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Characterising Active Substrates to Probe Mechanotransduction

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Adherent cells can sense their physical environment (forces, rigidity, shape) and react to external mechanical stimuli. The translation of a mechanical signal into a biochemical cue is called mechanotransduction. To better understand this process we aim to apply defined forces to single cells and measure their biochemical response.

In the team, we recently developed active substrates made of iron micro-pillars embedded in a soft matrix, on which protein patterns forces cell adhesion near the pillars. The pillars can be actuated remotely with electromagnets so as to apply variable forces on adherent cells without touching them.

The trainee will produce the active substrates, calibrate the magnetic system and characterize the dynamic mechanical stimuli imposed to the cells. This internship requires experimental skills for handling a new technique and a particular interest for interdisciplinary work. The intern will be involved in a collaboration with biologists from the Institut Albert Bonniot and work together with a PhD student and a postdoctoral fellow to reveal and characterise the dynamic biochemical response of cells.

Contact :
Aurélie Dupont, 04 76 63 58 16