National Institute for Research and Development of
Isotopic and Molecular Technologies (INCDTIM)

Cylindrospermopsin cyanobacterial toxin adsorbtion on plasmonic nanoparticles, trace detection and probing its assessment in environmental waters from Transylvania, Romania and in aquatic products

Project financed by UEFISCDI

Project Code: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0562

Program: PNCDI III, Program1 – Dezvoltarea sistemului național de CD

Project Type: Postdoctoral research project (PD)

Contract No.: PD 51/ 07.08.2020

Project Duration: 01.09.2020 – 31.12.2020 and 01.02.2022 – 30.11.2023

Project Leader:

Dr. Csilla MOLNÁR

e-mail: csilla.molnar[at]itim-cj[dot]ro

phone: (+40)264-584037, int. 141

fax: (+40)264-420042

National Institule for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies  (INCDTIM)
67-103 Donat Street, 400293, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Project abstract

In this project we propose to develop a fast, sensitive, prompt and cheap analytical methodology for cyanotoxins assessment in Transylvanian (Romania) environmental waters, based on the Raman scattering technique, in conjunction with the plasmonic properties of noble metal nanoparticles exploited with the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Therefore, our approach here is to focus on vibrational characterization of CYN using micro-sampling strategy for standard toxin, micro- SERS for recognition, molecular characterization, understanding its absorption mechanism and functional groups involved in adsorption, establishing the SERS detection limit and excitation profile, and prospecting its identification in fish ponds, natural recreation waters or aquatic products.  Plasmonic -based micro-SERS approach will be extended to in situ analysis with highly sensitive portable instruments, opening an avenue for reliable in situ environmental monitoring programs in Romania.


O1. To detect and quantify CYN using SPR-SERS of the lab-obtained noble metal NPs and to explain the adsorption mechanism in various pH, salinity and temperature condition, similar to those from the environmental bloom.

O2. To probe the technique for CYN detection in environmental waters and in aquatic products and to assess the detection limit and quantification capability.

O3. To assess the effective molecular recognition of toxin using compact, portable Raman platform in environmental waters and to compare the results with the lab-based data.


Dr. Csilla MOLNÁR

Project leader

Scientific Researcher
National Institute for Research and Development of
Isotopic and Molecular Technologies

Prof. dr. Habil. Simona CÎNTĂ PÎNZARU


Senior Researcher

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