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Adrien Mery

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PhD Student
Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique
140 rue de la Physique - 38402 St. Martin d’Hères

adrien.mery (AT)

I was initially trained in Biomedical Engineering (Grenoble-INP Phelma & Université Grenoble Alpes). I am now focusing on the mechanical interplay between cells and ECM, using optogenetics and microtissue engineering. I am also a freelance vulgarisation writer, teaching at the university and a big fan of outdoor activities.

My research project

Mechanical signals have been shown to regulate a wide variety of biological processes, from cell proliferation and differentiation to tissue mass homeostasis. Yet, little is known about the way mechanical signals are stored and transmitted in tissues.
We combined 3D model tissues with recent advances in optogenetics. Micro fabricated tissue gauges simultaneously constrain the tissues and report their traction force. The use of photosensitive-ArhGEF11 fibroblasts allows for a precise spatio-temporal control of cell forces from the inside, as ArhGEF11 is a major regulator of cellular contractility.
Upon light stimulation, the tissue tension increased over several minutes before being regulated back to its baseline level. By varying the mechanical stiffness of the microcantilevers, we demonstrated that the baseline tension as well as the photo-induced contractility depended on the spring constant of the boundaries. Optogenetic control allows for stimulation of only parts of the tissue. We thus observed that the photoactivation of the contractility of a group of cells propagate through the microtissue and impact the whole tissue tension. Moreover, we showed that the sum of the tensions generated by different groups of cells was different than the tension generated by the sum of the groups of cells.
This setup permits to investigate the mechanical behavior of sub-millimetric 3D tissues with a high spatiotemporal resolution in normalized and well controlled experimental conditions.

Classes I taught

  • Institut Universitaire Technologique – Mesure Physique
    • Geometrical optics practicals
    • Optoelectronics practicals
    • Computer science for instrumentation practicals
  • Grenoble-INP Phelma
    • Electronics practicals
    • Electronics projects