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Disciplines Biology, Physics
Research fields Biophysics, Cell biology, Cancerology, Biological and medical imaging, Biomechanics
Supporting organisms CNRS, UCBL
Geographical location Domaine scientifique de la Doua - UCBL (LyonTech - la Doua)
Team leader Jean-Paul Rieu


The biophysic team is working on cellular biology issues (single cell and multicellular mechanics, adhesion, motility and tumor escape) using a range of different biophysical approaches.

Interdiscplinary projects are made on models such as the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, embryonic multicellular spheroids, breast and colon cancer cells, as well as hematopoietic cells and gliobastoma. We also work on membrane physics in the context of biolubrication and sonoporation using supported phospholipids bilayers.

We are involved in both fundamental projects (cell-cell adhesion, collective cell migration, rheological properties of tissues, cell-cell interactions) and applied projects (role of lipid membranes in biolubrication, sonoporation, phenotypic sorting of cancer cells, development of lab-on-a-chips using confined tumor spheroids or cancer cells for drug screening …).

The team has a recognized expertise on :

  • Cell migration analysis in biological systems (single cells, cells in monolayers or spheroids)
  • Control of environmental conditions (surface coatings, hydrodynamic forces, soluble factor concentration or gradient controlled by microfluidics and chemotactic chambers)
  • Methods to measure forces on biological systems (traction force microscopy) and rheological properties of multicellular spheroids.
  • Acoustic methods to measure cell mechanical properties 

We have also developed methods to measure the mechanical resistance of lipid membranes to shear and indentation using biotribometer and AFM.