France Grenoble

CNRS – Université Grenoble Alpes (UMR5588)

Liphy (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique)

Brief Overview

The institute has long expertise in interdisciplinary research, between physics, biology and medical science. Most prominent research area concern blood flow, cell motility, cell optogenetics, tumor cells migration and dissemination. A topic which has known a great upsurge concerns studies of blood flow in microvasculature on chips, where surfaces are coated with endothelial cells offering a unique platform to perform in vitro experiments reproducing real biological contexts (EC under various shear flows, pulsatile flows, etc…). A particular emphasis is the study of blood embolies, abnormal blood element circulation due to endothelial dysfunctions. An outstanding power of the institute lies is a close collaboration between experiments and numerical simulations, and cross-disciplinary expertise.

Research Areas

Applied health service research

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The institute has developed several successful research area in biophysics spanning tve field of blood flow and interaction with endothelial cells.
Basic facilities for relevant research in respiratory field is a microvasculature on chip and advanced knowledge in blood flow that constitute basic elements to study interaction of blood and endothelium in situations mimicking endothelial dysfunctions. The microchip is equipped with several flow devices. Several cell culture rooms and optical devices are available, such as phase contrast microscopy, confocal microscopy, photoacoustics…The institute has in addition access to platforms for more advanced microscopy. Modeling and numerical simulation expertises, in a close collaboration with experiments, are available as well as computer clusters, and access to external clusters.

Research funding/Resources

Several funding related to blood embolies are avialable. Presently, an EU grant (accepted in 2020) on “Erythrocytes properties and viability in dependence of flow and extra-cellular environment” is available to finance a Phd on this topic.  Other students are presently financed (by ministry of education, French space agancy…) and working on biochemical signaling and blood flow. Funding from French space agency (CNES) on blood embolies are also available.

Links to non-academic sector

The project, upstream of the developement of tools for medical research, therapy, or diagnosis, has a certain potential for recruiting the interest at different levels of socio-economic actors:

– on the technological front, the impacts of the project, and the execution itself offer perspectives for interaction with new technology companies (startups), and even in the creation of this kind of structure, or in different aspects linked to the development of tools for analysis, diagnosis, or testing. In particular this holds in the domain of blood circulation, such as infection causing embolies, and beyond, such as atherosclerosis, and stent-endothelial interactions.

Furthermore, toxicity or therapy tests in different industries (e.g. pharmaceutics, cosmetics) should evolve toward using realistic in vitro systems such as microchips. This evolution puts the institute in a very favorable position for future involvement with industry. After the validation of proofs-of-concept we will explore the versatlity of the microchip.
Several specialized companies in the development of microfluidic tools (Elvesys, for example) has expressed interest in these idea for the development of their own “on-chip organ” project, for which the development of microvessels-on-a-chip is an esstial building block. We could thus envision a long-term partnership which would foster the project with new questions and open an avenue to the validation of the results.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

Our institute has long experience in training for international Phd’s and postdocs in different fields and especially in blood flow (experiments and simulations). Most of students trained in our institute have been later hired in academic institutions or companies. The institute hosts about 30 Phd’s and postdocs in different field of research. The Institute has also an experimentarium (outreach experiments) led by different scientists (including Phd’s and postdocs) to welcome secondary schools to initiate them to complex matter area.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award