Automated detection of antinuclear antibodies (P. Bongrand, coll. D. Bertin, La Conception Hospital). Indirect immunofluorescence is the gold standard for detection of anti-nuclear antibodies, which are essential markers for some systemic autoimmune diseases. However, this method is costly and incompletely standardized since its results rely on the conclusion of experienced biologists. We devised a fully computer-controlled method for replacing human diagnosis (Clin. Dev. Immunol. 2013) and showed that this was reliable enough to provide a proper help for laboratory accreditation (Clin. Chim. Acta, 2016).

Flow chamber and functional diagnosis.

LADIII / Kindlin III (P Bongrand, A Pierres, P Robert, D Touchard, coll. MC Alessi, Service hématologie-pédiatrie, AP-HM). The flow chamber technique allowed P Robert to achieve the functional identification of a novel form of leukocyte adhesion deficiency of type III. Further investigation by interferometry identified the role of Kindlin III in leukocyte-endothelial adhesion and T cell activation deficiency (journal of immunology, Robert et al, 2011).

Automated quantification of von Willebrand factor expression (P. Robert, coll. G Kaplanski, service médecine interne, AP-HM). Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a life-threatening disease characterized by defect in Adams 13 protease. We made the hypothesis that a first inflammatory injury is needed and we performed automated quantification of von Willebrand factor expression under laminar flow using fluorescence (Blood, in revision,).

Microfluidics and leukocyte stiffness impairing microcirculation in lungs of ARDS patients. (O Theodoly, P Bongrand, P Robert, Coll. JM Forel, L Papazian, Hopital Nord, Marseille). The microfluidic tools developed by O Theodoly to probe the deformability of circulating cells yielded a prototype diagnostic tool usable at hospital (Lab chip 2013), and allowed one to shed light on the functional and biochemical mechanisms (cytokines IL8, IL1, TNFalpha) triggering the acute respiratory distress syndrome with Drs JM Forel and L Papazian from Intensive care service (Critical Care 2016).