Physics-Biology interface seminar: Anne-Virgine Salsac


11:30 - 12:30

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Fluid structure interaction of a microcapsule in flow: application to the characterization, enrichment and sorting of capsule suspensions

Anne-Virgine Salsac (Université de Technologie de Compiègne)

Encapsulation consists in enclosing an internal medium in a solid semi-permeable membrane to protect it and control the exchanges with the environment. Being at the source of innovative applications in the fields of biotechnologies, pharmacology, or food industry, capsules offer tremendous potential in the process engineering world. But scientific challenges remain to be met, such as finding the optimal compromise between payload and membrane thickness, characterizing the membrane resistance and controlling the moment of rupture.

We will explore the challenges to use deformable liquid-core capsules of micrometric size to efficiently transport active material, with a primary focus on health-related applications. Being used suspended in a carrying fluid in flow, microcapsules constitute a formidable problem of complex fluid-structure interactions. I will briefly present how the three-dimensional capsule-flow interactions may be modeled and how these sophisticated numerical models can dialogue with microfluidic experimentations to produce innovative techniques to characterize the mechanical properties of deformable capsules, sort them upon their rigidity or enrich suspensions.


After graduating from University of California San Diego (USA) in 2005 with a PhD in Biofluids, Anne-Virginie Salsac was recruited as Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of University College London (UK). In 2007, she became Researcher at the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique). She joined the Biomechanics and Bioengineering Laboratory in Compiègne (France), where she conducts original experimental and numerical modeling of blood flows, from the microcirculation to the hemodynamics in large vessels. In particular, she focuses on the behavior of bioartificial or natural capsules in micro-channels and on the influence of innovative vascular therapeutic techniques on blood flow.

She is at the head of the Biological Fluid Structure Interaction research group since 2011, and is Visiting Professor at the Institute of Bioengineering, Queen Mary University of London (England) since 2014. She has been awarded various prices, including the CNRS bronze medal, Trophées des Femmes en Or in 2015 and Medal of the National Order of Merit in 2016, in recognition for her pluridisciplinary work.

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