PhD offer (Oct. 2021) – Université de Tours & Ecole polytechnique

Bio-inspiration de la communication phéromonale des insectes par système microfluidique.

Résumé. The marvelous long-distance communication in moths using chemical pheromones is still unsolved. How can they find each other with such minute amounts produced and over kilometers? While several aspects of this communication system have been thoroughly studied, a system approach is missing. The question of how low the level of molecule release can be for at least some to reach the sensory system is thus still unsolved. We will address this question by producing a bio-inspired microfluidic chip combining pheromone release, transport and capture enabling control with unmatched precision. Our project, while inspired from the silk moth Bombyx mori, will be a proof-of concept study, with pheromone-laden microdroplets immobilized on surface-energy anchors for release, channels of varying geometries for transport and electrophysiological recording of Xenopus eggs incorporating receptors for bombykol for capture. This project pioneers the study of the interface field between microfluidics and insect science with a systems approach.

Mots-clés : Bioinspiration, microfluidics, sensory ecology, transport phenomena, organoids on a chip, chemical ecology, microsensors

Rôle. The team in Tours is specialized in the research on pheromones, their transport and fluid dynamics. The team at Polytechnique is known for its expertise in microfluidics and organoids on a chip. The Ph.D. student would spend some 30% in the Polytechnique team, with a stronger presence in the first year. The chip design and master fabrication would be carried out at Polytechnique first, as the Tours team is building up a fully functional lab for microfluidics between 2021 and 2022. All the biotests would be run in Tours. The student will be the person carrying the job, under the supervision of the two leaders. Help from engineers from Tours in terms of chemicals and chemical lab access will be provided. The same support for microfabrication will be provided in LadHyX.

Encadrement :

UMR CNRS 7261 – IRBI -INEE – DR8 Mr. CASAS Jérôme
UMR CNRS 7646 LadHyX – INSIS – DR4 Mr. AMSELEM Gabriel

Contact. Mr. CASAS Jérôme (UMR CNRS 7261 – IRBI -INEE)