A new wave of trainees for spring 2017

4 new trainees start their internship this month in the lab:

  • Petra Hatoum, M2 research, for 6 months with Philippe Robert and Olivier Théodoly.
  • Valentine Seveau, Master 1 in Physics, for 2 months with Marie-Pierre Valignat
  • Florent Curnier, Polytech Marseille, for 2 months with Marie-Pierre Valignat
  • Nicolas Orain, Polytech Marseille, for 2 months with Pierre-Henri Puech and Laurent Limozin.

Practical courses at LAI for engineer students from “Ecole Centrale de Marseille”

P. Robert, X. Luo and A. Sadoun have welcomed engineer students from ECM for a whole day of experimentation on the methodologies and scientific thematics developed within LAI. They have notably performed experimental training on protein patterning, microscopy with migrating T cells, as well as single molecule force spectroscopy with laminar flow chambers.

The 2017 edition of “13 Minutes Jeunes Chercheurs” is a success!

The 2017 edition of ”13 Minutes Jeunes Chercheurs” has successfully taken place at Alcazar on April 26th. This event is co-sponsored by LAI and lab member Xuan Luo is in the organizing committee. The 13 Minutes Jeunes Chercheurs invited 6 speakers from various fields who are at an early stage of their career to talk about their research to a general public. It has widely received positive feedbacks since its inaugural edition in 2016. LAI is proud to partner with the event.

You can find more information at http://treize.lif.univ-mrs.fr/

External seminar : Jonathan Fouchard

Title: Characterizing the mechanical properties of epithelial monolayers through compression and fracture.

By : Jonathan Fouchard, G. Charras Lab, London, UK


To date, much research has focused on how tissues build and repair themselves, as well as how their integrity is maintained. Yet, intriguingly, almost nothing is known about how living tissues crack and what the mechanical and biological conditions leading to this rupture are. Here I will present a systematic analysis of fracture tests performed on suspended epithelial monolayers. These monolayers are devoid of ECM and are a minimal model representative of many epithelia involved in early development. In our experiments, monolayers are cultured between two flexible rods which allow the monolayer to be stretched in a controlled manner. The formation of experimenter-induced or self-induced cracks is then monitored in the aim to identify the biological actors involved in tissue resistance.

Within the same assay, we also study the response of epithelia to compressive stress. We find that buckling of the tissue can spontaneously be reversed through cell shape changes controlled by the acto-myosin cytoskeleton. This lead us to the definition of a rheological model including visco-elasticity and contractility.