Year of selection 2010
Institution INSTITUT CURIE
Cells feel stress too! Mechanical stress, that is. Physicist Fabien Montel is working in collaboration with biologists to study living tissues. A consistently inventive researcher, Dr. Montel has designed a system that uses liquid to apply pressure to tumors, which slows their growth. He has even discovered why: in the center of the tumor, cell multiplication decreases. As soon as pressure is relieved, growth resumes. Understanding the exact mechanisms of this process could lead to crucial discoveries. Dr. Montel will also investigate how pressure applied by tumors to their environment affects the surrounding healthy tissues. He is currently developing an innovative culture chamber that will allow all pressure parameters to be controlled directly and can even hold battles between malignant and healthy tissue. This will enable him to determine whether the force exerted by the malignant tissue affects the health tissue, which could give tumors a way to spread.
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