Cellular Biophysics

Our interdisciplinary group studies the mechanisms of molecule delivery into cells and tissues upon the use of electric fields and nanoparticle-based systems, with the goal of enhancing drug delivery and targeting, as well as to improve cancer diagnosis. Our research is made on models of increasing complexity including liposomes, cells, organoids and mice, and involves various imaging tools to visualize, define and understand the mechanisms of membrane and cell permeabilization at different levels.

Our team combines interdisciplinary approaches to understand and improve non-viral delivery methods to develop new strategies to combat cancer and pathogens.

In 30 years, our group has developed a multidisciplinary approach relying on cell biology and biophysics to determine the mechanisms of membrane perturbations induced by transmembrane potential modifications, i.e. by the “electroporation” or “electropermeabilization” technique. These studies enable new approaches and allow to define guidelines for safe and efficient delivery of therapeutic molecules into cells and tissues.

In this context, our main findings include:
The elucidation of mechanisms of electrotransfer, where our studies highlighted the differences between the transfer of small molecules (bleomycin, cisplatin), small oligonucleotides (siRNA, LNA), proteins and plasmid DNA. Mechanisms of molecules transfer have been studied in vitro in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional cellular models and in vivo in tissues (in murine models);

The development of electroporation techniques
, where our studies allowed to define new types of electrical pulse generators and electrodes (appropriate for in vitro and in vivo studies) and to adapt imaging systems (dorsal window chamber, fluorescence microscopy/macroscopy) to visualize biological processes occurring during electroporation;

The search for other non-viral drug delivery approaches
based on lectin carriers that bind specifically to cancer cells, of interest for tumor targeting (drug delivery) and diagnostics (imaging of solid tumors), and inorganic nanoparticles, which can locally exert physical actions to destroy solid tumors.

Moreover, part of our studies also focus on bacteria and biofilm destabilization by physical means, including but not limited to electroporation.

We collaborate within several international networks (International Bioelectrics Consortium, European network for development of electroporation-based technologies and treatments and LIA-EBAM: International Associated Laboratory on Pulsed Electric Fields Applications in Biology and Medicine) and we are currently involved in two European projects, where we study potential health effects of exposure electromagnetic fields, including 5G.

Team members

Research Scientists

Muriel Golzio (CNRS)
Jelena Kolosnjaj-Tab (CNRS)
Laurent Paquereau (University)
Marie-Pierre Rols (CNRS)

Research Engineers

Geraldine Alberola (CNRS)
Elisabeth Bellard (CNRS)
Laetitia Hellaudais (University) 
Caroline Ladurantie (CNRS)
Nicolas Mattei
Franck Talmont (CNRS)

PhD Students

Alexia De-Caro
Anne Calvel

Our research projects

Kolosnjaj-Tabi et al. (2021) High power electromagnetic waves exposure of healthy and tumor bearing mice: assessment of effects on mice growth, behavior, tumor growth, and vessel permeabilization. Int J Mol Sci

Coustets et al. (2020) Development of a near infrared protein nanoprobe targeting Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen for intraoperative detection of submillimeter nodules in an ovarian peritoneal carcinomatosis mouse model. Biomaterials

Gibot et al. (2020) Calcium delivery by electroporation induces in vitro cell death through mitochondrial dysfunction without DNA damages. Cancers (Basel)

Ladurantie et al (2019). A protein nanocontainer targeting epithelial cancers: rational engineering, biochemical characterization, drug loading and cell delivery. Nanoscale

Kolosnjaj-Tabi et al. (2019) Electric field-responsive nanoparticles and electric fields: physical, chemical, biological mechanisms and therapeutic prospects. Adv Drug Deliv Rev

Pasquet et al. (2019) Pre-clinical investigation of the synergy effect of interleukin-12 gene-electro-transfer during partially irreversible electropermeabilization against melanoma. J Immunother Cancer

Biological systems of increasing complexities to unravel the mechanisms of molecules delivery into cells by electrotransfer, DNA aptamer and lectin.