Christophe TRIBET

Directeur de Recherche, CNRS

ENS – Département de chimie
24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris

Phone: +33 144322403
Office: E152



Short bio

Based on a core expertise in physical chemistry of polymer and surfactants, and soft matter science the team explore in tight collaboration with biologists, the design of stimuli-responsive (macro)molecular tools 1) in biochemistry and 2) in cell biology

With J.L. Popot in IBPC in the late 90’s, we tailored macromolecular detergents that enable the dispersion and stabilization of integral membrane proteins in water. These polymers are now quoted « amphipols » and commercially available.  Since this early work, I continuously explored the use of amphiphilic assemblies (polymers, surfactants) under the form of complexes (coll. F. Winnik) or coulombic assemblies and coacervates (coll. P. Dubin), or hydrogels to control protein dispersion, to prevent aggregation, enhance refolding/renaturation.

In SIMM laboratory (1994-2009, ESPCI Paris), we introduced chemical modifications in these systems  aiming to achieve stimuli-responsive, complex transitions (e.g. coacervation, physical gelation, emulsification). We investigated the use of photochrome-containing macromolecules, to modulate on demand polymer assemblies. We achieved photo-triggered switch of gels, of emulsion (coll. P.Perrin) and foams stability (coll. C. Monteux). As regard biological perspectives, this approach enabled us to trigger the permeability of bilayers and cells to various substrates (peptides, Qdots) in collaboration with L. Auvray, S. Cribier, D. Massotte, S. Sagan.

Recent works are aimed to provide dynamic switches (based on light, temperature or redox potential) on the surface of cell-culture substrates, and on lipid membranes. With E. Marie and D. Zanchi,  we study how cell fate can be oriented on spatially micropatterned substrates (soft adhesion, polarisation, migration) by tailoring and in-situ modulation of cell-polymer interactions. Finally, we seek to develop biosourced forms of these tools. With B. Miroux (IBPC), we aim to obtain responsive membranes and mimics of biological compartments (artificial organelles) from bacteria mutants expressing ad hoc (genetically encoded) sets of proteins and lipids.

The development of robust tools, that can be implemented by biologists in representative biological conditions, is a major concern inspiring all our work.

Education and professional experience

  •  2010 – , Senior CNRS Research Scientist, « Polymer » group in Pole « Physical & Biological Chemistry of Living Matter », ENS Paris,
  •  2007-2010, Senior Research Scientist, team « stimuli-responsive colloids », SIMM ESPCI Paris,
  •  2005 Visiting Scientist, Université de Montreal (F. Winnik),
  • 1994 CNRS Research Scientist , ESPCI Paris,
  • 1993 Post-doctoral fellow, ULB, Bruxelles,
  • 1993 Ph. D. Université Paris VI
  • 1985/1987  B.Sc. & M.Sc. chemistry, Univ. Paris XI Orsay & ENS Cachan, France

Research interests

  • Physical chemistry of protein aggregation/stability (ex: therapeutic antibodies),
  • Polymer:biomembrane & polymer:protein assemblies (chaperon-like polymers, genetically encoded capsules),
  • Dynamic polymer substrates, cell guidance, remote control of cell adhesion, permeabilization.

Supervised students and post-doctorants


  • Module coordinator « physico-chimie des polymères », predoc ENS chimie (eq. M1),
  • Module coordinator « handling of proteins and biomembranes », M2, master BME Biomaterial engineering, PSL Univ.,
  • M2 course, UE NC862 « biomaterial », Univ. Paris VI.

Recent publications

– Royes J.; Ilioaia O.; Lubart Q.; Dubacheva G.; Bally M.; Miroux B.; Tribet C., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, doi: 10.1002/anie.201902929, Protein-loaded Lipidic Nanocapsules from Bio-engineered Bacteria.

– Boniello G.; Tribet C.; Marie E.; Croquette V.; Zanchi D., Phys Rev E, 2018 LJ15381E, Rolling and aging in T-ramp soft adhesion.

– Dalier F.; Dubacheva G.; Coniel M.; Galtayries A.; Marie E.; Piel M.; Tribet C., ACS Applied Materials & Interf., 2018, 10(3):2253-2258, Mixed copolymer adlayers allowing reversible thermal control of single cell aspect ratio.

– Martin N.; Costa N.; Wien F.; Winnik F.; Ortega C.; Herbet A.; Boquet D.; Tribet C., Macromolecular Biosciences, 2017, 17 (2) UNSP 1600213 DOI:10.1002/ mabi.201600213, Refolding of Aggregation-Prone ScFv Antibody Fragments Assisted by Hydrophobically Modified Poly(sodium acrylate) Derivatives.

– Lund R., Brun G., Chevallier E., Narayanan Theyencheri, Tribet C., Langmuir, 2016, 32 (11), 2539–2548, Kinetics of Photocontrollable Micelles: Light-Induced Self-Assembly and Disassembly of Azobenzene-Based Surfactants Revealed by TR-SAXS.

– Dalier F., Eghiaian F., Scheuring S., Marie E., Tribet C., Biomacromolecules, 2016, 17 (5), , 1727–1736, Temperature-Switchable Control of Ligand Display on Adlayers of Mixed Poly(lysine)-g-(PEO) and Poly(lysine)-g-(ligand-modified poly-N-isopropylacrylamide).

– Marie, E.; Sagan, S.; Cribier, S.; Tribet, C., J. Membrane Biol;, 2014, 247, 861-881 , Amphiphilic Macromolecules on Cell Membranes: From Protective Layers to Controlled Permeabilization.

– Stijn F. M. van Dongen, P. Maiuri, E. Marie, C. Tribet and M. Piel, Adv. Mater. 2013, 25(12):1687-91, Triggering Cell Adhesion, Migration or Shape Change with a Dynamic Surface Coating.

– E. Chevallier, C. Monteux, F. Lequeux, C. Tribet, Langmuir 2012, 28(5), 2308-2312. Photofoamers : Remote Control of Foam Destabilization by Exposure to Light Using an Azobenzene Surfactant.



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