Team IP3D

« Innovation for the study of tumor cell Proliferation in 3D »

IP3DResponsablePhoto     Valérie LOBJOIS & Bernard DUCOMMUN

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Scientific objective

Therapeutic options for cancer have considerably improved over the last decades thanks to a better understanding of cancer cell biology and to the development of 3D tumor models that integrate essential parameters such as cellular heterogeneity, cell-cell and cell-microenvironment interactions. The aim of our work is to study the mechanisms that control and regulate proliferation dynamics in relation with the organization in 3D of a tumor cell population. We focus on: (i) the regulation of the aggregation of tumor cells to form 3D clusters, (ii) the regulation of the dynamics of proliferation of tumor microdomains in 3D. We investigate how these processes are controlled by the microenvironment, the cell cycle regulation, and the intercellular dialogue. Our work relies on genetically engineered cells expressing fluorescent reporters and biomarkers that are accessible to innovative microscopy strategies both on live or fixed samples and on the development of in vitro assays. These innovations are implemented to explore the dynamics of the response to anticancer drugs and to develop innovative models for the pharmacological evaluation of new therapeutic agents.





Team Members

Bernard DUCOMMUN (PUPH), Valérie LOBJOIS (MCU), Odile MONDESERT (IE), Aurélie GOMES (PhD student CIFRE), Ludivine GUILLAUME (PhD student), Fabien GAVA (PhD student), Lise RIGAL (IE CDD), En cours de recrutement (PhD student).


Expected outcome

We expect this work will open various perspectives, particularly in the use of the MCTS and associated technologies developed in this project for the assessment of therapeutic efficacy and for the design of pharmacological applications.


Cancer Biology, Cell cycle, Proliferation, Spheroid, Cancer cells aggregation

Cooperations, partnerships and valorisation

  • Collaboration with IMACTIV-3D (Centre Pierre Potier)
  • Collaboration VORTEX team (Institut de Recherche en Informa-tique de Toulouse) and ONKO3D team (ITAV)
  • Katia GRENIER (LAAS, Toulouse) – Project funded by ANR-DGA
  • Gladys Mirey (INRA, Toulouse) – Project funded by ANR
  • Toulouse Tech Transfer (SATT Toulouse-Midi-Pyrénées)


logo-incaanrPlan cancer 2014/2019logo ligue








Jardet Claire, Lobjois Valérie, Kurdykowshi Sandrine, Ducommun Bernard et Descargues Pascal

10/02/2015 sous le N° FR 15/00262.

Publié le 18-08-2016 sous le n° WO2016128135



M. Norlund, V. Lobjois, P. Bedos, B. Ducommun

30/10/2014 sous le N° FR 1460467.

Publié le 6 mai 2016 sous le n°WO2016067240


Recent publications

  • Gomes, A., Defaux, M., Michel Lemee, R., Lobjois, V. and Ducommun, B.
    Reversible growth arrest of spheroids stored in oxygen absorber-induced anoxia  (soumis)
  • Leroy-Lerêtre, M., Dimarco, G., Cazales, M., Boizeau, ML., Ducommun, B., Lobjois, V. and Degond, P.
    Are tumor cell lineages solely shaped by mechanical forces? Bulletin of Mathematical Biology (en révision)
  • Pinkerton, N., Frongia, C., Lobjois, V., Wilson, BK., Bruzek, MJ., Prud’Homme, RK., Anthony, J., Bolzed, F. and Chassaing, S.
    Red-emitting, EtTP-5-based organic nanoprobes for two-photon imaging in 3D multicellular biological models - RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 65770–65774
  • Gomes, A., Russo, A., Vidal, G., Demange, E., Pannetier, P., Souguir, Z., Lagarde, J-M., Ducommun, B. and Lobjois, V.
    Evaluation by quantitative image analysis of anticancer drug activity on multicellular spheroids grown in 3D matrix. Oncol Lett 12: 4371-4376, 2016  DOI: 10.3892/ol.2016.5221
    Gomes, A., Guillaume, L., Grimes DR., Fehrenbach, J., Ducommun, B. and Lobjois, V.
  • Oxygen partial pressure is a rate-limiting parameter for cell proliferation in 3D spheroids grown in physioxic culture condition
    Plos One (2016) - 11 (8): e0161239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161239
  • Jullien, D., Vignard, J.,  Fedor, Y., Olichon, A., Favier, J., Crozatier, M. Salles, B., Ducommun, B., Mirey, G.
    Nanobody-based universal histone binding domains that associate with chromatin in living cells. J Cell Sci. 2016 Jul 1;129(13):2673-83. doi: 10.1242/jcs.183103.
  • Judée F., Frongia, C., Ducommun, B., Yousfi, M., Lobjois, V. and Merbahi, N.
    Short and long time effects of low temperature Plasma Activated Media on 3D multicellular tumor spheroids. Sci Rep. (2016) Feb 22;6:21421. doi: 10.1038/srep21421
  • Masson A., Escande, P., Frongia, C., Clouvel, G., Ducommun, B and Lorenzo, C.
    High-resolution in-depth imaging of optically cleared thick samples using an adaptive SPIM. Scientific Reports (2015) doi:10.1038/srep16898
  • Saias, L., Gomes, A., Cazales, M., Ducommun, B. and Lobjois, V.
    Cell–cell adhesion and cytoskeleton tension are key but opposing regulators of tumor cell aggregation. Cancer Research (2015) 75(12); 1–8
  • Aoun, L., Weiss, P., Laborde, A., Ducommun, B., Lobjois, V.* and Vieu, C*.
    Microdevice arrays of high aspect ratio Poly(DiMethylSiloxane) pillars for the investigation of multicellular tumour spheroid mechanical properties. Lab on a chip (2014) 7;14(13):2344-53* Co-corresponding authors
  • Mondesert, O., Frongia, C., Clayton, O., Boizeau, ML., Ducommun, B. and Lobjois, V.
    Monitoring the activation of the DNA damage response pathway in a 3D spheroid model. Plos One 2015 Jul 30;10(7):e0134411. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134411
  • Jeandupeux, E., Lobjois, V. and Ducommun, B.
    3D print customized sample holders for live light sheet microscopy. BBRC (2015) 463: 1141-1143 - 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.06.072
  • Le Corre G., Weiss P., Ducommun B. and Lorenzo C.
    Optical Signature of Multi Cellular Tumor Spheroid using index- mismatch- induced spherical aberrations. Journal of Biomedical Optics SPIE (2014) 8941-36
  • Zhang, W., Fehrenbach, J ., Desmaison, A., Lobjois, A., Ducommun, B. and Weiss, P.
    Structure tensor based analysis of cells and nuclei organization in tissues. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Plewa, J-M. Yousfi, M., Frongia, C., Eichwald, O., Ducommun, B., Merbahi, N. and Lobjois, V.
    Low temperature plasma-induced antiproliferative effects on multi-cellular tumor spheroids. New Journal of Physics (2014) 16 043027 doi:10.1088/1367-2630/16/4/043027
  • Desmaison, A., Grenier, K., Ducommun, B and Lobjois, V.
    Mechanical stress impairs mitosis progression in multi-cellular tumor spheroid. PLOS One (2013 – PLOS One (2013) 8(12):e80447
  • Laurent, J., Frongia, C., Cazales, M., Mondésert, O., Ducommun, B. and Lobjois, V.
    Multicellular tumor spheroid models to explore cell cycle checkpoints in 3D. MBC Cancer (2013) 8;13:73
  • Jorand, R., Le Corre, G., Andilla, J., Maandhui, A., Frongia, C., Lobjois, V., Ducommun, B. and Lorenzo, C.
    Deep and clear optical imaging of thick inhomogeneous samples. PLOS One (2012) 7(4):e35795