A part of the Soft Matter team activities is dedicated to the application of soft matter physics to biological systems. We use conceptual tools from soft matter physics in order to explain and interpret some specific biological mechanisms occurring at the cellular scale or in order to develop biomimetic models to answer specific questions in biology or on the specific functioning of some proteins. Fundings : ANR, UM2 scientific council, LR region (“chercheur d’avenir”), Labex Numev.
Malaria parasites : Egress from red blood cells and motility for invasion (M. Abkarian (CR1), G. Massiera (MdC), O.E.A. Arriagada (PhD), N. Casanova-Morales (PhD)) Collaboration : C. Braun-Breton group at the DIMNP (UM2) Malaria is caused by a unicellular parasite, Plasmodium Falciparum, transmitted to the human during a mosquito meal. At the red blood cell stage, the parasite has 48 hours during which it sequentially invades a red blood cell, multiplies and is released to invade other cells. Our (...)
Sickle Cell Anemia (G. Massiera (MdC), M. Abkarian (C1R), E. Loiseau (PhD)) This term refers to a genetic disease which results in vaso-occlusive crisis of the blood circulation. Microfluidic channels designed to mimic physiological conditions (flow velocity, oxygen concentration, hematocrit...) of the microcirculation were used to carry out a biomimetic study at the cellular scale of sickle cell vaso-occlusion. This study has shown that flow geometry, oxygen concentration, white blood cells and (...)
Continuous interface crossing encapsulation (M. In (DR2), M. Abkarian (CR1), G. Massiera (MdC), E. Loiseau (PhD), C. Claudet (post-Doc), T. Lopez-Leon (post-Doc)) Vesicles are spherical lipid bilayers which enclose an internal volume, there are thus used in many applications such as encapsulation, vectorisation or design of biomimetic systems. We developed and patented [Patent FR0955035, 2009] an original simple method called continuous Droplet Interface Crossing Encapsulation (cDICE), to produce (...)
Actin networks (L. Cipelletti (PR1), G. Brambilla (PhD, post-doc)) : We have used space-resolved light scattering to investigate the role of internal stress in the dynamics of actin networks. We aim at probing the spontaneous, thermally activated dynamics of "active" systems, such as suspensions of thermo-swellable particles or bio-inspired networks where molecular motors provide active (...)
Reconstitution of ezrin mediated cytoskeleton/membrane coupling (L. Ramos (DR2), K. Carvalho (PhD), N. Khalifat (post-doc)) The plasma membrane–cytoskeleton interface is a dynamic structure participating in a variety of cellular events. Moesin and ezrin, proteins from the ezrin/radixin/moesin family, provide a direct linkage between the cytoskeleton and the membrane via their interaction with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). The aim of this project was to understand the interactions (...)