Conferences - Seminars

  Wednesday 21 February 2018 15:15 - 16:15 SV 1717

From Microdishes to Microniches: 3D Micro-Environmental Control around Single Cells. Application to Single-Cell Apico-Basal Polarization and Lumenogenesis Control.

By Prof. Virgile Viasnoff, CNRS-ESPCI ParisTech, Paris (F) & National University of Singapore (SG)


The key influence of the microenvironment on cell behavior and fate is increasingly recognized. It follows that new techniques to control the 3D environment around cells are essential to understand the processes by which cells probe and respond to the cues received by their microniches. Here, we present an approach that allows transforming microwells into artificial microniches where the chemical coating, the rheological properties and the topographical properties can be differentially controlled on the top, sides and bottom of the wells and assembled in a combinatorial way. This technique is also compatible with high and super resolution imaging that allows probing the dynamics of cell cytoskeleton and regulatory proteins with unprecedented resolution down to the single molecule level in 3D. We exemplify how these bona fide artificial microniches can be used to induce full apico-basal polarization of single epithelial cells as well as to control intercellular stresses driving the anisotropic growth of intercellular lumens. We will detail our recent studies on the role of mechanical forces in the development of bile canaliculi in liver and explain our minimal organ approach.

Virgile Viasnoff is a biophysicist holding a CNRS/NUS professor appointment.  He is the Head of a joint CNRS/National University of Singapore lab. His group at the Mechanobiology Institute of Singapore studies how environmental sensing influences cell-cell interactions. In particular, combining microfabrication technics, original optical detection and biophysical approaches, they study the role of mechanical forces in the establishment/homeostasis/loss of epithelial polarization in the context of liver development and cancer progression.

Organization Prof. Carlotta Guiducci

Contact Prof. Carlotta Guiducci

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Admittance Free