Networks in the Life Sciences – Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology
14th EMBL PhD Symposium

25th–27th October 2012

Speaker: Dr. Matthieu Piel

  • Institut Curie


Matthieu Piel Team Leader in Institut Curie’s Subcellular Structure and Cellular Dynamics Unit, Matthieu Piel has a strong background in biophysics and is interested in the contribution made by a cell’s micro-environment to cell polarisation during migration and division. In order to study this he has been influential in the development of micropattern culturing techniques and as a consequence of this work he is now co-founder and advisor for CYTOO Cell Architects.

Talk: An immune system on a chip

Dendritic cells patrol peripheral tissues like skin to look for antigen and pathogens. To achieve their function, they have to migrate between other cells or through dense extra-cellular matrix like the basal layer, without disrupting tissues, while also uptaking large amounts of material and filtering it to concentrate relevant molecules. Their migration capacity involves large deformation of the cell body and of the cell nucleus. I will present recent data we obtained on this particular mode of migration, in particular the interplay between confinement and adhesion, and the deformation of the nucleus. In a second part I will present results showing that migration and antigen uptake are tightly linked functions in these cells, leading to alternating phases of fast movement and phases of high uptake. I will end with speculation on the nature of dendritic cell trajectories and optimization of scanning of space by these cells.