The Gourdon Group has been carrying out research in two main biomaterials areas. (i) Bioadhesion/biolubrication: they engineer and characterize bio-inspired protein nano-films for adhesion, protection, lubrication, and various biomedical applications, using the atomic force microscope (AFM) and a home-made strain device. (ii) Mechanobiology: they investigate the roles of extracellular matrix proteins, such as fibronectin and collagen fibers in mechanobiological processes with the ultimate goal of controlling cells' fate, in particular (breast) cancer cells proliferation and migration, by characterizing and tuning the structural and mechanical properties of cells microenvironment (at both the molecular and the microscopic scales) using the combination of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) with the surface forces apparatus (SFA).
Mechano-biology: Conformational and mechanical characterization of extracellular matrix proteins under strain and their direct role on cell response. Adhesion, friction, and lubrication properties of confined nano-films of proteins, polysaccharides, organic-inorganic (hybrid) nanoparticles, ionic liquids.
- 2009. "Stretched Extracellular Matrix Proteins Turn Fouling and Are Functionally Rescued by the Chaperones Albumin and Casein." Nano Letters 9 (12): 4158-4167. .
- 2009. "Fibronectin forms the most extensible biological fibers displaying switchable force-exposed cryptic binding sites." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106 (43): 18267-18272. .
- 2009. "Lubrication and Adhesion by Charged Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications." , edited by Elnashar M. InTech Publishing Group (Open Access online). .
- 2009. "Crosslinking of cell-derived 3D scaffolds up-regulates the stretching and unfolding of new extracellular matrix assembled by reseeded cells." Integrative Biology 1 (11-12): 635-648. .
- 2008. "Adhesion and stable low friction provided by a subnanometer-thick monolayer of a natural polysaccharide." Langmuir 24 (4): 1534-1540. .
Selected Awards and Honors
- Starting Grants Finalist (European Research Council) 2007
- Fellowship for one-year international post-graduate research (Swiss National Science Foundation) 2000
- Best AFM Picture Winner (Veeco Corporation) 1999
- ERASMUS fellowship for one year as visitor student at the University of Salamanca, Spain 1993
- BS (Physics), University of Bordeaux, 1995
- Ph D (Physics), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, 1999