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In vivo studies of biomineralization by non-linear coherent Raman optical microscopy

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Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 5 juillet 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR7249-JULDUB-001
Workplace : MARSEILLE 13
Date of publication : Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Duboisset Julien
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Biomineralization integrates complex biological, chemical, and physical processes to control the formation of mineralized tissues in living organisms. Deciphering these mechanisms, which escape models of classical crystallization, is fundamental to understanding how organically mediated crystallisation allows animals to produce materials that are in principle unexpected. The results of the thesis could make it possible to enrich the global carbon cycle models or to propose new strategies for the manufacture of innovative materials. The challenge posed by the understanding of biomineralization is related to the existence of intermediate states, which can only be captured with the development of in vivo strategies. This is what we propose here, using a particularly powerful optical approach, able to simultaneously probe spectral and structural properties, and which will be applied for the first time to a series of calcifying organisms such as corals or bivalves (e.g. the Tahitian pearl oyster). Coherent Raman microscopy (CR) will be used to image amorphous (precursor phase) and crystalline (final phase) carbonate during shell mineralization. CR contrast is a 4-wave mixing process resonant at the molecular level, which allows specific chemical imaging. Monitoring the transformation of amorphous carbonate to crystalline carbonate will require a novel CR imaging strategy based on the spectral modulation of the lasers involved.

Work Context

The thesis will take place at the Fresnel Institute, on the Saint Jérôme campus. The student will join the Mosaic team, in collaboration with the Comix team, the IFREMER group in Montpellier and the Monaco Scientific Center. During the thesis, the student will have to develop the experimental coherent Raman microscopy experimental device adapted to the constraints of in vivo observation. Live animals will be received in the laboratory and raised in the aquarium at the Institute. The objective of the thesis is to develop the protocol allowing the in vivo imaging of the calcifying tissue of the living animals, to conduct the first in vivo biomineralization experiments and to compare the observations with the literature in order to propose an interpretation of the results.

For this thesis, strong optical and experimental skills are expected. The successful student will be integrated into a multidisciplinary working group, recognized at the international level as leader of its field. He/she will therefore need to be able to work in a team and to show a good spirit of curiosity in order to benefit fully from the working environment.

Additional Information


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