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. However, most studies are often carried out using classical monolayer cell culture models that do not take into account essential parameters of a 3D organized tumor such as cellular heterogeneity, cell-cell and cell-microenvironment interactions. The aim of our team project is to investigate tumor cell dynamics and proliferation using in vitro microtumor models known as multicellular tumor spheroid 3D (MCTS). We study cell cycle and checkpoint control in response to physical, chemical and microenvironmental cues, and search for 3D specific regulatory mechanisms. Our work strongly relies on original genetically engineered MCTS expressing fluorescent reporters and biomarkers that are accessible to innovative 3D microscopy strategies both on live or fixed samples. These innovations are implemented to explore the dynamics of the response to anticancer drugs and to develop innovative models for pharmacological evaluation of new therapeutic agents.





Team Members

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


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, Multi cellular tumor Spheroid

Cooperations, partnerships and valorisation

  • Collaboration with IMACTIV-3D (Centre Pierre Potier)
  • Collaboration with Genoskin (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
  • Stefan Chassaing (ITAV)
  • Toulouse Tech Transfer (SATT Toulouse-Midi-Pyrénées)


logo-incaanrPlan cancer 2014/2019logo ligue



Recent publications

  • 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