About our group


Research Interests

About our group

Welcome to the Nanobiophotonics and Laser Microspectroscopy Center, winner of the "Experienced Researchers - Teams" trophy at the 1st Romanian Research Gala organized by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest on 31th of January 2023.

Research in Nanobiophotonics and Laser Microspectroscopy Center is focused on the synthesis, fabrication, characterization and biofunctionalization of optically active noble-metal nanoparticles and versatile hybrid nanostructures and nanocomposites (biopolymers / proteins / fluorophores / graphene / semiconductor) driven by new properties and functions toward biomedical and technological applications and societal interest. Specifically, we develop nanotherapeutic systems based on drug-incorporated biopolymer-coated plasmonic nanoparticles, plasmon-enhanced photodynamic therapy and plasmon-induced photothermal therapy combined with multimodal cellular imaging via scanning confocal Raman/fluorescence microscopy, including SERS reporters and fluorescent contrast agents, time-resolved fluorescence (FLIM). Also, we implement plasmonic-based biosensing and diagnostic applications via SERS, local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF).
As we believe in collaboration and interdisciplinarity, together with our partners (physicists, chemists, biochemists, biologists, oncologists, surgeons, histopathologists, etc. ) from recognized research centers in Romania and abroad, we aim to develop new solutions to research beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of physics, chemistry and biology.
A major objective of our research program is to train undergraduate, master and PhD students to become scientists with interdisciplinary skills and expertise.
We provide research services for academic communities and industrial companies too. For more information, please click on the link to Infrastructure.

Please explore the website to learn more about our ongoing projects, publications and the researchers behind our results.

Professor Simion Aștilean
Head of the group

Department of Biomolecular Physics
Faculty of Physics, Babes-Bolyai University

Corresponding member 
Romanian Academy

E-mail: simion.astilean@ubbcluj.ro

Research Directions

  • Development of new nanosystems based on plasmonic nanoparticles incorporating specific biomolecules, anti-cancer drugs and molecular reporters for applications in nanomedicine and, particularly, in cancer nanotherapy (targeted cancer nanochemotherapy, nano-photodynamic therapy, plasmonic hyperthermia, multimodal therapy, molecular imaging and diagnostic, etc.)
  • Development of plasmonic nanobiosensors and nanodevices based on (periodically) nanostructured metallic films or colloidal nanoparticles for detection and identification of various biomarkers and (bio)chemical agents via vibrational spectroscopy including ordinary Raman and SERS, localized surface plasmon resonance LSPR-UV-VIS, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence including metal-enhanced fluorescence, FCS and FRET, etc.
  • Development of integrated microfluidic devices in different configurations
  • Implementation of fast, reliable and less expensive nanofabrication and nanostructuration procedures based on physical (self-assembling, nanosphere lithography, thin film deposition) or chemical (synthesis and biosythesis of plasmonic nanoparticles, CVD, RIE processing, etc.) methods
  • Validation of confocal microscopies (Raman, re-scanning confocal fluorescence and time-resolved fluorescence) as complementary methods in (nano)toxicity studies and medical diagnosis at cellular and tissue levels
  • Graphene and nanocomposites for optoelectronics and biosensing
  • Implementation of MicroTime200 fluorescence system coupled with femtosecond Titanium:Saphire laser in advanced biomedical and material research
  • Numerical simulations using FDTD method


  • Synthesis/fabrication and (bio)functionalization of plasmonic nanoparticles and nanostructures
  • Nanostructuration and thin films deposition by physical methods
  • CVD synthesis of graphene and carbonic nanostructures
  • Confocal Raman microscopy
  • Confocal time-resolved fluorescence microscopy
  • Re-scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy 
  • Optical microscopy
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • UV-VIS-NIR and fluorescence (micro)spectroscopy
  • Raman and SERS (micro)spectroscopy