. Mihai Adrian VODĂ Research Scientist
Dr. Andi CUCOANEȘ Research Scientist CV     Info     Info
Dr. Adonis LUPULESCU Research Scientist
Sadet AUDE Research Scientist Info     Info
Dr. Roxana POPESCU Research Scientist
Florin TELEANU Puh.D. Student, University of Bucharest Info     Info
Ioana FIDEL Ph.D. Student, University of Bucharest
Cezara ZAGREAN-TUZA Ph.D. Student, University of Bucharest
Alexandru TOPOR Chemist
Silvana VASILCA Chemist Info     Info
Irina BURLAN Asistent (tehnician)
Diana SERAFIN Internship, University of Bucharest
Octavian IANC Internship, University of Bucharest


Collaborations are ongoing within the institute with groups in ELI-NP (D. Ursescu, high-power laser for radiation developments) and IFIN-HH (M. Radu, M. Bacalum, D. Savu, C. Postolache, C, Tuta, cell cultures, spectroscopy). National collaborations are developing with the University of Bucharest (free radicals spin traps, chemical synthesis) and Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (protein synthesis and struicture studies, free radicals in metabolism). Recent and ongoing collaborations with national and international partners resulting in financed projects, patents and publications are detailed in the following section.

# Name Position Status Info
1 Daniel URSESCU Laser System Department, ELI-NP joint project Info Info
2 Gina MANDA Victor Babes Institute joint project & publications Info Info
3 Ion-Christian CHIRICUTA Amethyst Radiotherapy joint project & publications Info Info
4 Arnaud COMMENT CRUK Cambridge Institute joint patents & publications Info
5 Dennis KURZBACH University of Vienna joint paper Info


Contact Us