Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


Accueil > La Recherche > Axes & Equipes > Matière Molle & Verres > Equipe : Matière Molle > Thème : Physique de systèmes biologiques et biomimétiques


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1. Mucuciliary function of the bronchial epithelium
People involved : Laura Casanellas (MCF), Myriam Jory (PhD), Gladys Massiera (MCF),

The mucociliary function of the bronchial epithelium ensures the continuous clearance of the respiratory system. Any dysfunction might lead to infections and inflammations and eventually cause death of the patient. Therefore, the understanding of the mechanisms behind this function is a major issue in the field of respiratory disease. The mucociliary clearance relies on two main elements : mucus and cilia beating coordination. The objective of this project (ANR MUCOCIL, Cofinancement Labex Numev/Fond de dotation pour la recherche en santé respiratoire) is to measure the mucus rheology and to study the physical mechanisms responsible for the ciliary coordination, and transport of mucus, on a model epithelium obtained from endo-bronchial biopsies from patients phenotypically well characterized : ALI Culture (Air-Liquid Interface) thanks to our collaboration with the CHU pneumology service (Inserm U1046, CNRS UMR 9214). In particular, the mucus viscoelastic properties could be considered as a marker for the diagnosis of respiratory disease (COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ...).

Fig. Left : Image of bronchial epithelium obtained from an endo-bronchial biopsy, in which ciliated cells can be easily distinguished. Right : Scheme of cilia beating cycle.

2. Structure, dynamics and aging of mucus
People involved : Luca Cipelletti (Pr), Adrian-Marie Philippe (Postdoc)

We use light scattering and rheology to investigate the structure and the dynamics of pig gastric mucus (PGM). We find that both the structure and the rheological properties of PGM share analogies with those of gels formed by phase-separating colloidal systems. We thus propose arrested phase separation as the key mechanism ruling the formation, mechanical response and time evolution of gels made of PGM.