My research interests cover a wide range of topics both in physics (statistical physics, confined polymers, out-of-equilibrium physics) and biophysics (chromatin remodeling, epigenetics, molecular motors, cancer physics, nuclear pore complex). Most of these studies are based on single molecule experiments and modeling. The specificity here is to focus on a physical mechanism at stake in a biological phenomenon (e.g. cargo confinement in nuclear pore complex) and to investigate this process by means of controlled in vitro or ex vivo experiments.
Translocation of biomolecules through nanopores
We have established a method to follow individual biomolecules as DNA, RNA or proteins as they translocate through artificial nanopores. In our case the nanoporous membranes are unexpensive track etch membranes that were originally designed for water filtration. These polycarbonates membranes are sputtered with a thin layer of gold in order to produce Zero-Mode waveguides which are small metallic structures at the exit of pore. These structures strongly enhance and localize the fluorescence emission of the biomolecules when they reach the exit of the nanopore. The presence of high densities of nanopores in these membranes natively induce a very high parallelization of the measurements.
We have used this method to measure the free ernergy landscape of translocation for long biomolecules inside nanopores. We have shown that the deGennes-Brochard suction model was an effective description of the hydrodynamical injection of flexible polymers. This model was also extended to the use of electrical field as a driving parameter and also to semi-flexible polymers.