Research activities

The laboratory of Radiation Biophysics and Medical Physics investigates the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions of radiation with matter, with a special focus on the induced biological effects. This research has applications both in the field of radiotherapy with ions and in radioprotection in space.

The studies conducted by the group in the past years include:

  • Dosimetry and micro-dosimetry in radiotherapy with ions.
  • Impact of nuclear fragmentation in radiotherapy with ions and in radioprotection.
  • Development and optimization of innovative techniques for treatment plans delivered to patients with proton beams.
  • Modelling of multiscale radiation effects (ranging from single cell damage to tissue toxicities following radiotherapy).
  • Optimization of shielding materials for long-term space missions.

Current acitvities of the Laboratory are mostly performed at at the Physics Department of the University of Trento, at the TIFPA-INFN center and at the Trento Protontherapy Center (CPT). At CPT, an experimental room dedicated to scientific activities is available and provides a proton beam with energy up to 230 MeV. Such environment is the only one in Italy and hosts local as well as national and international experiments dedicated to different fields of research. Multiscale Monte Carlo studies are also one of the core activities of the group.

Ongoing projects and Collaborations

- FOOT (FragmentatiOn Of Target) experiment, funded by INFN (CN III), PI Prof. V. Patera (Roma Sapienza), Local contact F. Tommasino.
- MoVe IT (Modelling and Verification for Ion Treatment planning), funded by INFN (CN V), PI Dr. E. Scifoni (TIFPA-INFN).
- Neptune (Nuclear process-driven Enhancement of Proton Therapy UNravEled) experiment, funded by INFN (CN V), PI Prof. G. Cuttone (LNS), Local contact C. La Tessa.
- TIFPA-INFN center (
- ERFNET - ERFnet - European Radiation Facilities Network project, funded by ESA, PI Prof. L. Narici, Local contact C. La Tessa
- SPARE - Space Radiation Shielding project premiale, funded by MIUR, PI TIFPA-INFN.
- Trento Protontherapy Center (APSS) (
- Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) (

International collaborations: GSI (Darmstadt, Germany), DRL (Cologne, Germany), iThemba Lab (Cape Town, South Africa), University of Miami (FL, USA), NASA, ESA.

Recent pubblications

i. F. Tommasino et al., A new facility for proton radiobiology at the Trento proton therapy center: Design and implementation, Phys. Med. 58, 99-106 (2019).
ii. F. Tommasino et al., Impact of dose engine algorithm in pencil beam scanning proton therapy for breast cancer, Phys. Med. 50, 7-12 (2018).
iii. M. Giraudo et al., Accelerator-based tests of shielding effectiveness of different materials and multilayers fusing high energy light and heavy ions, Radiat. Res. 190, 526-537 (2018).
iv. F. Tommasino et al., Model-based approach for quantitative estimates of skin, heart and lung toxicity risk for left-side proton and proton irradiation after breast-conserving surgery, Acta Oncol. 56, 730-736 (2017).
v. M. Rovituso and C. La Tessa, Nuclear interactions of new ions in cancer therapy: impact on dosimetry, Transl. Cancer Res. 6, S914-S933 (2017).
vi. F. Tommasino et al., Proton beam characterization in the experimental room of the Trento Proton Therapy facility, NIMA 869, 15-20 (2017).
vii. M. Vanstalle et al., Benchmarking Geant4 hadronic models for prompt-γ monitoring in carbon ion therapy, Med. Phys. 44, 4276-4286 (2017).
viii. M. Vanstalle et al., Benchmarking Geant4 hadronic models for prompt-γ monitoring in carbon ion therapy, Med. Phys. 44, 4276-4286 (2017).
ix. M. Rovituso et al., Fragmentation of 120 and 200 MeV u -1 4 He ions in water and PMMA targets, Phys. Med. Biol. 62, 1310-1326 (2017).

Group members