Christophe TRIBET

Directeur de Recherche, CNRS

ENS – Département de chimie
24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris

Phone: +33 144322403
Office: E152



Short bio

Development of robust macromolecular tools, that can be implemented by biologists and/or applied to manipulate living systems is a major inspiration in my work. Based on a core expertise in physical chemistry of polymer, surfactants, and soft matter science the team explore, in tight collaboration with biologists, the design of stimuli-responsive (macro)molecules 1) for protein stabilization/chaperone-like systems  and 2) for use in cell biology (stimuli-responsive substrates, coatings and capsules)

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)  to prevent aggregation, enhance refolding/renaturation.

In SIMM laboratory (1994-2009, ESPCI Paris), we introduced chemical modifications in these polymers aiming to achieve stimuli-responsive transitions (e.g. coacervation, physical gelation, emulsification). We investigated the use of photochrome-containing macromolecules to (photo)switch gelation, emulsion and foam stability (coll. P.Perrin & 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.

Current works are aimed to provide dynamic switches (based on light, temperature or redox potential) on the surface of cell-culture substrates, and on lipid capsules. With E. Marie,  we study how cell fate can be oriented on micropatterned substrates (soft adhesion, polarisation, migration) by tailoring in-situ modulation of cell-polymer interactions. We develop in addition a  biosourced form of these polymer switches : with B. Miroux (IBPC), we prepared by bacterial synthesis, responsive lipid capsules and we work on mimics of biological compartments (artificial organelles) .


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, stabilization of enzymes),
  • Polymer:biomembrane & polymer:protein assemblies (chaperon-like polymers, genetically encoded capsules),
  • Dynamic polymer substrates, cell guidance, remote control of cell adhesion, permeabilization.


  • Module coordinator « physico-chimie des polymères », predoc ENS chimie (eq. M1),
  • Module coordinator « cell-substrates soft interfaces », M2, master BME Biomaterial engineering, PSL Univ.,
  • M2 course, MU5CI602 « biomaterials »,  Paris Sorbonne Univ.

Selected recent publications

Sixdenier, L., Tribet, C., Marie, E., Adv. Funct. Mater. 2021, 2105490. Emulsion-Templated Poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide) Shells Formed by Thermo-Enhanced Interfacial Complexation.

– 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.

– 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.



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The Thermally Induced Aggregation of Immunoglobulin G in Solution Is Prevented by Amphipols Article de journal

D W Ma; N Martin; A Herbet; D Boquet; C Tribet; F M Winnik

Chemistry Letters, 41 , p. 1380-1382, 2012, ISSN: 0366-7022.

Unfolding of cytochrome c upon interaction with azobenzene-modified copolymers Article de journal

J Sun; J Ruchmann; A Pallier; L Jullien; M Desmadril; C Tribet

Biomacromolecules, 13 (11), p. 3736–3746, 2012.

Well-defined critical association concentration and rapid adsorption at the air/water interface of a short amphiphilic polymer, amphipol A8-35: A study by förster resonance energy transfer and dynamic surface tension measurements Article de journal

F Giusti; J -L Popot; C Tribet

Langmuir, 28 (28), p. 10372–10380, 2012.


Amphipols From A to Z Article de journal

J L Popot; T Althoff; D Bagnard; J L Baneres; P Bazzacco; E Billon-Denis; L J Catoire; P Champeil; D Charvolin; M J Cocco; G Cremel; T Dahmane; L M de la Maza; C Ebel; F Gabel; F Giusti; Y Gohon; E Goormaghtigh; E Guittet; J H Kleinschmidt; W Kuhlbrandt; C Le Bon; K L Martinez; M Picard; B Pucci; J N Sachs; C Tribet; C van Heijenoort; F Wien; F Zito; M Zoonens

Annual Review of Biophysics, Vol 40, 40 , p. 379-408, 2011, ISSN: 1936-122X.

Enhanced Stability of Nanoemulsions Using Mixtures of Non-Ionic Surfactant and Amphiphilic Polyelectrolyte Article de journal

J Galindo-Alvarez; K A Le; V Sadtler; P Marchal; P Perrin; C Tribet; E Marie; A Durand

Colloids and Surfaces a-Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 389 , p. 237-245, 2011, ISSN: 0927-7757.

High Water Solubility and Fold in Amphipols of Proteins with Large Hydrophobic Regions: Oleosins and Caleosin from Seed Lipid Bodies Article de journal

Y Gohon; J D Vindigni; A Pallier; F Wien; H Celia; A Giuliani; C Tribet; T Chardot; P Briozzo

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes, 1808 , p. 706-716, 2011.

Miniemulsion Polymerization Templates: A Systematic Comparison between Low Energy Emulsification (Near-PIT) and Ultrasound Emulsification Methods Article de journal

J Galindo-Alvarez; D Boyd; P Marchal; C Tribet; P Perrin; E Marie-Begue; A Durand; V Sadtler

Colloids and Surfaces a-Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 374 , p. 134-141, 2011, ISSN: 0927-7757.

Photoinduced pH drops in water Article de journal

M Emond; J Sun; J Grégoire; S Maurin; C Tribet; L Jullien

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 13 (14), p. 6493–6499, 2011.

Photoresponse of Complexes between Surfactants and Azobenzene-Modified Polymers Accounting for the Random Distribution of Hydrophobic Side Groups Article de journal

J Ruchmann; S C Sebai; C Tribet

Macromolecules, 44 , p. 604-611, 2011, ISSN: 0024-9297.

Pumping-out Photo-Surfactants from an Air-Water Interface Using Light Article de journal

E Chevallier; A Mamane; H A Stone; C Tribet; F Lequeux; C Monteux

Soft Matter, 7 , p. 7866-7874, 2011, ISSN: 1744-683X.


Light-Responsiveness of C12E6/Polymer Complexes Swollen with Dodecane Article de journal

E Rotureau; C Tribet; S Fouilloux; P Marchal; V Sadtler; E Marie-Begue; A Durand; P Perrin

Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 114 , p. 13294-13303, 2010, ISSN: 1520-6106.

Permeabilization of Lipid Membranes and Cells by a Light-Responsive Copolymer Article de journal

Sarra Sebai; Sophie Cribier; Ali Karimi; Dominique Massotte; Christophe Tribet

Langmuir, 26 , p. 14135-14141, 2010.

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