Welcome to the Biological Emulsions‘ research group. Our team belongs to the biophysics axe of the Laboratoire de Physique at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris. We carry on multidiscplinary reasearches on membrane biophysics and emulsion science combined with cell biology. We address questions around the regulation of cellular lipids, notably how intracellular oil-in-water lipid droplets form and get “functionalized” by the recruitment of proteins to their surface. Another activity in the group is the development of high throughput techniques enabling the rapid assessment of protein-membrane interaction.

Circles in left represent labeled proteins that localized to lipid droplet surface in fly cells – Circles in right panel correspond to artificial lipid droplets (reg) contained in a giant vesicle.

Water-in-oil droplets generated by a microfluidic device and trapped in a chamber to follow inter-droplet communication

We aim to understand the fate of lipids in cells from a pure physical chemistry standpoint, and test eventually our predictions in a biological context. Currently, our main focus is to understand the formation mechanism of cellular lipid droplets, which are the main regulator of cellular energy metabolism. We are also interested on how proteins are specifically targeted to the surface of these droplets to control their function.

We also develop/use droplet interface bilayer systems. With microfluidics, we make these droplets in a controlled fashion in order to screen for protein-membrane interactions favoring inter-droplet communication. Establishment of such tool will enable to efficiently screen for new drugs that can interact with specific membranes