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Digital biology of RNA - M. Ryckelynck

Research activities

The research activities of the team “Digital Biology of RNA” are focused on characterizing the implication of RNA in gene expression and its regulation, both at cellular and molecular levels, and at a single cell or single molecule resolution. Our experimental approaches rely mainly on the use of droplet-based microfluidics, a technology that allows to perform a large number of chemical and biological reactions in parallel and in volumes as small as a few picoliters. The miniaturization is achieved by swapping conventional microtubes for water-in-oil droplets acting as reaction vessels. Several thousands of such droplets can be produced per second by dispersing the aqueous reaction mixture into a carrier oil phase. Moreover, droplets content can be modified on demand in a well-controlled manner and the droplets can be incubated and sorted on the basis of their content.

Droplet production in a microfluidic chip. Small 2 pL droplets are produced at a rate of 10,000 droplets per second by dispersing an aqueous phase (coming from the left channel) into an oil phase (coming from the top and bottom channels).

With these microfluidic platforms and other cutting-edge technologies (e.g. mass spectrometry, fluorescence imaging…) we:

  • Develop new RNAs by in vitro evolution
  • Decipher complex molecular mechanisms
  • Image RNA and protein in living cells
  • Study the role of RNA modifications

Our lab is always happy to welcome curious and highly motivated students interested in working in a multidiscipline environment and with skills in cell & molecular biology, biochemistry, chemical biology, physics or computer science. If you want to join the group, please send application to M. Ryckelynck.

Our work is supported by:

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