Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg

Biophysics & Soft Matter (Department of Ultrafast Optics and Nanophotonics)


The flow properties of suspensions of colloidal particles depart from simple Newtonian behaviour at high shear rate, high volume fraction or when the colloidal particles interact. We study the mechanical properties of suspensions in such conditions, aiming at correlating them to their organization at the particle scale. When the suspension is concentrated enough, the suspension forms granulates: we study the mixing of a powder with a liquid and in particular the mechanisms at play in the granulates imbibition.

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Cells are mechanically active systems: they respond non-linearly to external stimuli and exert forces onto their environment. We determine the field of forces exerted by a cell onto a soft substrate by measuring the field of deformation of the substrate. We then correlate the observed mechanical properties with the cell phenotype.

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The level of proteins is highly regulated at different stages: activators may change the affinity of RNApol for specific promoters, small non coding RNA molecules can bind mRNA (and facilitate the recruitment of RNAses) or bind RBS sequences (and alter translation). Using single-molecule techniques, we study fundamental biological processes and their implication in the regulation of gene expression. In addition, we investigate the interaction of intercalators with DNA and how they affect its structure.

More on Gene regulation & DNA