UMR 5672

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Physics of biological systems

We explore two different tracks in the physics of biological systems: an combined experimental and theoretical approach in the quest of new diagnostic tools of cancers thought the correlation between viscoelastic mechanical properties and pathology, and a theoretical study of non-linear synchronizations in organs and tissues.
Physics of biological systems

Spiral wave in a model of the uterus


mechano-genetics of cancer

Françoise Argoul, Alain Arnéodo, Benjamin Audit

In cancers the genome architecture is often impacted directly by mutations and/or translocations or chromatin rearrangements, but the influence of the cellular microenvironment may also change the spatio-temporal program of replication and gene expression in proteins. Indeed, epigenetics factors are actually predominant in the regulation of the cell function. To construct a systemic model of the cellular mechanosensitivity to its environment, we propose to combine single cell experiments in confined geometries with a multi-scale analysis of different markers of the nuclear mechanisms, such as replication timing profiles, RNAseq expression profiles, Chipseq epigenetic profiles, chromatin conformation capture data, DNA sequence analysis and nucleosome positioning data.


non-linear synchronisation

Nicolas Garnier, Alain Pumir

Synchronisation of a large number of cells is a prerequisite for many organs to correctly perform their tasks. In the well-known case of the heart, a lack of synchronisation of the "pump" leads to a drop of blood pressure, and ultimately to death. Our work is currently focusing on the generation of contraction of the uterus before delivery. It has been observed that the appearance of synchronised activity in this muscle is preceded by a sharp increase in the coupling between cells, thus providing some important hint for modelling.