Self-organisation in living matter :

from cell motility and cytokinesis to morphogenesis


• Cell motility: Ratchetaxis and Scallop Theorem


How a cell moves from a point A to a point B in the absence of long range gradient.


• Lammelipodia growth promoter: supramolecular compounds specific to actin


Synthetic polyamines trigger growth of lamellipodia within minutes (scale bar 20μm).


• Cytokinesis: myosin clusters dynamics and rings constriction across systems


Myosin clusters dynamics determine the evolutions of cytokinetic rings visualised in a single focal plane with micro-fabricated cavities (myosin, scale bar 5μm).


• Morphogenesis in vitro: collective effects in cells


Elongation of an epithelial colony results from nematic fields and topological defects (scale bar 50μm).


• Scaling and injections of fission yeast



Asymmetric division : Scaling arguments predict the localisation of septum correlated with differences in cell ends (left).

Fission yeast behaves as a balloon and can be injected (right, scale bar 5μm).



• Reinforcement of focal contacts and cell-cell junctions (adherens junctions and hemidesmosomes)


Adhesive contacts elongate with local forces within minutes (compare top and bottom, scale bar 5μm).

They recruit adhesion proteins while keeping their matter density constant.