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Microfluidic device with integrated microfilter of conical-shaped holes for high efficiency and high purity capture of circulating tumor cells
Yadong Tang, Jian Shi, Sisi Li, Li Wang, Yvon E. Cayre and Yong Chen
Scientific Reports - 4 (n°6052) - DOI:10.1038/srep06052 - 2013
Capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from peripheral blood of cancer patients has major implications for metastatic detection and therapy analyses. Here we demonstrated a microfluidic device for high efficiency and high purity capture of CTCs. The key novelty of this approach lies on the integration of a microfilter with conical-shaped holes and a micro-injector with cross-flow components for size dependent capture of tumor cells without significant retention of non-tumor cells. Under conditions of constant flow rate, tumor cells spiked into phosphate buffered saline could be recovered and then cultured for further analyses. When tumor cells were spiked in blood of healthy donors, they could also be recovered at high efficiency and high clearance efficiency of white blood cells. When the same device was used for clinical validation, CTCs could be detected in blood samples of cancer patients but not in that of healthy donors. Finally, the capture efficiency of tumor cells is cell-type dependent but the hole size of the filter should be more closely correlated to the nuclei size of the tumor cells. Together with the advantage of easy operation, low-cost and high potential of integration, this approach offers unprecedented opportunities for metastatic detection and cancer treatment monitoring.
Selection Dynamics in Transient Compartmentalization
Alex Blokhuis, David Lacoste, Philippe Nghe, and Luca Peliti
Phys. Rev. Lett. - 120(15) 158101 - doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.158101 - 2018
Transient compartments have been recently shown to be able to maintain functional replicators in the context of prebiotic studies. Here, we show that a broad class of selection dynamics is able to achieve this goal. We identify two key parameters, the relative amplification of nonactive replicators (parasites) and the size of compartments. These parameters account for competition and diversity, and the results are relevant to similar multilevel selection problems, such as those found in virus-host ecology and trait group selection.
Sign epistasis caused by hierarchy within signalling cascades.
Nghe P, Kogenaru M, Tans S,
Nat Commun - 13;9(1) 1451 - doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03644-8. - 2018
Sign epistasis is a central evolutionary constraint, but its causal factors remain difficult to predict. Here we use the notion of parameterised optima to explain epistasis within a signalling cascade, and test these predictions in Escherichia coli. We show that sign epistasis arises from the benefit of tuning phenotypic parameters of cascade genes with respect to each other, rather than from their complex and incompletely known genetic bases. Specifically, sign epistasis requires only that the optimal phenotypic parameters of one gene depend on the phenotypic parameters of another, independent of other details, such as activating or repressing nature, position within the cascade, intra-genic pleiotropy or genotype. Mutational effects change sign more readily in downstream genes, indicating that optimising downstream genes is more constrained. The findings show that sign epistasis results from the inherent upstream-downstream hierarchy between signalling cascade genes, and can be addressed without exhaustive genotypic mapping.
Microfluidic actuators based on temperature-responsive hydrogels
Loïc D'Eramo, Benjamin Chollet, Marie Leman, Ekkachai Martwong, Mengxing Li, Hubert Geisler, Jules Dupire, Margaux Kerdraon, Clémence Vergne, Fabrice Monti, Yvette Tran & Patrick Tabeling
- 17069 (2018) - doi.org/10.1038/micronano.2017.69 - 2018
The concept of using stimuli-responsive hydrogels to actuate fluids in microfluidic devices is particularly attractive, but limitations, in terms of spatial resolution, speed, reliability and integration, have hindered its development during the past two decades. By patterning and grafting poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) PNIPAM hydrogel films on plane substrates with a 2 μm horizontal resolution and closing the system afterward, we have succeeded in unblocking bottlenecks that thermo-sensitive hydrogel technology has been challenged with until now. In this paper, we demonstrate, for the first time with this technology, devices with up to 7800 actuated micro-cages that sequester and release solutes, along with valves actuated individually with closing and opening switching times of 0.6±0.1 and 0.25±0.15 s, respectively. Two applications of this technology are illustrated in the domain of single cell handling and the nuclear acid amplification test (NAAT) for the Human Synaptojanin 1 gene, which is suspected to be involved in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. The performance of the temperature-responsive hydrogels we demonstrate here suggests that in association with their moderate costs, hydrogels may represent an alternative to the actuation or handling techniques currently used in microfluidics, that are, pressure actuated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) valves and droplets.
Hydrophobization of Silica Nanoparticles in Water: Nanostructure and Response to Drying Stress
Solenn Moro, Caroline Parneix, Bernard Cabane†, Nicolas Sanson, and Jean-Baptiste d’Espinose de Lacaillerie
Langmuir - 33, 19 4709-4719 - DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b04505 - 2017
We report on the impact of surface hydrophobization on the structure of aqueous silica dispersions and how this structure resists drying stress. Hydrophilic silica particles were hydrophobized directly in water using a range of organosilane precursors, with a precise control of the grafting density. The resulting nanostructure was precisely analyzed by a combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-microscopy (cryo-TEM). Then, the dispersion was progressively concentrated by drying, and the evolution of the nanostructures as a function of the grafting density was followed by SAXS. At the fundamental level, because the hydrophobic character of the silica surfaces could be varied continuously through a precise control of the grafting density, we were able to observe how the hydrophobic interactions change particles interactions and aggregates structures. Practically, this opened a new route to tailor the final structure, the residual porosity, and the damp-proof properties of the fully dried silica. For example, regardless of the nature of the hydrophobic precursor, a grafting density of 1 grafter per nm2 optimized the interparticle interactions in solution in view to maximize the residual porosity in the dried material (0.9 cm3/g) and reduced the water uptake to less than 4% in weight compared to the typical value of 13% for hydrophilic particles (at T = 25 °C and relative humidity = 80%).
Interparticle Capillary Forces at a Fluid − Fluid Interface with Strong Polymer-Induced Aging
Stefano Cappelli, Arthur M. de Jon, Jean Baudry, and Menno W. J. Prins
Langmuir - 33 (3) 696–705 - DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03910 - 2017
We report on a measurement of forces between particles adsorbed at a water–oil interface in the presence of an oil-soluble polymer. The cationic polymer interacts electrostatically with the negatively charged particles, thereby modulating the particle contact angle and the magnitude of capillary attraction between the particles. However, polymer adsorption to the interface also generates an increase in the apparent interfacial viscosity over several orders of magnitude in a time span of a few hours. We have designed an experiment in which repeated motion trajectories are measured on pairs of particles. The experiment gives an independent quantification of the interfacial drag coefficient (10–7–10–4 Ns/m) and of the interparticle capillary forces (0.1–10 pN). We observed that the attractive capillary force depends on the amount of polymer in the oil phase and on the particle pair. However, the attraction appears to be independent of the surface rheology, with changes over a wide range of apparent viscosity values due to aging. Given the direction (attraction), the range (∼μm), and the distance dependence (∼1/S5) of the observed interparticle force, we interpret the force as being caused by quadrupolar deformations of the fluid–fluid interface induced by particle surface roughness. The results suggest that capillary forces are equilibrated in the early stages of interface aging and thereafter do not change anymore, even though strong changes in surface rheology still occur. The described experimental approach is powerful for studying dissipative as well as conservative forces of micro- and nanoparticles at fluid–fluid interfaces for systems out of equilibrium.
Controlled production of sub-millimeter liquid core hydrogel capsules for parallelized 3D cell culture
Hugo Doméjean, Mathieu de la Motte Saint Pierre, Anette Funfak, Nicolas Atrux-Tallau, Kevin Alessandri, Pierre Nassoy, Jérôme Bibettea and Nicolas Bremond
Lab. Chip - 17, 110-119 - DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00848H - 2017
Liquid core capsules having a hydrogel membrane are becoming a versatile tool for three-dimensional culture of micro-organisms and mammalian cells. Making sub-millimeter capsules at a high rate, via the breakup of a compound jet in air, opens the way to high-throughput screening applications. However, control of the capsule size monodispersity, especially required for quantitative bioassays, was still lacking. Here, we report how the understanding of the underlying hydrodynamic instabilities that occur during the process can lead to calibrated core–shell bioreactors. The requirements are: i) damping the shear layer instability that develops inside the injector arising from the co-annular flow configuration of liquid phases having contrasting viscoelastic properties; ii) controlling the capillary instability of the compound jet by superposing a harmonic perturbation onto the shell flow; iii) avoiding coalescence of drops during jet fragmentation as well as during drop flight towards the gelling bath; iv) ensuring proper engulfment of the compound drops into the gelling bath for building a closed hydrogel shell. We end up with the creation of numerous identical compartments in which cells are able to form multicellular aggregates, namely spheroids. In addition, we implement an intermediate composite hydrogel layer, composed of alginate and collagen, allowing cell adhesion and thus the formation of epithelia or monolayers of cells.
Information-theoretic analysis of the directional influence between cellular processes
Sourabh Lahiri, Philippe Nghe, Sander J. Tans, Martin Luc Rosinberg, David Lacoste
- 12(11) - https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187431 - 2017
Inferring the directionality of interactions between cellular processes is a major challenge in systems biology. Time-lagged correlations allow to discriminate between alternative models, but they still rely on assumed underlying interactions. Here, we use the transfer entropy (TE), an information-theoretic quantity that quantifies the directional influence between fluctuating variables in a model-free way. We present a theoretical approach to compute the transfer entropy, even when the noise has an extrinsic component or in the presence of feedback. We re-analyze the experimental data from Kiviet et al. (2014) where fluctuations in gene expression of metabolic enzymes and growth rate have been measured in single cells of E. coli. We confirm the formerly detected modes between growth and gene expression, while prescribing more stringent conditions on the structure of noise sources. We furthermore point out practical requirements in terms of length of time series and sampling time which must be satisfied in order to infer optimally transfer entropy from times series of fluctuations.
Single-cell deep phenotyping of IgG-secreting cells for high-resolution immune monitoring
Eyer K, Doineau RCL, Castrillon CE, Briseño-Roa L, Menrath V, Mottet G, England P, Godina A, Brient-Litzler E, Nizak C, Jensen A, Griffiths AD, Bibette J, Bruhns P4, Baudry J.
Nat Biotechnol. - 35(10) 977-982 - doi: 10.1038/nbt.3964 - 2017
Studies of the dynamics of the antibody-mediated immune response have been hampered by the absence of quantitative, high-throughput systems to analyze individual antibody-secreting cells. Here we describe a simple microfluidic system, DropMap, in which single cells are compartmentalized in tens of thousands of 40-pL droplets and analyzed in two-dimensional droplet arrays using a fluorescence relocation-based immunoassay. Using DropMap, we characterized antibody-secreting cells in mice immunized with tetanus toxoid (TT) over a 7-week protocol, simultaneously analyzing the secretion rate and affinity of IgG from over 0.5 million individual cells enriched from spleen and bone marrow. Immunization resulted in dramatic increases in the range of both single-cell secretion rates and affinities, which spanned at maximum 3 and 4 logs, respectively. We observed differences over time in dynamics of secretion rate and affinity within and between anatomical compartments. This system will not only enable immune monitoring and optimization of immunization and vaccination protocols but also potentiate antibody screening.
Emergence of a catalytic tetrad during evolution of a highly active artificial aldolase.
Obexer R, Godina A, Garrabou X, Mittl PR, Baker D, Griffiths AD, Hilvert D.
Nat Chem. - 9(1) 50-56 - doi: 10.1038/nchem.2596 - 2017
Designing catalysts that achieve the rates and selectivities of natural enzymes is a long-standing goal in protein chemistry. Here, we show that an ultrahigh-throughput droplet-based microfluidic screening platform can be used to improve a previously optimized artificial aldolase by an additional factor of 30 to give a >109 rate enhancement that rivals the efficiency of class I aldolases. The resulting enzyme catalyses a reversible aldol reaction with high stereoselectivity and tolerates a broad range of substrates. Biochemical and structural studies show that catalysis depends on a Lys-Tyr-Asn-Tyr tetrad that emerged adjacent to a computationally designed hydrophobic pocket during directed evolution. This constellation of residues is poised to activate the substrate by Schiff base formation, promote mechanistically important proton transfers and stabilize multiple transition states along a complex reaction coordinate. The emergence of such a sophisticated catalytic centre shows that there is nothing magical about the catalytic activities or mechanisms of naturally occurring enzymes, or the evolutionary process that gave rise to them.

326 publications.