Laboratory MSC
Article mis en ligne le 8 décembre 2017
dernière modification le 2 novembre 2020
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Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes, MSC

Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, CNRS UMR 7057
Head : Laurent Limat, CNRS Researcher


The Matter and Complex Systems laboratory is a research structure of the CNRS and University Paris-Diderot gathering 65 permanent researchers (theorists and experimentalists), 20 engineers and technicians and more than 50 PhD students and post-docs.
The laboratory is organized in five large research groups :

  • Physics of life (from molecules to cells and organisms : transport, membrane biophysics, mechano-transduction, animal locomotion, biomimetic systems, morphogenesis, biomaterials)
  • Dynamics of out of equilibrium systems (hydrodynamics, wettings, granular media, morphogenesis, phyllotaxy)
  • Structure and Dynamics of Complex fluids (nanoparticles, emulsions, foams, polymers and smart materials)
  • Bio-fluidics (biological flows, branched networks, vascularisation, angio & embryo-genesis)
  • Theory (dynamical systems, out of equilibrium statistical physics, hydrodynamics)

Its originality and creativity are unique in the landscape of French research owing to :

  • Its constitutive interdisciplinarity, associating soft matter physics and chemistry, hydrodynamics and process engineering, non-linear physics, biology and bio-medical applications,
  • The originality of the studies, for instance on Morphogenesis (from sand dunes to leafs, trees and vascular systems of embryos, mycelia or medusa ), on Mechanobiology (from the dynamics of the cytoskeleton to tissues growth and animal motion by passing through stem cells differenciation and characterization of genes expressionin response to stresses) and on smart and complex materials (magnetic nanoparticles, self-healing polymer systems).


The 24 permanent members participating to the SEAM Labex have a deep experience of interdisciplinary work at the border between Mechanics, Biology and Soft Matter Physics from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale, including the use of nanotechnology and single molecule techniques. They are leader in their field concerning the physical-chemistry and bio-applications of magnetic nanoparticles, the development of stimulable functional materials (with applications to energy saving), the experimental and theoretical studies (including simulations) of the mechanical and rheological behaviour of complex disordered materials such as foams, colloids and complex fluids and gels, the hydrodynamics of wetting and drying processes with applications to coating on simple or complex nanostructured surfaces, the study of complex biomimetic or natural (diatomea) biomaterials. The teams of MSC develop models of statistical mechanics covering a large range of scales, from molecules or elementary mesoscales to macroscopic scale in order to describe materials often characterized by their randomness, disorder and complex mechanical properties.

The final goal is to described the rheological and dynamical behaviours of foams, tissues, glass, sands, colloidal suspensions, polymer solutions or their mixtures starting from the interactions between their elementary components. These works are strongly coupled to experimental studies. The equipment is the following : two light scattering set up, 2 AFM, several rheometers, 3 ultra-fast video camera, 1 confocal microscope, several optical microscopes (equipped for fluorescence studies), two optical tweezers set-up. We benefit from of a complete mechanical workshop.


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