• Elemetary processes of radiation damage in organic molecules of biological interest
  • Castrovilli, Mattea Carmen <1985>


  • CHIM/02 Chimica fisica


  • It was observed in the ‘80s that the radiation damage on biological systems strongly depends on processes occurring at the microscopic level, involving the elementary constituents of biological cells. Since then, lot of attention has been paid to study elementary processes of photo- and ion-chemistry of isolated organic molecule of biological interest. This work fits in this framework and aims to study the radiation damage mechanisms induced by different types of radiations on simple halogenated biomolecules used as radiosensitizers in radiotherapy. The research is focused on the photofragmentation of halogenated pyrimidine molecules (5Br-pyrimidine, 2Br-pyrimidine and 2Cl-pyrimidine) in the VUV range and on the 12C4+ ion-impact fragmentation of the 5Br-uracil and its homogeneous and hydrated clusters. Although halogen substituted pyrimidines have similar structure to the pyrimidine molecule, their photodissociation dynamics is quite different. These targets have been chosen with the purpose of investigating the effect of the specific halogen atom and site of halogenation on the fragmentation dynamics. Theoretical and experimental studies have highlighted that the site of halogenation and the type of halogen atom, lead either to the preferential breaking of the pyrimidinic ring or to the release of halogen/hydrogen radicals. The two processes can subsequently trigger different mechanisms of biological damage. To understand the effect of the environment on the fragmentation dynamic of the single molecule, the ion-induced fragmentation of homogenous and hydrated clusters of 5Br-uracil have been studied and compared to similar studies on the isolated molecule. The results show that the “protective effect” of the environment on the single molecule hold in the homogeneous clusters, but not in the hydrated clusters, where several hydrated fragments have been observed. This indicates that the presence of water molecules can inhibit some fragmentation channels and promote the keto-enol tautomerization, which is very important in the mutagenesis of the DNA.


  • 2014-04-09


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Castrovilli, Mattea Carmen (2014) Elemetary processes of radiation damage in organic molecules of biological interest , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica , 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6386.