Université PSL

Research Projects

L’IPGG offre des financements postdoctoraux pour des projets où la microfluidique joue un rôle central au sein des équipes de recherche membres de l'IPGG.

Nous mettons un accent particulier sur les projets "à haut risque scientifique", ceux qui sont difficiles à financer par les sources habituelles (ANR, etc.).

Nous donnons la possibilité de nous proposer plusieurs thèses pour un seul projet au sein de différents laboratoires de l’IPGG.

Nous souhaitons soutenir un ou deux projets de plus grande ampleur pour lequel, grâce à une synergie mise en œuvre au sein de l’IPGG, il sera possible de relever des défis d’envergure.



A Reactor for the emergence of EVOlution from LIfe’s building blocks (REVOLI)

Team:
LBC
​Project leader:
Tommaso Fraccia & Philippe Nghe
Year:
2020

The Miller-Urey experiment has revolutionized the field of the origin of life (OoL) by showing that chemical mixtures in prebiotic conditions could lead to the synthesis of life’s building blocks. We want to tackle the next step: explain how building blocks can polymerize and self-organize into compartmentalized reaction networks capable of evolution, thus making the bridge between physico-chemistry and biology.
We will set-up an experiment where mixtures of biomolecular building blocks (of RNA, peptides, lipids) are submitted to dry-wet cycles in an open reactor. This implementation of Darwin’s “warm little pond” with day-night cycles provides two key ingredients: enhanced reactivity during the dry phase, and compartmentalization of chemical networks in vesicles during the wet phase. We will study the emergence of evolution, the signature of which are an increasing complexity of biopolymers across cycles and changes in the physical properties of vesicles which correlate with their ability to persist under selection. If successful, this experiment would be the first demonstration of spontaneous emergence of evolution in a physico-chemical system. Furthermore, it would open a completely novel avenue in synthetic biology, by-passing the need to build complex artificial cells while allowing the same range of applications: it will become possible to leverage the power of Darwinian evolution


RUN Project : Drug discovery through cell migration

Team:
BIO6
​Project leader:
Pablo VARGAS & Dominique STOPPA-LYONNET
Year:
2020

In biomedicine, one of the main worldwide challenges is the development of therapeutic strategies for the medical care of primary immune deficiencies (PIDs). PIDs originate from mutations in genes required for the immune function, making patients prone to infections, auto-immunity and cancer. More than 400 PIDs have been identified, affecting about 30,000 individuals in Europe, for which there is no curative treatment. Due to the high economic and societal impact, the European Union has recognized “translational research on rare diseases” as a public health priority, emphasizing the urgency for novel therapeutics.


A conductive soft granular material for water desalinization

Team:
LCMD
​Project leader:
Nicolas Bremond
Year:
2020

Water being an electronically insulatingmaterial, electronic conduction between two electrodes immerged in water is solely possible by directly wiring the two electrodes. Such a wiring can be obtained by dispersing
electrically conductive particles that are connected and which form a so-called percolated network The ability to conduct electrons in an aqueous media under flow opens new strategies in the area of energy management or water desalinisation. Here, we propose to study a new concept of flowing electrodes having a high conductive
area while easily flowing. The basic principle is to encapsulate large amount of conductive particles in a polymer network shaped as beads, thus forming a soft granular material. The main objectives of the project are to upscale the production of subPmillimetre conductive hydrogel beads and to build an experimental set-up incorporating a flow capacitive deionization device.


MimeCodr : Microfluidic Metamaterials with Coiled Droplets

Team:
MMN
​Project leader:
Joshua McGraw
Year:
2020

Low-cost micro-coils were recently developed by taking advantage of a spontaneous winding of micrometric fibers around polymer droplets with sizes in the 100 μm range. The main goals of MimeCodr are thus two-fold: i) to structurally arrange many Coiled Droplets (CD) using a microfluidics-based pathway to ii) form Metamaterials exhibiting the electromagnetic properties of a Hybridization Bandgap (MHB). The fabrication of an MHB requires the synthesis of many of CDs which is possible thanks to current microfluidics technologies. The success of this project will enable the design of a new class of electromagnetic devices which combines low fabrication cost with regard to existing microfabrication processes, and mechanical flexibility.
The first step is to develop a microfluidic chip in which CDs are assembled in series (deliverable 1, cf. sct 5 & pg 6). Then we will optimize the structural properties of the two-dimensional assembly to create a material made of a collection of CDs (deliverable 2). The electromagnetic properties will be optimized numerically by developing a numerical scheme under COMSOL (deliverable 3). The final output of this project will consist in having a prototype (deliverable 4) whose electromagnetic properties will be further investigated in the laboratories of
Thales Research and Technology.


New Hybrid plasma-catalytic methanation of CO2

Team:
2PM
​Project leader:
Stéphanie Ognier
Year:
2020

The utilization of cold plasmas in combination with an heterogeneous catalyst has recently proven to boost the kinetically impeded CO2 hydrogenation reaction at low temperature and pressure. Recently, our team revealed that the mechanism is of the electrocatalytic type and that the polarization of the catalyst surface is a key parameter for the process performance. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of understanding about the precise effect of the plasma, as well as on its coupling to a catalytic system. Moreover, the cylindrical-shaped fixed bed reactors tested so far do not allow a proper control of the physical phenomena, i.e. heat-energy and mass transfer, hindering the industrial application of this hybrid process. The present project proposes the construction of micro-structured reactors for CO2 hydrogenation. By means of an optimized geometry, this configuration will permit the accurate diagnosis of the interaction between the plasma and the catalytic solid phase, and thus, a better understanding of the bulk effects of the coupled plasma-catalytic phenomena. In this sense, the energy practically provided by the plasma can be tailored to fit the requirements of the catalytic reaction. Furthermore, a better control of heat and mass transfer will be gained through the micro-structuration of the catalytic system and reactants/products flow.


Mechanobiology of cell migration in complex environments

Team:
BIO6
​Project leader:
VARGAS/PIEL/DESCROIX/SEPULVEDA
Year:
2017

Cell migration is a fundamental function for life from simple unicellular to complex multicellular organisms. In vertebrates, cell motility is essential for embryo development, tissue repairing and immunity. From an immunological point of view, defects on cell migration can lead to autoimmune diseases, hyper inflammation and cancer metastasis, highlighting the relevance of this process and its therapeutic potential. The aim of this project is to decipher the specific mechanisms used by cells to migrate in tissues. To address this question, we propose a collaborative project with the MMBM group to study directed cell motility in in vitro molded tissue compartments. Using this system, we will identify specific cytoskeleton rearrangements used by cells to migrate in complex environments. This proposal focuses on leukocytes, specialized in the fast colonization of secondary tissues during infections. From an applied point of view, collaborative work with the Institut Imagine (Hôpital Necker) will help us to test our hypothesis in a physiologically relevant context. The knowledge generated with this study will help to understand the cellular requirements that allow and optimize cell displacement in the diverse and complex geometries of organs in health and disease.


"Candida albicans on chip" Development of a quantitative phenomics of C. albicans, and study of the biophysical mechanisms of infection in "organ-on-chip" microfluidic devices

Team:
MMBM
​Project leader:
C. Villard
Year:
2017

Fungi are ubiquitous in our environment. The fascinating ability of these organisms to produce extended filamentous networks is at the origin of their massive colonization of the biosphere and one of the keys to their pathogenicity. We propose in this collaborative project a biophysical study of filamentous growth of the human microbiota fungus Candida albicans. A first objective will be to use microfluidic tools to develop a set of quantitative biophysical observables of the growth of C. albicans. In a second step, we will carry out an "organ-on-chip" approach to study the interactions between hyphae and animal (epithelial, dendritic) cells. Our goal is to develop new experimental and conceptual tools allowing a fine phenotypic characterization of filamentous fungi associated with their genotype, as well as a deeper understanding of the mechanisms associated with their invasive properties.


Plastic damage of amorphous materials : mesoscopic study

Team:
MMN
​Project leader:
Elisabeth Bouchaud
Year:
2017

We will prepare concentrated emulsions of different structures with a microfluidic device, which can further be cross-linked, in order to make model amorphous 2D materials with controlled density and cohesiveness. These amorphous structures will have a « basic atom » of size ~50µm. They will be fractured in a controlled way, and plastic events, i.e. local irreversible rearrangements occurring around the crack tip, will be observed in conventional and confocal microscopy. Their influence on the fracture path and on the fracture dynamics will be studied. The obtained results will be compa-red to theoretical predictions, and to the results of numerical simulations. This study could be the basis of constitutive laws for soft amorphous materials.


Graphene oxide membranes for new routes in water-ethanol separation

​Project leader:
Alessandro Siria
Year:
2017

The depletion of fossil fuel resources and its increase in global demand lead to the development of alternative sustainable energies replacing fossil fuel. The biofuels, such as the ethanol and butanol, have recently attracted great attention, both in fundamental researches and industrial applications. Biofuels are attractive due their diverse resources, such as sugarcane, wheat, corn, lignocellulosic biomass, and crop waste residues. Standard technologies to produce and purify biofuels (fermentation and pervaporation), however, are not very efficient energetically. While membrane reverse osmosis approaches would be much less costly, the attempts to fabricate membranes that are semi-permeable to ethanol but not to water were merely unsuccessful. In this project, we propose here to develop a new class of membranes made of a multistack of graphene and graphene-oxide layers for the separation of water-ethanol mixtures. Based on a theoretical and numerical prediction obtained in our team, showing that GO membrane are self-semi-permebale, we expect this graphitic membrane to allow for the separation of water from alcohol across this membrane. Preliminary experimental result confirm this unique property, which remain to be thoroughly investigated. This is the aiom of the present project. It will allow to develop a completely new and highly attractive method for water-ethanol separation.


Microfluidic mimics of alveolus for mechanistic understanding of nanoparticles translocation through respiratory system

​Project leader:
Yong Chen
Year:
2017

Actually, the daily exposure of ultrafine particles to human body goes from 20 to 500 g/m3 and the respiratory system is certainly the most critical route of such an exposure. While the fine particle passages through the alveolar epithelium barrier is the key issue for non-desired inhalation, the pharmacological delivery of drug through lung system is one of important subjects in nanomedicine. In both cases, there is still a lack of mechanistic understanding about the interactions of nanoparticles with human pulmonary alveolar barrier. To overcome this shortage, we propose an in-vitro model made of human alveolar epithelium and endothelium formed on a monolayer of elastic fibers which mimic structurally and functionally the human alveolus. In particular, we propose to use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) and microfluidic device to build alveoli-on-chip systems, together with a high precision flow control setup, to study nanoparticles crossing alveolar barrier.


37 projects.