Research Projects

The IPGG funds scientific projects where nano- and micro-fluidics play a central role in the research teams. During the 1st phase of the IPGG Labex from 2012 to 2017, 6 calls for projects were launched. They allowed 40 doctoral and postdoctoral grants to be awarded.

The 2nd phase of the Labex IPGG was launched in 2020 thanks to the renewal of the Labex in 2019. Since 2020, 17 projects have been funded.



Catalyst-free novel plasma-liquid micro-structured reactor for the direct oxidation of methane to liquid oxygenated fuels

Team:
2PM
​Project leader:
Mengxue Zhang
Year:
2021

The direct partial oxidation of methane to liquid oxygenates is a topic of great interest for energy sustainability and is one of the grand challenges in the area of catalysis and energy. In the existing commercial process, syngas is catalytically converted to methanol at high temperatures and high pressures. The objective of this project is to synthesize liquid oxygenated fuels (mainly formaldehyde, methanol and formic acid) by direct partial oxidation of methane in a plasma-liquid micro-structured reactor under mild conditions. The main difficulties of this process are related to the stability of the methane molecule and the reactivity of the oxygenates which may be oxidized subsequently into CO and CO2, with the consequent drastic decrease in selectivity with the methane conversion rate. In this project, we propose to overcome those limitations by developing a multiphase-flow micro-structured reactor dedicated for the in-situ extraction and protection of final products, maximizing the selectivity of the process. If successful, we aim to reach a high selectivity of 70% (Methanol, formaldehyde) combined with a total conversion of methane.


Microfluidique pour la fonctionalisation sélective de liaisons C-H

Team:
SEISAD
​Project leader:
Camille Lescot
Year:
2021

Ce projet, qui s’inscrit dans la thématique « Flow chemistry », vise à développer une méthode d’insertion de précurseurs carbéniques dans des liaisons C-H de molécules complexes au sein de microréacteurs aux parois fonctionnalisées par des catalyseurs à base de fer. Cette méthodologie combine les avantages de la catalyse hétérogène (récupération aisée du catalyseur supporté), et des systèmes microfluidiques (contrôle de la température et des temps de mélange). Ceci permet d’envisager la mise au point d’un système hautement sélectif à base d’un métal non noble, pour une transformation souvent non applicable à des molécules complexes, et dont l’état de l’art est dominé par la catalyse au rhodium.
Pour mener ce projet à bien, trois familles de catalyseurs issus de la littérature et permettant ce type de transformation en conditions batch (réacteur homogène) sur des substrats modèles simples ont été choisis. Dans un premier temps (Axe 1), ces catalyseurs seront greffés sur microbilles de verre. L’efficacité (chimio- et régiosélectivité) des systèmes hétérogènes ainsi obtenus sera d’abord étudiée sur des substrats modèles, puis sur des molécules plus élaborées. Les catalyseurs ayant obtenu la meilleure activité seront adaptés en réacteurs microfluidiques et greffés sur les parois de microréacteurs en verre (Axe 2). Une fois les conditions de réaction optimisées en régime microfluidique, la fonctionnalisation de cibles complexes sera envisagée permettant une évaluation de l’apport de la microfluidique pour cette méthodologie.


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

​Project leader:
Joshua McGraw
Year:
2020

Today, we are able to synthetize micrometric coils by allowing the spontaneous winding of a fiber around a microfluidic droplet. Combining many of these units, we may form a material that exhibits original optical properties. This idea combines concepts from three fields of engineering and physics: microfluidics, visco-elasto-capillary self-assembly and optical metamaterials. The goal of MimeCodr is to harness these physical effects in a microfluidic context for the generation of novel materials that.


New Hybrid plasma-catalytic methanation of CO2

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

Au sein de l’IPGG l’équipe « Procédés, Plasmas, Microsystèmes » développe des microréacteurs plasma dans l’objectif de trouver de nouvelles voies de synthèse de molécules chimiques plus respectueuses de l’environnement. Les applications vont de la fonctionnalisation de molécules pharmaceutiques à la transformation du dioxyde de carbone en méthane.


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.


"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.


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.


47 projects.