Tasks and workpackages

The consortium MEMOVE is organised in 4 main workpackages. Throughout the progress of the project and the deliverables will be presented on this webpage.
The published works will be given in the section Publications.

Task 1: Coordination of the project

MC2 is in charge of the administrative tasks such as the elaboration of technical and financial reports. Scheduled meetings will hold with the administration to inform committees of the progress of the project and possible problems or conflicts.

Task 2: Cell electroporation modelling

Due to its phospholipid composition, the cell membrane is a very resistive thin layer that is similar to a surface capacitor with specific capacity and surface conductivity. This membrane proceeds like a barrier filter that protects the cell cytoplasm from extracellular aggressions by ensuring specific ion exchanges needed to the cell survival. When submitted to an electric field, this capacitor is charging by the accumulation of charges from both side of the cell membrane that leads to a high local electric field near the membrane: for an external field of 1kV/cm, the measured trans-membrane potential reaches 300mV. Since the membrane is a few nanometers thick (5nm to 8nm), the membrane local field is about 500 times greater than the applied field! Too high electric field leads to defects in the membrane, which then becomes porous. Under the threshold, the membrane can be seen as an electric linear surface with specific capacity and surface conductivity, therefore the electric potential is not continuous across the membrane despite the electric flux is. This leads to numerical difficulties, since the jump of the potential is proportional to the electric flux: a lifting of the jump potential cannot be used as described by R.Perrussel and C.Poignard. Above the threshold value, small defects appear in the membrane, leading to a large increase of the membrane conductivity, and then to the cell swelling due to changes in the intra- and extra-cellular osmolarities. We propose to develop a new model of the cell electropermeabilization essentially based on the experimental background of the VAT lab for cell electroporation and of Ampère for vesicles formation and electric devices manufacturing. The main feature of our model will consist in determining the permeabilized region of the membrane without considering large pore formation. A precise description of the locally weakened membrane areas will be given and the model will provide a convincing explanation of the reversible process of the electropermeabilization. We emphasize that our models and their rigorous analysis and numerical simulations will stand for a cell with an arbitrary shape, whereas current models are usually developed for cells with a simple geometrical shape (e.g. spherical or disc-like cells). In addition we aim at incorporating the cell swelling and ion fluxes in the model that has not been done before. In particular we expect to highlight the cell curvature influence on the membrane electropermeabilization. Considering ion fluxes should bring a new light, not yet analyzed by any group in the world, on the evolution of the changes in cell membrane during the pulse application, as the driving force for these structural changes is the increase in the transmembrane potential caused by the electrophoretic accumulation of ions and counterions at each side of the membrane.

Task 3: Electroporation at the tissue scale

The second task consists in modeling the phenomenon at the macroscopic scale, using the experimental data of the VAT Lab. We first aim at deriving macroscopic model to describe the electroporation at the tissue scale. In particular we aim at comparing the effect of different types of pulses on the tissue electroporation: is it more relevant to use very high field strength and short duration voltage pulses or lower and longer pulses? Do electric pulses transiently heat the tissue significantly to affect the cell survival? Since biological tissues are very complex materials, we choose to model the electroporation separately and simultaneously at the microscopic and at the macroscopic scales, instead of providing the macroscopic models by a homogenization of the microscopic models. However we will try to link both scales once the models of each level will be developed. We will eventually consider the living cells with gap junctions that connect their cytoplasm, and that are very close to each other compared with the dilute cell suspension cultures. Then homogenization techniques will be developed to model the electroporation of cell aggregates.

Task 4: Numerical optimization for treatment planning

We aim at providing an easy-to-use code that seeks the "optimal" choice of treatment parameters (such as placement of electrodes or pulse duration) and that includes the electric non-linearity of the tissues described in Task 3. The aim of this task is to provide numerical tools to optimize the tissue electroporation under several constraints on realistic meshes. The segmentation of clinical images is not proposed here (because of lack of time) however we will take care of performing the numerical simulations on realistic cases, that will be provided by the data base of Ampère. A coupling with the tumor growth models developed by MC2 will be investigated with the long-term objective to predict the efficacy of the electrochemotherapy on the tumor.

News and Events

  • 15th-16th Dec 2014:
    Workshop on electroporation and Biophysical therapies
  • 2nd-3rd Sept 2014:
    Meeting at Villejuif
  • 6th March 2014:
    Meeting at Lyon
  • 7-8th October 2013:
    Meeting at Paris (CR)
  • 19-20th february 2013:
    Meeting at Bordeaux (CR)
  • 14-15th November 2012:
    Meeting at Lyon (CR)
  • 13th March 2012:
    Meeting at Paris (CR)
  • January 2012:
    Kick-off meeting at Bordeaux
  • Links

  • ARC C3MB (2009-2010)
  • ANR INTCELL (2011-2013)

  • Project Coordinator

    Clair POIGNARD (website)
    EPI MC2
    INRIA Bordeaux-Sud Ouest
    351 Cours de la Libération
    F-33405 Talence, France