Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS/BioP Seminar: Prof. Martial Balland (Universite Grenoble Alpes)

05 December 2019, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Prof. Martial Balland

Title: Optogenetic interrogation of cell architectures

Event Information

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2nd Floor Seminar Room (2.30), LMCB
MRC Building
Gower Street

Abstract: Cells exert forces on their substrate and on neighboring cells. These forces are known to be implicated in the regulation of biological processes, e.g. differentiation, morphogenesis or tissue homeostasis. The geometry and composition of the surrounding extracellular matrix strongly modulate amplitude and direction of these forces and they vary widely between different cell types. We use micropatterning and microfabrication techniques to control the microenvironment for the cell and study their influence on force production. Up until recently, most studies focused on steady state system that could only be modulated over long timescales and little spatial control with drugs and genetic tools.

With the development of optogenetics it is now possible to modulate forces in cells with high spatiotemporal control, allowing to study the dynamics of force production in different microenvironmental conditions. Using this approach at a sub-cellular scale, we were able to mimic the spontaneous symmetry breaking occurring during the initiation of a migration event. At the cell scale,  by modifying the cytoskeletal architecture of fibroblasts thanks to sub-cellular micropatterning we found that the polarity level of the actin cytoskeleton is the main driver of force production efficiency upon an optogenetic stimulation of the RhoA pathway.

About the Speaker

Prof. Martial Balland

at Universite Grenoble Alpes

More about Prof. Martial Balland