Compartmentalization is a key concept in many technological systems and is a prerequisite for the emergence of life as we know it. A living cell is the result of millions of years of evolutionary processes. The path followed to evolve is driven by series of selection pressures leading to a wide range of functions that have emerged in single self-organized microcompartments. Focusing on one single function, it is likely not fully optimised as the natural selection pressure can be both ill-defined and fluctuating in time : the cell is finally optimised as an intrinsincally complex system and individual functions can therefore be further optimised.

Using microfluidic systems, we manipulate and analyse emulsions as elementary dispersed compartments for the analysis of single cells focussing on specific enzymatic activities. The ultra-high throughput of microfluidic systems provides the basis to analyse large libraries of cells to select the most efficient ones based on a well defined selection pressure. Specific improved variants are then obtained. We use this microfluidic technology for a wide range of biological analysis at the single cell level for screening application.

The microcompartmentalization technology can be extended to fully in vitro approaches for the assay of genes and enzymes (ie circumventing the complexity of cells and focusing on one single function). This reductionist approach points towards minimal cells, a question bridging prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life to modern questions in Synthetic Biology. We aim at addressing (parts of) these questions through active soft matter and biomimetic systems based on functional microcompartments. The key concept is the use of processes out of equilibrium involving interfaces, for example chemical modifications of surfactant, enzymatic catalysis and the control of transport between the inside and outside of the compartment.

Keywords :Microfluidics, Active Soft Interfaces, Biotechnology, High-throughput Screening, Single cells, Synthetic Biology.

Research Projects


Hihlight in Physics of our PRL robots paper !

More infos available in the Physics Focus article.
A short article (in French) is also available in the newspaper Sud Ouest article

Top 100 Chemistry - Scientific reports

Two papers from the group are in the Top 100 Chemistry Papers in Scientific Reports (2017)

Congrats to Mathias for his sorting paper and to Ouriel and Heng for their cell counting paper.

Top 100 Chemistry

2018 - Bordeaux Marathon

Congrats to the team members Laura, Simone and Aurelie and to Mayte for running the Bordeaux Marathon in team !

Jan 2018 - Proof Of Concept

Interested in fluorosurfactants ? Visit the webpage of FluoSurf:


Our ERC Proof of Concept Project is starting !
Contact us if you are interested in surfactant batches for droplet-based microfluidics

IUF 2016

JCB is appointed as a Junior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France

Lab Chip

JCB is joining the Advisory Board of Lab chip

Protocells 2016

We organize the Protocells Workshop in Bordeaux !
Registration and Information available at:


BioSynSys2016 will take place in Bordeaux !
Registration and Information available at:

March 2016

New International Master Program
Physical Chemistry & Chemical Physics
Opening September 2016
More information at:

Latest Group Publications

Breakup length of AC electrified jets in a microfluidic flow-focusing junction
E. Castro-Hernández, P. García-Sánchez, S. H. Tan, A. M. Gañán-Calvo, J.-C. Baret, and A. Ramos
Microfluidics Nanofluidics, 19, 4, 787 (2015)

PhD Thesis in the Group

Molecular Transport in Emulsions: From Permeation to Controlled Delivery using Microfluidics
P. Gruner
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2014
The financial support of the SFB755 Nanoscale photonic is warmly acknowledged
Electrical Control of Droplet formation in Microfluidic Devices
S. H. Tan
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2014
Dynamics of soft interfaces in droplet-based microfluidics
Q. Brosseau
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2014
The financial support of the ERC (FP7/2007-2013 /ERC Grant agreement 306385--SofI) is warmly acknowledged

Members Side Publications

Droplet-based microfluidic high-throughput screening of heterologous enzymes secreted by the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica
T. Beneyton, S. Thomas, A. D. Griffiths, J.-M. Nicaud, A. Drevelle and T. Rossignol
Microbial Cell Factories, 16:18
High-throughput screening of filamentous fungi using nanoliter-range droplet-based microfluidics
T. Beneyton, I. Putu Mahendra Wijaya, P. Postros, M. Najah, P. Leblond, A. Couvent, E. Mayot, A. D. Griffiths & A. Drevelle
Scientific Reports, 6, 27223
Particle recognition in microfluidic applications using a template matching algorithm
M. Girault, M. Odaka, H. Kim, K. Matsuura, H. Terazono, K.Yasuda
JPN. J. Appl. Phys., 55
Open Access
Fluorosurfactants for applications in catalysis
Q. Jochyms, E. Mignard, J.-M. Vincent
J. Fluor. Chem., 177, 11-18.
Clinical relevance of KRAS-mutated subclones detected with picodroplet digital PCR in advanced colorectal cancer treated with anti-EGFR therapy
P. Laurent-Puig,
D. Pekin, C. Normand, S.K. Kotsopoulos, P. Nizard, K. Perez-Toralla, R. Rowell, J. Olson, P. Srinivasan, D. Le Corre, T. Hor, Z. El Harrak, X. Li, D.R. Link, O. Bouché, J.F. Emile, B. Landi, V. Boige, J.B. Hutchison, V. Taly
Clin Cancer Res., 1;21(5):1087-97.
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