Transmembrane Signalling

Head of Laboratory

  • Prof. Rumiana Tzoneva, PhD
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: 02 979 3242
  • Address: “Acad. G. Bonchev” Str., Block 21,
    Sofia 1113, Bulgaria


Research areas

  • Study of the influence of new anti-tumor agents on carcinogenesis and metastatic potential of cellular (in vitro) and tumor (in vivo) models
  • Study of the process of angiogenesis in regenerative processes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and aging
  • Study of the biocompatibility of polymeric materials with application in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • Magnetic hyperthermia and electromagnetic targeting in vitro and in vivo
  • Study of the activity of ion channels in cancer cells and excitable structures

Experimental methods

  • Colorimetric methods: MTT test for cytotoxicity, clonogenic analysis, crystal violet to determine cell attachment, growth and vitality, (Trypan blue) to determine cell vitality; Prussian blue to determine the amount of iron in the cell.
  • Study of different biomarkers for DNA damage: Cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay, (CBMN assay), measuring the level of phosphorylated histone (γ-H2AX), Sister Chromatid Exchange (SCE technique).
  • Immunofluorescence microscopy: reorganization of extracellular matrix; cellular receptor dynamics; determining the size and strength of cell spread; visualization of the cellular cytoskeleton and nucleus, cellular vitality.
  • Immunological methods: ELISA, immunoblot, immunoprecipitation
  • Other: Electrophoresis, Zymography; FACS analysis; HPLC analysis, GC analysis, Patch clamp

Research projects

Current projects


  • Network for Research in Vascular Ageing (CA18216)
    Coordinator for Bulgaria: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva

Bulgarian Scientific Fund

  • Study of the relationship between phospholipid and Akt signaling pathway in pathophysiology in an in vivo Alzheimer’s model. Development of combined therapeutic approaches -2019-current
    Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Study of the influence of melatonin deficiency on some mechanisms of aging of experimental model-2020-current
    Coordinator of IBPhBME: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Intelligent multianalytic sensor materials with programmed properties at the molecular level as logic devices with multi-channel fluorescent output for diagnostics in medicine and biology – 2019 – current
    Coordinator of IBPhBME: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Development and research of the neurobiological properties of new potential multi-target drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease – Competition for funding basic research of young scientists and postdoctoral students – 2020 – current
    Participant for IBPhBME: Assist. Prof. Irina Georgieva


  • Study of the biocompatibility / cytotoxicity of new magnetic nanoparticles with application in magnetic hyperthermia / Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2019-current
    Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva

Individual projects

  • Neuropharmacological studies of newly synthesized melatonin derivatives with aroylhydrazone fragment, NSF, 2019-current
    Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva (participant from IBPhBME)
  • New surface-functional magnetic nanoparticles for use in anti-tumor therapy ”, within the National Program“ Young Scientists and Postdoctoral Students ”DCM # 577 / 17.08.2018 at the Ministry of Education and Science
    Coordinator: Dr. Veselina Uzunova
  • Study of changes in membrane fluid fluidity of human alveolar lung adenocarcinoma A549 after treatment with miltefosine. – National Program for “Young Scientists and Postdoctoral Students”, MES 2020 – 2021
    Coordinator: Assist. Prof. Irina Georgieva

Completed projects

  • Modulation of the metastatic potential of tumor cells by treatment with new alkylphosphocholine preparations and statins in in vitro 2D and 3D systems and in an in vivo model in a hamster, NSF
    Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Comparative evaluation of the effects of 2H-chromene- and coumarin-substituted hydrazide-hydrazones on the expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines in a seizure model with maximal electroshock (MES test) and in a formalin nociception test in mice, NSF
    Coordinator for IBPhBME: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Study of plasma protein adsorption and cell adhesion on conductive 2D and 3D dimensional polymer composite surfaces for use in regenerative medicine “, DNTS / Germany
    Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • The effect of the new antineoplastic alkylphospholcholine erufosine on PI3K / Akt-MDM2 signaling pathways in cancer cells, DNTS / Germany
    Coordinator for IBPhBME: Prof. Dr. Rumiana Tzoneva
  • Anti-tumor effect of hemocyanin complexes on the cellular sphingolipid signaling pathway and the proliferative activity of cancer cells, DFNP-128 / 12.05.2016
    Coordinator: Dr. Veselina Uzunova

National and international cooperation


  • Collaboration with Prof. Nelly Georgieva, Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Georgiev and Assoc. Prof. Raina Bryaskova, University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia
  • Collaboration with Dr. Alexander Gerchev and Dr. Boyan Hristov, USBALO “Prof. Boycho Boychev” EAD, Sofia
  • Collaboration with Prof. Jane Tchekalarova, Institute of Neurobiology, BAS
  • Collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Maya Guncheva and Assoc. Prof. Denica Yancheva


  • Collaboration with Prof. Andreas Stationary, Institute of Biomaterials, Teltov, Germany
  • Collaboration with Prof. Salvatore Chiantia, Cell Membrane Biophysics Group, University of Potsdam, Berlin, Germany
  • Collaboration with Prof. Orestis Kalogirou, Department of Physics, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece


  • 2021 – Irina Georgieva – Second place for the best presentation of the First National Summer School of Natural Products with applications in medicine, Varna
  • 2017-2019 – Irina Georgieva – Award for overall funding of master’s degree from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)
  • 2018 – Vanya Milanova – Bronze medal at the International Biology Olympiad, Tehran, Iran
  • 2018 – Vanya Milanova – Gold Medal of the National Biology Olympiad, Yambol, Bulgaria
  • 2017 – Veselina Uzunova – First prize for scientific poster “New cryogels as carriers of antitumor agent erufosine”, International Scientific Conference Clement’s Days, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
  • 2016 – Veselina Uzunova – Certificate with honors for successfully completed course “Introduction to the Biology of Cancer”, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
  • 2016 – Vanya Milanova – Bronze medal at the European Olympiad in Natural Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
  • 2015 – Vanya Milanova – Silver medal at the National Biology Olympiad, Varshets, Bulgaria
  • 2015 – Vanya Milanova – Silver medal at the National Olympiad in Chemistry and Environmental Protection, Yambol, Bulgaria
  • 2014 – Veselina Uzunova – Second Prize for scientific poster “Application of two-phase electrical impulses and erufosine on breast cancer cells”, First National Conference on Biotechnology “30 years of Biotechnology in Bulgaria”, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
  • 2010 – Veselina Uzunova – Certificate for the best start-up company for students in Bulgaria, Junior Achievement Bulgaria
  • 2010 – Veselina Uzunova – Award from a scientific poster session at the Technical University – Sofia
  • 2004 – Rumyana Tsoneva – Award from the Research Center and the von Helmholtz Scientific Society, Germany for an excellently defended dissertation with Magna Cum Laude
  • 2002 – Rumyana Tsoneva – Award for excellent scientific report of the 17th European Congress of Biomaterials, Barcelona, Spain

Selected Publications

  • Georgiev, N.I., Bryaskova, R.G., Ismail, S.R., Philipova, N.D., Uzunova, V.P., Bakov, V.V., Tzoneva, R.D., Bojinov, V.B., Aggregation induced emission in 1,8-naphthalimide embedded nanomicellar architecture as a platform for fluorescent ratiometric pH-probe with biomedical applications
    (2021) Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 418, art. no. 113380
  • Tzoneva, R., Uzunova, V., Stoyanova, T., Borisova, B., Momchilova, A., Pankov, R., Maslenkova, L.
    Anti-cancer effect of Petasites hybridus L. (Butterbur) root extract on breast cancer cell lines
    (2021) Biotechnology and Biotechnological Equipment, 35 (1), pp. 853-861
  • Stoyanova, T., Uzunova, V., Momchilova, A., Tzoneva, R., Ugrinova, I.
    The treatment of breast cancer cells with erufosine leads to actin cytoskeleton reorganization, inhibition of cell motility, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, (2021) Comptes Rendus de L’Academie Bulgare des Sciences, 74 (1), pp. 88-94
  • Tchekalarova, J., Ivanova, N., Nenchovska, Z., Tzoneva, R., Stoyanova, T., Uzunova, V., Surcheva, S., Tzonev, A., T. Angelova, V., Andreeva-Gateva, P., Evaluation of neurobiological and antioxidant effects of novel melatonin analogs in mice, (2020) Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 28 (12), pp. 1566-1579
  • Ismail, S.R., Bryaskova, R.G., Georgiev, N.I., Philipova, N.D., Bakov, V.V., Uzunova, V.P., Tzoneva, R.D., Bojinov, V.B., Design and synthesis of fluorescent shell functionalized polymer micelles for biomedical application, (2020) Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 31 (6), pp. 1365-1376
  • Tzoneva, R., Stoyanova, T., Petrich, A., Popova, D., Uzunova, V., Momchilova, A., Chiantia, S.
    Effect of erufosine on membrane lipid order in breast cancer cell models, (2020) Biomolecules, 10 (5), art. no. 802
  • Guncheva, M.H., Todinova, S.J., Uzunova, V.P., Idakieva, K.N., Raynova, Y.M., Ossowicz, P., Janus, E., Tzoneva, R.D., Destabilization of β-Hemocyanin from Helix pomatia in Presence of Choline Amino Acids Results in Improved Cell Specificity and Cytotoxicity against Human Breast Cancer, (2019) ChemistrySelect, 4 (39), pp. 11460-11466
  • Uzunova, V., Tzoneva, R., Stoyanova, T., Pankov, R., Skrobanska, R., Georgiev, G., Maslenkova, L., Tsonchev, Z., Momchilova, A., Dimethylsphingosine and miltefosine induce apoptosis in lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells in a synergistic manner, (2019) Chemico-Biological Interactions, 310, art. no. 108731
  • Angelova, T., Rangelova, N., Georgieva, N., Nemska, V., Stoyanova, T., Uzunova, V., Aleksandrov, L., Tzoneva, R., Study of potential biomedical application of sol-gel derived Zn-doped SiO 2 -hydroxypropyl cellulose nanohybrids, (2019) Materials Science and Engineering C, 100, pp. 608-615
  • Tanovska, M., Rahmani, M., Mihaleva, L.V., Berger, M., Neshev, D., Momchilova, A., Tzoneva, R.
    An ellipsometric study of interaction of anti-cancer agent erufosine on lipid model systems, (2019) AIP Conference Proceedings, 2075, art. no. 170011
  • Georgiev, N.I., Said, A.I., Toshkova, R.A., Tzoneva, R.D., Bojinov, V.B., A novel water-soluble perylenetetracarboxylic diimide as a fluorescent pH probe: Chemosensing, biocompatibility and cell imaging, (2019) Dyes and Pigments, 160, pp. 28-36
  • Zapatka M, Pociño-Merino I, Heluani-Gahete H, Bermúdez-López M, Tarrés M, Ibars E, Solé-Soler R, Gutiérrez-Escribano P, Apostolova S, Casas C, Aragon L, Wellinger R, Colomina N, Torres-Rosell J. Sumoylation of Smc5 Promotes Error-free Bypass at Damaged Replication Forks. Cell Reports. Dec 3;29(10):3160-3172.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.123, (2019)
  • Georgieva, K., Trusheva, B., Uzunova, V., Stoyanova, T., Valcheva, V., Popova, M., Tzoneva, R., Bankova, V., New cycloartane triterpenes from bioactive extract of propolis from Pitcairn Island
    (2018) Fitoterapia, 128, pp. 233-241
  • Tchekalarova, J., da Conceição Machado, K., Gomes Júnior, A.L., de Carvalho Melo Cavalcante, A.A., Momchilova, A., Tzoneva, R., Pharmacological characterization of the cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist, β-caryophyllene on seizure models in mice, (2018) Seizure, 57, pp. 22-26
  • Bryaskova, R., Vircheva, S., Miloshev, S., Dishovsky, N., Tzoneva, R., Design and synthesis of gold-loaded micelles based on poly (ethylene glycol) and poly (4-vinyl pyridine) triblock copolymers for biomedical applications, (2017) Colloid and Polymer Science, 295 (3), pp. 487-494
  • Vukova T., Dimitrov S., Gagov H., Dimitrova D, In focus: Fe3O4 nanoparticles and human mesenteric artery interaction in vitro. (2016), Nanomedicine (Lond.), 11(8), 921–932
  • Apostolova, S.N., Toshkova, R.A., Momchilova, A.B., Tzoneva, R.D., Statins and alkylphospholipids as new anticancer agents targeting lipid metabolism, (2016) Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 16 (12), pp. 1512-1522.
  • Petrov, P., Mokreva, P., Kostov, I., Uzunova, V., Tzoneva, R., Novel electrically conducting 2-hydroxyethylcellulose/polyaniline nanocomposite cryogels: Synthesis and application in tissue engineering, (2016) Carbohydrate Polymers, 140, pp. 349-355
  • Uzunova V., Apostolova S., Angelova Ts., Toshkova R., Georgieva N., Tzoneva R., HPC Hybrid Hydrogels with Embedded Silver Nanoparticles for Antibacterial Scaffolds. Biocompatibility Testing, Comptes rendus de l’Acade’mie bulgare des Sciences, Vol 69, No5, pp.599-606 (2016)
  • Tzoneva, R., Uzunova, V., Apostolova, S., Krüger-Genge, A., Neffe, A.T., Jung, F., Lendlein, A.,
    Angiogenic potential of endothelial and tumor cells seeded on gelatin-based hydrogels in response to electrical stimulations, (2016) Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, 64 (4), pp. 941-949
  • Uzunova V., Apostolova S., Georgieva A., Berger M. R., Toshkova R., Tzoneva R., The Influence of Anti-cancer Agent Erufosine on Graffi Myeloid Tumour Cells Behaviour. Cytotoxicity and Cytoskeleton Reorganisation Study, Comptes rendus de l’Acade’mie bulgare des Sciences, Vol 68, No12, pp.1547-1552, (2016)
  • Guncheva, M., Paunova, K., Ossowicz, P., Rozwadowski, Z., Janus, E., Idakieva, K., Todinova, S., Raynova, Y., Uzunova, V., Apostolova, S., Tzoneva, R., Yancheva, D., Rapana thomasiana hemocyanin modified with ionic liquids with enhanced anti breast cancer activity, (2016) International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 82, pp. 798-805
  • Bryaskova, R., Georgiev, N.I., Dimov, S.M., Tzoneva, R., Detrembleur, C., Asiri, A.M., Alamry, K.A., Bojinov, V.B., Novel nanosized water soluble fluorescent micelles with embedded perylene diimide fluorophores for potential biomedical applications: Cell permeability, localization and cytotoxicity, (2015) Materials Science and Engineering C, 51, pp. 7-15
  • Kostadinova, A., Topouzova-Hristova, T., Momchilova, A., Tzoneva, R., Berger, M.R.
    Antitumor Lipids – Structure, Functions, and Medical Applications, (2015) Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology, 101, pp. 27-66
  • Uzunova, V., Apostolova, S., Georgieva, A., Berger, M.R., Toshkova, R., Tzoneva, R.
    The influence of anti-cancer agent erufosine on Graffi myeloid tumour cells behaviour. Cytotoxicity and cytoskeleton reorganisation study, (2015) Comptes Rendus de L’Academie Bulgare des Sciences, 68 (12), pp. 1547-1552
  • Guncheva, M., Paunova, K., Ossowicz, P., Rozwadowski, Z., Janus, E., Idakieva, K., Todinova, S., Raynova, Y., Uzunova, V., Apostolova, S., Tzoneva, R., Yancheva, D., Modification of Rapana thomasiana hemocyanin with choline amino acid salts significantly enhances its antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, (2015) RSC Advances, 5 (78), pp. 63345-63354
  • Guncheva M, Paunova K, Ossowicz P, Rozwadowski Z, Janus E, Idakieva K, Todinova S, Raynova Y, Uzunova V, Apostolova S, Tzoneva R, Yancheva D. Rapana thomasiana hemocyanin modified with ionic liquids with enhanced anti breast cancer activity. Int J Biol Macromol. 2015
  • Apostolova S., Yossifova L., Gardeva E., Toshkova R., Serkedjieva J. Еffect of combined administration of protease inhibitor and polyphenolic complex on functions of alveolar macrophages in mice, infected with influenza A virus. Proceedings of the fifth workshop on experimental models and methods in biomedical research, (2014)
  • Gigova L., Apostolova S., Yossifova L., Toshkova R., Ivanova N., Minkova K., Еxperimental tumor models display different susceptibility to c-phycocyanin. Proceedings of the fifth workshop on experimental models and methods in biomedical research, (2014)
  • Bryaskova, R., Georgieva, N., Andreeva, T., Tzoneva, R., Cell adhesive behavior of PVA-based hybrid materials with silver nanoparticles, (2013) Surface and Coatings Technology, 235, pp. 186-191
  • Georgiev, N.I., Bryaskova, R., Tzoneva, R., Ugrinova, I., Detrembleur, C., Miloshev, S., Asiri, A.M., Qusti, A.H., Bojinov, V.B., A novel pH sensitive water soluble fluorescent nanomicellar sensor for potential biomedical applications, (2013) Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 21 (21), pp. 6292-6302
  • Pehlivanova, V., Krasteva, V., Seifert, B., Lützow, K., Tsoneva, I., Becker, T., Richau, K., Lendlein, A., Tzoneva, R., The role of alternating current electric field for cell adhesion on 2D and 3D biomimetic scaffolds based on polymer materials and adhesive proteins, (2013) Journal of Materials Research, 28 (16), pp. 2180-2186
  • Pehlivanova, V., Uzunova, V., Tsoneva, I., Berger, M.R., Ugrinova, I., Tzoneva, R., Effect of erufosine on the reorganization of cytoskeleton and cell death in adherent tumor and non-tumorigenic cells
    (2013) Biotechnology and Biotechnological Equipment, 27 (2), pp. 3695-3699
  • Georgieva, N., Bryaskova, R., Tzoneva, R., New Polyvinyl alcohol-based hybrid materials for biomedical application, (2012) Materials Letters, 88, pp. 19-22
  • Tzoneva, R., Seifert, B., Behl, M., Lendlein, A., Elastic multiblock copolymers for vascular regeneration: Protein adsorption and hemocompatibility, (2012) Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, 52 (2-4), pp. 337-348
  • Pehlivanova, V.N., Tsoneva, I.H., Tzoneva, R.D., Multiple effects of electroporation on the adhesive behaviour of breast cancer cells and fibroblasts, (2012) Cancer Cell International, 12, art. no. 9
  • Krasteva, V., Pehlivanova, V., Seifert, B., Lützow, K., Tsoneva, I., Richau, K., Lendlein, A., Tzoneva, R., Influence of ac electric fields on the adsorption of plasma proteins onto nanofibre biomaterials
    (2011) Comptes Rendus de L’Academie Bulgare des Sciences, 64 (4), pp. 535-544
  • Tzoneva, R., Weckwerth, C., Seifert, B., Behl, M., Heuchel, M., Tsoneva, I., Lendlein, A., In vitro evaluation of elastic multiblock co-polymers as a scaffold material for reconstruction of blood vessels
    (2011) Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 22 (16), pp. 2205-2226
  • Vasilij Goltsev, Ivan Yordanov, Maria Gurmanova, Margarita Kouzmanova, Shteryan Dambov, Sonia Apоstоlova, Gergana Savova, Reto Jorg Strasser. Multifunctional plant efficiency analyzer mPEA used to describe the physiological states of the photosynthetic apparatus. J. Agricultural Sciences, Vol 2 Issue 4, (2010)
  • Tzoneva, R., Seifert, B., Albrecht, W., Richau, K., Groth, T., Lendlein, A., Hemocompatibility of poly(ether imide) membranes functionalized with carboxylic groups, (2008) Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 19 (10), pp. 3203-3210
  • Tzoneva, R., Seifert, B., Albrecht, W., Richau, K., Lendlein, A., Groth, T., Poly(ether imide) membranes: Studies on the effect of surface modification and protein pre-adsorption on endothelial cell adhesion, growth and function, (2008) Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 19 (7), pp. 837-852
  • Vukova T., Vydevska-Chichova M., Radicheva N., Fatigue-induced changes in muscle fiber action potentials estimated by wavelet analysis. (2008), Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, (3), 397-409
  • Tzoneva, R., Faucheux, N., Groth, T., Wettability of substrata controls cell-substrate and cell-cell adhesions, (2007) Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – General Subjects, 1770 (11), pp. 1538-1547.
  • Faucheux, N., Tzoneva, R., Nagel, M.-D., Groth, T., The dependence of fibrillar adhesions in human fibroblasts on substratum chemistry, (2006) Biomaterials, 27 (2), pp. 234-245
  • Vukova T., Atanassov A., Ivanov R., Radicheva N., Intensity-dependent effects of microwave electromagnetic fields on acetylcholinesterase activity and protein conformation in frog skeletal muscles. Medical Science Monitor, 11, 2, (2005), BR50-BR56
  • Tzoneva, R., Groth, T., Altankov, G., Paul, D., Remodeling of fibrinogen by endothelial cells in dependence on fibronectin matrix assembly. Effect of substratum wettability, (2002) Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 13 (12), pp. 1235-1244
  • Tzoneva, R., Heuchel, M., Groth, T., Altankov, G., Albrecht, W., Paul, D., Fibrinogen adsorption and platelet interactions on polymer membranes, (2002) Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 13 (9), pp. 1033-1050
  • Tzoneva, R.D., Mishonova-Alexova, E.I., A calorimetric study of pH-dependent thermal unfolding of leghemoglobin a from soybean, (1998) Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Bioenergetics, 1364 (3), pp. 420-424.


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