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From Physics to Biology


Biological effects of carbon nanotubes


The expanding industrial uses of carbon nanotubes, as well as their potential uses in medicine, make the evaluation of their toxicological risks urgent. Two approaches are developed in the laboratory, in collaboration with biologists and physicians (INSERM Unit 955):


(1) the study of the toxicity of raw nanotubes It concerns in vitro analysis, at the cellular level, of the relationship between the respiratory effects of carbon nanotubes and their physico-chemical characteristics. Nanotube-cell interactions are studied using synchrotron X-ray microfluorescence. The toxicity of nanotubes is found to be correlated with the internalization of calcium by exposed cells.


(2) the biocompatible functionalization of nanotubes Peptides, proteins (like albumine) or biocompatible chemical entities (like cholesterol) will be attached to the nanotubes using a spacer of adjustable length. Our goal is to obtain good dispersions in cell culture medium, for biomedical applications. Toxicity for humans and environment will be studied by our collaborators in the NanoInteract framework.


Morphogenesis of biological molecules


Several long chiral molecules of biological origin, such as DNA for example, form aggregates with toroidal shapes: the physical factors susceptible to contribute to this original morphogenesis are studied.


Permanent staff:
Julien Cambedouzou
Jean-François Sadoc
Michèle Veber
Pascale Launois
PhD students: Loïc Louise Post-doc:
Cyril Bussy
A. Knyazev


References listSignificants facts