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    Platform, BioMecan'IC: Biomechanics of the cell


    The mission of the recently established "Biomechanics of the cell" platform, BioMecan'IC, is to optimize and develop technical approaches permitting the measurement and study of the transmission and integration of forces at the sub-cellular, cellular, and tissue levels. With BioMecan'IC providing training on the use of equipment and technologies, teams can become independent in the use of the proposed biophysical approaches. BioMecan’IC also collaborates on innovative projects and ensures constant technological monitoring.


    • How do cells respond to the environment? 2D substrates of controlled rigidity in polyacrylamide or elastomer (PDMS) and functionalized with adhesion molecules mimic the physical environment of cells as close as possible to the physiological conditions of the organ from which they originate. Various parameters can be studied: spreading, shape of cells, migration of single cells or collective migration, sub-cellular localization of markers of interest, etc.
    • What forces do cells develop? The forces are measured by analyzing the deformation of substrates (see previous §) by the cells using Traction Force Microscopy (TFM). An algorithm taking into account the physical parameters of the gel and its deformation calculates the forces that the cells develop.
    • How do cells behave over the long term? The device for acquiring images of living cells in white light and fluorescence, IncuCyte (Sartorius), makes it possible to monitor their long terme behavior for long-terme applications : conditions on plastic or PAA gels, proliferation, injury test, cell death, individual or collective migration...


    Participation in a collaborative project

    BioMecan'IC works in collaboration with the team of Filippo Fabbri, C2N laboratory (Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies) Université Paris Saclay UMR9001 and that of Clotilde Randriamampita (Signaling of immune cells and retroviral infection, Institut Cochin) for the application of photoactive materials to biology. The objective is to manipulate the mechanical environment of the cell by remote light and in a reversible manner. The induced cellular response is monitored by videomicroscopy.


    Coming soon

    • How do cells organize their organelles and cytoskeleton under shape constraint? Can we force them to evolve in a defined space? Microprinting of adhesion molecules makes it possible to draw shapes in order to constrain cells. This technique is developed in collaboration with Fabienne Régnier (Clotilde Randriamampita's team).
    • How do cells modulate the forces necessary for their migration? Micro-printing, TFM and videomicroscopy techniques will be combined. In this well-defined mode of migration (straight or broken line for example), the forces will be followed over time.
    • What is the mechanical quality of the cell membrane? Using micro-pipette aspiration (MPA) or micro-suction technique, a small membrane area is sucked into a pipette by a controlled vacuum. The length of the membrane sucked into the pipette makes it possible to estimate the membrane deformability. This technique is developed in collaboration with Catherine Lavazec's team.

    These techniques, which can be combined, leave the field open to the investigation of many biological questions!



    Link to openIris


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    BioMecan'IC is located on the 8th floor of the Gustave Roussy building, room 805, 27 rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques 75014 Paris.

    Tel : 01 40 51 65 46

    e-mail : Mireille Lambert or