Clair Poignard
Inria Research Scientist (PhD, Habil.)


Research Team MONC
Institut de Mathématiques de Bordeaux (CNRS UMR 5251)
351 Cours de la Libération
33405 Talence, France
Phone: (+33) 05-4000-2127
Fax: (+33) 05-4000-2117


University of Bordeaux
Institute of Mathematics of Bordeaux (CNRS UMR 5251)


Inria Research Team MONC
Associate Team Num4SEP

On-going projects

Electroporation-based therapies (EPT) consist in applying high voltage short pulses to cells (typically several hundred volts per centimeter during about one hundred microseconds) in order to create defects in the plasma membrane. They provide interesting alternatives to standard ablative techniques, for instance for deep seated badly located tumors (near vital organs or important vessels).However these non­thermal techniques, which preserve the tissue scaffold and reduce bleeding are still mostly limited to cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors. Such limitation is mainly due to the technical difficulties raised by these therapies for which the a priori determination of the treated zone is trickier than for standard ablative techniques. Moreover, these therapies suffer from the lack of biological knowledge concerning the local relapse and the biological features of the region affected by the electric field.  Even though the rationale of electroporation is quite well quantified at the cell scale, there is a lack of knowledge of tissue electroporation.My current research aims at addressing this challenge.
Here below are the current projects for which I am PI or co-PI.

Inria Associate team Num4SEP (2017-2020)

The associate team Num4SEP (Numerics for Spheroid ElectroPoration) proposes to develop multiscale numerical tools for quantitative in vitro evaluation of EPTs on spheroids using biological data. Gathering the HPC skills of the F. Gibou research group  at UCSB coupled to the expertise in electroporation modeling of the Inria team MONC, the aim is to develop specific and efficient schemes for spheroid electroporation and molecule uptake, in quantitative agreement with the experiments performed by the Insitute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology of Toulouse. C.P is the head of the associate-team, F. Gibou (UCSB) is the co-PI.

Plan Cancer Inserm 11099  (10/2016-09/2019, PC201615)
"Numerics for Clinical Electroporation"

The project NUMEP, composed of computer scientists (Inria MONC), biologists (IPBS) and radiologist (CHU J. Verdier), proposes to provide new insights in understanding biologically and in modeling numerically the effect of electroporation-based therapies on tumors, in order to provide numerical tools enriched by biological knowledge that help the clinical applications of electroporation in cancer treatment. For the sake of coherence we will focus on hepatocarcinoma to the liver. Based on medical image acquisition during the procedure (from C-arm Cone beam CT) we plan to provide accurate numerical tools for real-time simulations of the electric field distribution, which accounts for the exact position of the electrodes. We also plan to predict the different zone affected by the treatment based on new biological knowledge of electroporation­based therapies thanks to designed experiments on spheroids and mice. The long-term goal is to propose a tool that will be incorporated in the medical image processing tools to superimpose the electric field distribution and the affected zones on the image during the treatment procedure. C.P. is the head of the project, M.-P. Rols (IPBS) and O. Séror (CHU J. Verdier) are local coordinators.

Plan Cancer Inserm 9749 (09/15-08/18, PC201515)
"Dynamical modeling of electroporation : from cell to tissue"

The project DYNAMO aims at investigating how electroporation can be effectively modeled, from the scale of cell up to the scale of tissue, and how molecular uptake holds and is enhanced by electric field delivery. To develop a dynamic model of tissue electroporation, two approaches will be followed: one derived from the macroscopic scale (ad hoc tissue model) and the other from the microscopic scale using homogenization techniques. In order to enable accurate elaboration of the models, experiments will be carried out on raw potato tubers, HEK cell aggregates and on mice liver and muscle. The transport of molecules through the tissue is also a bottleneck that will be overcome thanks to a porous medium approach, which will provide qualitative behaviour of the transport in the tissue. The consortium is composed of the bioelectromagnetism lab Ampère at Lyon, the Vectorology and Anticancerous Therapies of the Institute Gustave Roussy and the Inria team MONC. R. Scorretti (Ampère Lab) is the head of the project, L.M. Mir (IGR) and C.P. (Inria Bordeaux) are local PIs.