Emmanuèle Helfer


TPR1 - 4 étage









Cell mechanics / Red blood cell / Biomimetism / Membranes / Cell Biology / Microscopy / Microfluidics


Physics of living systems

Cell mechanics and dynamics

Membrane Physics

Biomimetism, in vitro reconstitution of cellular processes


1. Cell dynamics and mechanics (collab. Annie Viallat and Anne Charrier)

- Red Blood Cells (RBCs) in flow (single cell and collective behavior)

- RBCs and cells under mechanical stress (single cell, cell monolayer, cell aggregates)

- Healthy vs pathological cells

Techniques: microfluidics, acoustics, optical microscopy, micromanipulation, cell biology (cell culture, immunofluorescence)

2. Biomimetism: In vitro reconstitution of cellular processes involved in cell membrane organization and remodelling (collab. Kheya Sengupta)

- cell adhesion

Techniques: optical microscopy (epifluorescence, confocal microscopy, phase contrast, DIC), micromanipulation, synthetic membranes (GUVs, supported bilayers)


Since her PhD, Emmanuèle Helfer was interested in the various interactions between cell membranes and actin, a ubiquitous protein which is strongly involved in mechanical and dynamic properties of cells.
She did her PhD in Strasbourg University with Didier Chatenay and Laurent Bourdieu, working on the viscoelastic properties of actin-coated vesicles mimicking solid shells.
In 2001 she obtained a CNRS position in the 'Cytoskeleton and Cell Motility' group in the Laboratoire d'Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurales (LEBS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France) where she worked on biomimetic reconstitution of actin-based motile processes.
In 2010 she moved to the 'Cytoskeleton and Cell Morphogenesis' group (LEBS) where she studied the role of actin structures on intracellular endosomal membranes by combining cell biology and biochemical approaches.
She joined the 'Physics and Engineering for Living Systems' Department in CINaM in 2014, where she now studies mechanics of physiological and pathological cells using microflduics approaches.



Transit Time Theory for a Droplet Passing through a Slit in Pressure-Driven Low Reynolds Number Flows

Spencer W Borbas, Kevin Shen, Catherine Ji, Annie Viallat, Emmanuèle Helfer, Zhangli Peng

Micromachines 14:2040 (2023)10.3390/mi14112040

Classification of red cell dynamics with convolutional and recurrent neural networks: a sickle cell disease case study

Maxime Darrin, Ashwin Samudre, Maxime Sahun, Scott Atwell, Catherine Badens, Anne Charrier, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat, Vincent Cohen-Addad, Sophie Giffard-Roisin

Scientific Reports 13:745 (2023)10.1038/s41598-023-27718-w

Enhanced cell viscosity: a new phenotype associated with lamin A/C alterations

Cécile Jebane, Alice-Anaïs Varlet, Marc Karnat, Lucero Hernandez- Cedillo, Amélie Lecchi, Frédéric Bedu, Camille Desgrouas, Corinne Vigouroux, Marie-Christine Vantyghem, Annie Viallat, Jean-François Rupprecht, Emmanuèle Helfer, Catherine Badens

iScience 26:107714 (2023)10.1016/j.isci.2023.107714

Physical mechanisms of red blood cell splenic filtration

Alexis Moreau, François Yaya, Huije Lu, Anagha Surendranath, Anne Charrier, Benoit Dehapiot, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat, Zhangli Peng

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2023)10.1101/2023.01.10.523245

Talin and kindlin cooperate to control the density of integrin clusters

Julien Pernier, Marcelina Cardoso Dos Santos, Mariem Souissi, Adrien Joly, Hemalatha Narassimprakash, Olivier Rossier, Grégory Giannone, Emmanuèle Helfer, Kheya Sengupta, Christophe Le Clainche

Journal of Cell Science 136:jcs260746 (2023)10.1242/jcs.260746

Analytical theory for a droplet squeezing through a circular pore in creeping flows under constant pressures

Zhengxin Tang, François Yaya, Ethan Sun, Lubna Shah, Jie Xu, Annie Viallat, Emmanuèle Helfer, Zhangli Peng

Physics of Fluids 35:082016 (2023)10.1063/5.0156349


Dynamics of Individual Red Blood Cells Under Shear Flow: A Way to Discriminate Deformability Alterations

Scott Atwell, Catherine Badens, Anne Charrier, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat

Frontiers in Physiology 12 (2022)10.3389/fphys.2021.775584

A Rare Mutation in LMNB2 Associated with Lipodystrophy Drives Premature Cell Senescence

Alice-Anaïs Varlet, Camille Desgrouas, Cécile Jebane, Nathalie Bonello-Palot, Patrice Bourgeois, Nicolas Levy, Emmanuèle Helfer, Noémie Dubois, René Valero, Catherine Badens, Sophie Beliard

Cells 11:50 (2022)10.3390/cells11010050


Integrin-Functionalised Giant Unilamellar Vesicles via Gel-Assisted Formation: Good Practices and Pitfalls

Mariem Souissi, Julien Pernier, Olivier Rossier, Gregory Giannone, Christophe Le Clainche, Emmanuèle Helfer, Kheya Sengupta

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22:6335 (2021)10.3390/ijms22126335


Mechanical adaptation of monocytes in model lung capillary networks

Jules Dupire, Pierre-Henri P Puech, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117:14798 (2020)

Molecular and Mechanobiological Pathways Related to the Physiopathology of FPLD2

Alice-Anaïs Varlet, Emmanuèle Helfer, Catherine Badens

Cells 9:1947 (2020)10.3390/cells9091947


Self-organization of red blood cell suspensions under confined 2D flows

Cécile Iss, Dorian Midou, Alexis Moreau, Delphine Held, Anne Charrier, Simon Mendez, Annie Viallat, Emmanuèle Helfer

Soft Matter (2019)10.1039/C8SM02571A


When giant vesicles mimic red blood cell's dynamics: swinging of two-phase vesicles in shear flow

Simon Tusch, Etienne Loiseau, Al-Hair Al-Halifa, Kamel Khelloufi, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat

Physical Review Fluids 3 (2018)10.1103/PhysRevFluids.3.123605


High Aspect Ratio Sub-Micrometer Channels Using Wet Etching: Application to the Dynamics of Red Blood Cell Transiting through Biomimetic Splenic Slits

Priya Gambhire, Scott Atwell, Cécile Iss, Frédéric Bedu, Igor Ozerov, Catherine Badens, Emmanuèle Helfer, Annie Viallat, Anne Charrier

Small 13:1700967 (2017)10.1002/smll.201700967


Encapsulation of Living Leishmania Promastigotes in Artificial Lipid Vacuoles

Carlos E. S. Guedes, Jose G. B. Lima, Emmanuèle Helfer, Patricia S. T. Veras, Annie Viallat

PLoS ONE 1-12 (2015)10.1371/journal.pone.0134925

Serum Pantetheinase/Vanin Levels Regulate Erythrocyte Homeostasis and Severity of Malaria

Samuel Rommelaere, Virginie Millet, Pascal Rihet, Scott Atwell, Emmanuèle Helfer, Lionel Chasson, Carole Beaumont, Giovanna Chimini, Maria Do Rosario Sambo, Annie Viallat, Carlos Penha-Goncalves, Franck Galland, Philippe Naquet

American Journal of Pathology 185:3039-3052 (2015)10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.07.011


Endosomal recruitment of the WASH complex: Active sequences and mutations impairing interaction with the retromer

Emmanuèle Helfer, Michael E Harbour, Véronique Henriot, Goran Lakisic, Carla Sousa-Blin, Larisa Volceanov, Matthew N.J. Seaman, Alexis Gautreau

Biology of the Cell 105:191-207 (2013)10.1111/boc.201200038


Actin Polymerization Controls the Organization of WASH Domains at the Surface of Endosomes

Emmanuel Derivery, Emmanuèle Helfer, Véronique Henriot, Alexis Gautreau

PLoS ONE 7:e39774 (2012)10.1371/journal.pone.0039774

Intermittent depolymerization of actin filaments is caused by photo-induced dimerization of actin protomers

Thomas Niedermayer, Antoine Jégou, Lionel Chièze, Bérengère Guichard, Emmanuèle Helfer, Guillaume Romet ‐ Lemonne, Marie-France Carlier, Reinhard Lipowsky

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109:10769-10774 (2012)10.1073/pnas.1121381109


Force-Velocity Measurements of a Few Growing Actin Filaments

Coraline Brangbour, Olivia Du Roure, Emmanuèle Helfer, Damien Démoulin, Alexis Mazurier, Marc Fermigier, Marie-France Carlier, Jérôme Bibette, Jean Baudry

PLoS Biology 9:e1000613 (2011)10.1371/journal.pbio.1000613


Force Generation of Curved Actin Gels Characterized by Combined AFM-Epifluorescence Measurements

Stephan Schmidt, Emmanuèle Helfer, Marie-France Carlier, Andreas Fery

Biophysical Journal 98:2246-2253 (2010)10.1016/j.bpj.2010.01.055



Guillaume Romet ‐ Lemonne, Emmanuèle Helfer, Vincent Delatour, Beata Bugyi, Montserrat Bosch, Stephane Romero, Marie-France Carlier, Stephan Schmidt, Andreas Fery

Biophysical Reviews and Letters 04:5-15 (2009)10.1142/S1793048009000909


Actin-based propulsion of functionalized hard versus fluid spherical objects

Vincent Delatour, Shashank Shekhar, Anne-Cécile Reymann, Dominique Didry, Kim Ho Diep Le, Guillaume Romet ‐ Lemonne, Emmanuèle Helfer, Marie-France Carlier

New Journal of Physics 10:025001 (2008)10.1088/1367-2630/10/2/025001

Arp2/3 Controls the Motile Behavior of N-WASP-Functionalized GUVs and Modulates N-WASP Surface Distribution by Mediating Transient Links with Actin Filaments

Vincent Delatour, Emmanuèle Helfer, Dominique Didry, Kim Ho Diep Le, Jean-François Gaucher, Marie-France Carlier, Guillaume Romet ‐ Lemonne

Biophysical Journal 94:4890-4905 (2008)10.1529/biophysj.107.118653

Non-Gaussian curvature distribution of actin-propelled biomimetic colloid trajectories

Stephan Schmidt, Jasper van der Gucht, P. Maarten Biesheuvel, Richard Weinkamer, Emmanuèle Helfer, Andreas Fery

European Biophysics Journal 37:1361-1366 (2008)10.1007/s00249-008-0340-x


Adapter Protein SH2-B Stimulates Actin-Based Motility of Listeria monocytogenes in a Vasodilator-Stimulated Phosphoprotein (VASP)-Dependent Fashion

Maria Diakonova, Emmanuèle Helfer, Stéphanie Seveau, Joel A. Swanson, Christine Kocks, Liangyou Rui, Marie-France Carlier, Christin Carter-Su

Infection and Immunity 75:3581-3593 (2007)10.1128/iai.00214-07

Structural basis and evolutionary origin of actin filament capping by twinfilin

Ville O Paavilainen, Maarit Hellman, Emmanuèle Helfer, Miia Bovellan, Arto Annila, Marie-France Carlier, Perttu Permi, Pekka Lappalainen

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:3113-3118 (2007)10.1073/pnas.0608725104


Mammalian twinfilin sequesters ADP-G-actin and caps filament barbed ends: implications in motility

Emmanuèle Helfer, Elisa M. Nevalainen, Perttu Naumanen, Stéphane Romero, Dominique Didry, Dominique Pantaloni, Pekka Lappalainen, Marie-France Carlier

EMBO Journal 25:1184-1195 (2006)10.1038/sj.emboj.7601019


The Interplay between Viscoelastic and Thermodynamic Properties Determines the Birefringence of F-Actin Gels

Emmanuèle Helfer, Pierre Panine, Marie-France Carlier, Patrick Davidson

Biophysical Journal 89:543-553 (2005)10.1529/biophysj.104.050245


A biomimetic motility assay provides insight into the mechanism of actin-based motility

Sebastian Wiesner, Emmanuèle Helfer, Dominique Didry, Guylaine Ducouret, Françoise Lafuma, Marie-France Carlier, Dominique Pantaloni

Journal of Cell Biology 160:387-398 (2003)10.1083/jcb.200207148