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Laboratory of Irradiation Apparatus and Physical Biology

Applied and basic research oriented, our laboratory endeavors to establish the biological study on accurate measurements through advanced physical tools and methods, so that the involved processes in life can be dissected precisely rather than roughly, not only qualitatively but also quantitatively In recent years, our laboratory has been putting special emphasis on the development of particle irradiation technology and biological spectroscopy, with which we hope to provide novel experimental approaches for the studies of low-energy-particle radiation induced mutation and breeding, high throughput screening and the mechanism of the ionizing radiation induced biological effects. In this context, our major tasks at present are to develop precise particle-irradiation techniques, ion-beam and plasma bio-technology and radio-bio-spectroscopy, and apply the newly developed techniques and methods in the fields of biology, agriculture, medicine and environmental sciences. Currently, our research projects include development and research of irradiation technology and instrumentation, study of ion-beam and plasma irradiation induced primordial/early physicochemical processes and the mechanisms of the interaction between radiation and biological systems, study of microspectroscopy for the biological effect of cell radiation, development of novel spectroscopic approaches to screening methods for mutation breeding, and application of plasma medicine, nano-bio-spectroscopy in health, environmental science and etc.

Research Direction
1) Radiation Biophysical Chemistry
2) Ion-Beam and Plasma Biotechnology
3) Nano-bio-spectroscopy

Important Research Progress
1.Radiation Biophysical Chemistry

We investigate the ionizing radiation (including energetic particle radiation) induced effects on biological systems and biomolecules. In particular, we employ spectroscopic tools and methods in the radiobiology study, and focus on the observation and measurement of physical and chemical changes during the premitive/early processes induced by particle radiation by virtue of biospectroscopy. For example, we have employed FTIR spectroscopy to evaluate the low-energy ion radiation induced direct effect on amino acids and bases, which are the building blocks of proteins and nuclear acids, respectively. We have utilized Raman spectroscopy to analyze the effect on plasma radiation on GSH, an important antioxidation molecule in organism, and we have applied fluorescence spectroscopy in the study of radiation induced indirect effect on proteins, e.g., horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a model heme protein, and elucidate the mechanism for involved biochemical reaction processes. Our results have been published in many important peer-reviewed international journals such as Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B, Radiation Physics &Chemistry, plasma Science & Techonolgy, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Plasma Processes and Polymers, and etc.

2. Ion-Beam and Plasma Biotechnology
We explore new irradiation techniques, and develop ion-beam biotechnology (including radiation mutation breeding and screening techniques) and plasma technology especially for the purpose of environmental and medicine applications. We attempt to establish and improve the experiment platform equipped with ion-beam irradiation and biospectroscopy facilities. Recently, we have made progress in designing and constructing new low-energy ion-beam instruments and non-thermal plasma discharge devices, and employed them in the studies of waste-water treatment, such as killing harmful microbes M. aeruginosa, degrading microcystin-LR (MC-LR), reducing and removing aqueous Cr(VI). Our research results have been published in peer-reviewed important international journals including Environ. Sci. Technol , Journal of Hazardous Materials, Water Research and etc..

3. Nano-bio-spectroscopy
We apply bio-spectroscopy (including fluorescence, infrared and Raman spectroscopy and so on) together with other advanced analysis nanotechnology (e.g. X-ray and electron microscopy such as TEM, SEM and etc) in the frontier research, and by virtue of the combination of nanotechnology and biospectroscopy, we investigate the responses and effects of biological systems under varied sophisticated or even extreme conditions, and unveil the corresponding mechanisms at celluar or even subcellsular level. Currently, we are particularly interested in the effects of ionizing radiations and nanomaterials in environment on different organisms, and in the meantime attempt to establish advanced bio-spectroscopy research platform featured with both microspectroscopic imaging and trace detection techniques. Recently, we have utilized the FTIR microspectropy in the study of the particle radiation induced biological effect, and observed the degradation of cell wall and membrane, lipid peroxidation, DNA and protein damages in microbes. We can also employ Raman microspectroscopy to probe the distribution of nanomaterials in cells (such as algae cells and animal cells) and monitor the the involved dynamic changes. We have employed SERS based nanomaterials and nanostructures to detect the persistent organic pollutions, and also applied SERS for the first time in the radiobiology research, evaluating the radiation induced transformation of Phe to Tyr in a quantitative way. The research results have been published in the international journals of Analyst, Analytical Methods, Journal of Molecular Structure and etc.

Current Projects
1. The Key Equipment Projects of Chinese Academy of Sciences: Single ion-beam online detection system
2. National instrument renovation project:Ion-beam irradiation biotechnology
3. The One-Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Application of biospectroscopy in the research on ion radiation induced bio-effects and the corresponding mechanisms
4. The Key Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Study of primordial/early physico-chemical processes and relative of the biological effect induced by heavy ion irradiation
5. The Natural Science Foundation of China: Study of ion-implantation induced structural and functional changes of a model protein enzyme
6. The Natural Science Foundation of China: Study of ion irradiation induced reactions of biomolecules based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)
7. The Natural Science Foundation of China: Study o f the low-energy-ion irradiation induced effects on microalgae and the spectroscopy-based mutant screening methods
8. The Natural Science Foundation of China: The study of non-thermal plasma oxidation treatment of MCs and its ecological safety evaluation
9. The Natural Science Foundation of China: Study on the aggregation of fibrinogen by non-thermal plasma and its effect on blood coagulation
10. The National Basic Research Program of China (973 Project): Study of rapid detection of PTS and remediation of severely polluted soil based on practical nanomaterials and nanotechnology
11. The National Basic Research Program of China (973 Project): Basic research and applications of nanomaterials for detection and treatment of persistent toxic pollutants