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C. albicans: invasive lifestyle on a chip
Par Catherine Villard (Institut Curie)
Le 9 Avril 2019 à 11h00 - Salle de séminaires 5ème étage, Tour 32-33

Résumé

Fungi are ubiquitous in our environment. They are part of the so-called “rare biosphere” of the human microbiota, representing less than 0.1% of the microbiome in healthy individuals. However, fungi may take precedence over other microbial species in pathogenic conditions. From a clinical point of view, the opportunistic pathogen yeast C. albicans is one of the most important fungi. 

The ability of C. albicans to switch between different morphotypes, i.e. compact yeast, long multinucleated filaments named hyphae as well as pseudo-hypha (an intermediate and still mysterious form of C. albicans), is recognized as central in the opportunistic pathogenic behavior of this fungus. The tip of growing hyphae is driven by turgor pressure, and is able to display huge forces (in the µN range). Hyphae are known to cross epithelial/endothelial cellular barriers and invade dense tissues. The yeast form seems in contrast most suited for dissemination in unconfined environments, in particular inside the blood stream. 

We have chosen to study the growth and mechanical behavior of C. albicans as well as the morphogenetic plasticity of this fascinating organism using reconstituted microenvironments. 

I will present in this seminar the first results of our biophysical approach of C. albicans, showing how this organism behaves in confinement situations mimicking tissue penetration or in response to an applied flow. I will in addition present our organ-on-a-chip approach combining C. albicans and epithelial human cell lines.