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Membranes and Bio-inspired Surfaces

The cluster “Membranes and Bio-inspired Surfaces” is composed by 3 permanent scientists : Dr. Jean-Marc Janot (researcher, CNRS), Dr. Thierry Thami (researcher, CNRS) and Dr. Sébastien Balme (assistant professor, UM2). It groups skills in chemical synthesis, physical chemistry and biophysics together. The research activities of the cluster are primarily based on themes integrated into the “health topic” of the IEM.

Topics Bio-inspired nanopore :

Principal investigator Sébastien Balme publication list
-  Conception, functionalization and characterization of solid-state nanopore (Track-etched and SiN) to mimic biological ionic channel.
-  Studies of transport mechanism of electrolytes, biomacromolecules (DNA, Protein), and nanoparticle through nanopore.
-  Studies of the relationship structure/biological properties of proteins and biological channel (ionic channel, a-hemolysin) under confinement to design hybrid artificial/biological nanopores and materials.
-  Interactions of noble metal nanoparticle with biomacromolecules for biosensing

Equipment : patch-clamp amplifier, DLS, potentiostat,

Protein on solid/liquid interfaces :

Principal investigator Jean-Marc Janot publication list
-  Studies of adsorption kinetic and structural modification of proteins on solid/liquid interfaces by time-resolve fluorescence spectroscopy under confocal configuration. Detection of fluorescence in solution, on and close to interface or inside the material.
-  Development of optical biosensor based on protein immobilization of surface

Equipment : Time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy : solution and confocal setup. Lab-made experimental setup.

Bio-inspired polymer surfaces :

Principal investigator Thierry Thami
-  Synthesis and characterization of bio-inspired polymer surfaces based on phospholipids molecules for the realization of biosensors.
-  The understanding of the different mechanisms which lead to fouling of membranes needs the analysis of the influence of many parameters.
-  A study of the mechanisms of energy transfer between a polymer film functionalized by a sensitive silole group and nitroaromatic compounds enabled the development of a new type a highly sensitive optical sensor for the detection of explosives.

Equipment : Thin film synthesis (dip- and spin-coating), surface functionalization, contact angle.

Non permanent Staff


Gael Nguyen : Ion transport through ion bio-channels confined inside nanopores (ANR funding)

Vidhyadhevy Tangaraj : Fluorescent dye adsorption and confinement on mesoporous carbon and Nano particles (Svagaata fellowship)

PhD Student

Mathilde Lepoitevin : Biomimetic nanopore for diagnostic tools (French government fellowship)

Victoriia Ferdorenko : ALD on 3D Si substrates for optical biosensors applications (Backis Fellowship)

Myalo Sabella : Interaction studies of nanomaterials with plasma proteins using experimental and computational methods (Eurosa fellowship)

Sakthivel : Gaphene/biopolymers electrospun nanofibers for biomedical applications (Svagaata fellowship)


Agence National de la Recherche, France : “TRANSION” (ANR-2012-BS08-0023), Ion transport through ion bio-channels confined inside nanopores : a combined theoretical and experimental project (web site :

Significant publications

Combining a sensor and pH-gated Nanopore based on an Avidin-biotin system, Lepoitevin M. ; Nguyen G. ; Bechelany M. ; Balanzat E. ; Janot J. M. ; Balme S. (2015) Chemical Communications, DOI : 10.1039/C4CC10087E.

New Bioinspired Membrane Made of a Biological Ion Channel Confined into the Cylindrical Nanopore of a Solid-State Polymer. BALME, S. ; JANOT, J. M. ; BERARDO, L. ; HENN, F. ; BONHENRY, D. ; KRASZEWSKI, S. ; PICAUD, F. ; RAMSEYER, C., Nano Letters 2011, 11 (2), 712-716.

Slow translocation of polynucleotides and their discrimination by α-hemolysin inside a single track-etched nanopore designed by atomic layer deposition. Cabello-Aguillar S. ; Balme S. ; Abou-Chaaya A. ; Bechelany M. ; Balanzat E. ; Janot J. M. ; Pochat-Bohatier C. ; Miele P. ; Dejardin P. (2013) Nanoscale, 5, 9582-9586.

Structure, orientation and stability of lysozyme confined in layered materials. Balme S. ; Guégan R. ; Janot J. M. ; Jaber M. ; Lepoitevin M. ; Dejardin P. ; Bourrat X. ; Motelica-Heino M. (2013) Soft Matter, 9, 3188-3196.