Characterisation of molecular interactions occurring at membranes

  • Biomolecular interactions
  • In-vivo pharmacology
  • Systems Biology



The team “Spectroscopy and Imaging of Membrane Active Peptides” is integrated in the CBMN “Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nano-objects” and has a great expertise in the characterisation of molecular interactions, especially those occurring at the lipid membrane level. For such studies, state of the art vibrational spectroscopy and imaging techniques (Raman, IR and ellipsometry) are used along with plasmon-waveguide resonance, a unique technique in Europe (non-commercial) developped in the laboratory.

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Our state of the art technology allows for the characterisation of molecular interactions, especially those occurring at the lipid membrane level (receptor/ligand; protein/lipid, etc) in terms of:
  • kinetics (down to msec) and affinity (pM to mM);
  • secondary structure, conformational changes and orientation of the molecules.

Infrastructure and equipment

Vibrational spectroscopy and imaging (Raman and IR), ellipsometry and plasmon waveguide resonance


  1. 1. E. Harte, N. Maalouli, A. Shalabney, E. Texier, K. Berthelot, S. Lecomte and I. D. Alves (2014) Probing the kinetics of lipid membrane formation and the interaction of a nontoxic and a toxic amyloid with plasmon waveguide resonance. Chem. Comm. 50, 4168 – 4171.
  2. Alves ID, Carré M, Montero M-P, Castano S, Lecomte S, Marquant R, Lecorché P, Burlina F, Schatz C, Sagan S, Chassaing G, Braguer D, Lavielle S. (2014) A proapoptotic peptide conjugated to penetratin selectively inhibits tumor cell growth. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1838, 2087-98.
  3. Jobin ML, Bonnafous P, Temsamani H, Dole F, Grélard A, Dufourc EJ, Alves ID (2013) The enhanced membrane interaction and perturbation of a cell penetrating peptide in the presence of anionic lipids: Toward an understanding of its selectivity for cancer cells. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1828, 1457-1470.
  4. Jobin, M-L., Alves, ID. (2014) On the importance of electrostatic interactions between cell penetrating peptides and membranes: A pathway toward tumor cell selectivity? Biochimie, S0300-9084(14)00213-2.
  5. Henry S, Vignaud H, Bobo C, Decossas M, Lambert O, Harte E, Alves ID, Cullin C, Lecomte S. (2015) Interaction of Aβ1-42 amyloids with lipids promotes "off-pathway" oligomerization and membrane damage. Biomacromolecules. 16, 944-50.


  • University of Erlangen and Max Planck Institute of Light, Germany
  • University of Marseille; UMR S 911 INSERM
  • University of Kasetsart, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Phamaceutical society Biocodex; Gentilly, France
  • SANOFI Pasteur society