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Ultrastructural Pathology Lab

The Ultrastructural Pathology Lab (UPL)

is a research and diagnostic facility of “Victor Babeș” National Institute of Pathology in Bucharest, Romania, specializing in high-resolution imaging of biological specimens, through a wide array of technologies and methods, from fluorescence to electron microscopy. UPL houses 3 state-of-the-art electron microscopes, including a 200 kEv Talos S/TEM and the only super-resolution microscope in Romania (Leica STED3X). In the past decade, UPL has employed transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to characterize cell types involved in tissue regeneration and to study inter-cellular communication, either by direct contact or over long distances. UPL also conducts translational research, applying TEM basic research techniques to the histopathological diagnosis of various diseases.

UPL is a Leica Reference Site, organizing workshops for various bioimaging techniques and is also the first cryo-electron microscopy centre in Romania dedicated to life-sciences applications. 



Past and ongoing Grants


Facilities and equipment




Mihaela Gherghiceanu MD PhD – Research group leader (CSI)

  • Associate Professor for Cellular Molecular Biology and Histology at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Vicepresident of the Romanian Electron Microscopy Society
  • mgherghiceanu@yahoo.com




Daciana Marta, MSc, PhD – Associate researcher (CSII)




 Laura Ceafalan MD, PhD – Associate researcher (CSII)

  • Specialist of Laboratory Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Cellular Molecular Biology and Histology at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • lauraceafalan@yahoo.com







Emanuel Fertig, MD, PhD – Associate researcher (CSIII)









Alexandru Popescu, MD – Assistant researcher

  • Teaching assistant of Cellular Molecular Biology and Histology at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • acpopescu@yahoo.com





Lab technicians:

Gabriela Valciu

Petrica Musat

Maria Dumitrescu


Past and ongoing grants:

Year Competition Project/Grant


Involvment of telocytes in the process of regeneration


Project director: Mihaela Gherghiceanu

2016-2017 ANCS PN

Ctr. 22N/2016


The molecular architecture of the glomerular basement membrane in glomerular immune diseases


Project director: Marta Daciana

2016-2017  ANCS PN


Traffic of miRNA by ectosomes in hematological malignancies


Project director: Tudor Emanuel Fertig

2016-2018 Bilateral cooperation Romania – Belgium



Traffic and signalling of calreticulin in myeloproliferative neoplasms


Project director: Tudor Emanuel Fertig (IVB)

Partner: Stefan N. Constantinescu (Université catholique de Louvain)




We offer initial diagnosis by immunofluorescence microscopy or transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and second opinion and consultation for TEM image interpretation, for the following tissue types:

  • native and transplanted kidney (adult and pediatric), focusing on glomerular, tubulointerstitial and vascular diseases;
  • skin and oral mucosa, especially bullous and connective tissue diseases;
  • liver, with emphasis on metabolic disorders;
  • other: ciliopathies, amyloidosis, microbial identification, tumor diagnosis.

The price for one biopsy is 350 RON, and the result is generally available between 10 and 21 days. All biopsies must be accompanied by a LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION from the clinician and a signed PATIENT CONSENT FORM (these can be downloaded form our website at http://www.cell-imaging.ro/faq). For details regarding specimen collection please contact us.


Facilities and equipment:

  • FEI 100 kEv Morgagni Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

Equipped with an Olympus MegaView III CCD, is our main diagnostic tool, allowing fast and qualitative evaluation of plastic embedded specimens.

  • FEI 120 kEv T12 Transmission Electron Microscope






Is employed for more demanding applications, such as tomography of chemically fixed specimens. Image acquisition is done by an Olympus MegaView G2 CCD and recently it was fitted with a Tecnai iCorr module for correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), which allows merging of fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy images.

  • FEI 200kEv Talos F200C TEM 







(The first of its kind in Romania) Enables us to visualize cellular structures and isolated macromolecular assemblies in remarkable detail, in 2 and 3-dimensions. This TEM is equipped to handle metal coated and chemically fixed specimens, but also cryogenically frozen samples, a technique which preserves the native, hydrated structure. This system was acquired through POSCCE 2.2.1 Grant 633/2014 (ARMED).

  • The Leica TCS SP8 STED3X Super-Resolution Microscope 






(This too, the first of its kind in Romania) Is the latest iteration of a Nobel Prize winning technology, one that literally sheds new light on the dynamics of fluorescently-tagged molecules in living cells. It uses Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED), in which a laser selectively activates and deactivates fluorophores, to obtain nanoscale resolutions, thereby overcoming the limits of optical microscopy. This system was acquired through POSCCE 2.2.1 Grant 633/2014 (ARMED).

  • Ancillaries for TEM life-science applications







(Leica EM GP and FEI Vitrobot Mark IV cryoplungers, Leica EM PACT2 high pressure freezer, Leica EM UC7 cryo ultramicrotome, Leica EM AFS2 cryo-substitution system etc). This equipment was acquired through POSCCE 2.2.1 Grant 633/2014 (ARMED).


  • Tissue culture facility offers the necessary logistics for cell culture, transfections and in the future, the use of viral vector systems. 
  • Thermo Scientific Sorvall WX+ ultracentrifuge acquired through POSCCE 2.2.1 Grant 633/2014 (ARMED).