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A chair on metabolic syndrome

Aca­de­mic chair DOT : Dis­rup­tive Orga­noids Tech­no­lo­gies – advan­ced orga­noids engi­nee­ring stra­te­gy against meta­bo­lic syndrome.

Cher­cheur res­pon­sable de la chaire :
Cecile Legal­lais, direc­trice de recherche CNRS
Labo­ra­toire bio­mé­ca­nique et bio inge­nie­rie, BMBI UTC-CNRS UMR 7338

Par­te­naires : Labo­ra­to­ry of organ bio­sys­tem – Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo; Labo­ra­to­ry of Micro Mecha­tro­nic Sys­tems, LIMMS CNRS/Institute of Indus­trial Science


Meta­bo­lic Syn­drome (MSy) has a pre­va­lence up to 36% in Euro­pean coun­tries. MSy is a com­plex disor­der invol­ving seve­ral tis­sues and organs in inter­ac­tion resul­ting in dia­betes (patients with MSy are 5 times more like­ly to deve­lop type 2 dia­betes), obe­si­ty, non-alco­ho­lic fat­ty liver disor­der (NAFLD has a pre­va­lence bet­ween 50% to 90% in obese patients and in 30% to 74% in MSy patients), car­diac fai­lure (up to 49%), blindness… 

The lack of rele­vant moni­to­ring in patients and of human phy­sio­pa­tho­lo­gi­cal models led to bot­tle­necks in risk eva­lua­tions, diag­no­sis, drug scree­ning and thus to the defi­ni­tion of unmet needs from com­pa­nies (phar­ma, food, …) and clinicians.

The pro­gram of the Chair is posi­tio­ned at the fron­tiers of bioen­gi­nee­ring, advan­ced stem cell bio­lo­gy, bio­sen­sors and diag­nos­tics tech­no­lo­gy to address this impor­tant health care and socie­tal chal­lenge: the meta­bo­lic syn­drome diag­no­sis and the­ra­py using inno­va­tions with orga­noids’ tech­no­lo­gies.

In the last 5 years, the UTC, CNRS and UTo­kyo col­leagues have been at the fore­front of lea­ding contri­bu­tions in the deve­lop­ment of:

  • bio­ar­ti­fi­cial organs inclu­ding liver, pan­creas for patients’ life support;
  • new pro­to­col to bio-construct advan­ced orga­noids;
  • stem cell-deri­ved liver and pan­crea­tic tis­sues;
  • MSy disease-mode­ling tools;
  • micro- and nano- tech­no­lo­gies in tis­sue engineering;
  • bio­sen­sors for diag­nos­tics and moni­to­ring.

Our French Japa­nese net­work is now invol­ved in new expe­ri­men­tal chal­lenges which require sub­stan­tial tech­no­lo­gi­cal advan­ce­ments for the desi­gn and fabri­ca­tion of mature inno­va­tions able to tackle the appli­ca­tive fields.

Capi­ta­li­zing the com­ple­men­ta­ry exper­tise of the Uni­ver­si­té de Tech­no­lo­gie de Com­piegne, CNRS and of our part­ners loca­ted at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo, DOT pro­ject aims to trig­ger inno­va­tion and research up to the inter­sec­to­ral exchanges. We will deve­lop our efforts in dedi­ca­ted actions to share our know­ledge and ideas from research to cli­nic and to the mar­ket solu­tions. The addres­sed scien­ti­fic topics will concern:

  • (WP1) « New bioen­gi­nee­red orga­noids for the­ra­peu­tic solu­tions for MSy »;
  • (WP2) Advan­ced organ on chip-based models for MSy stu­dies and drug screening.

The scien­ti­fic work packages will be com­bi­ned to one dea­ling with trans­fer and valo­ri­za­tion (WP4) and one regar­ding trai­ning, edu­ca­tion and mobi­li­ty (WP3) based on the signed MOUs bet­ween the UTC and the gra­duate school of Engi­nee­ring and the ins­ti­tute of indus­trial science of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo. The ove­rall pro­ject, will be also achie­ved in col­la­bo­ra­tion with LIMMS and its long term col­la­bo­ra­tion of CNRS and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo.

Research and teaching actions


The WP1 will iden­ti­fy the best bio­hy­brid com­bi­na­tion of orga­noids using human cell can­di­dates and bio­ma­te­rials for encap­su­la­tion, and pro­pose (i) implan­table orga­noids and (ii) inno­va­tive bio­ar­ti­fi­cial organ the­ra­py that ope­rates out­side the body to sup­port patients in acute organ fai­lure as an alter­na­tive to trans­plan­ta­tion or as a bridge to organ trans­plan­ta­tion in a sta­bi­li­zed patient.

In WP2, we will deve­lop orga­noids based on organ-on-chip tech­no­lo­gy to bet­ter unders­tand the mecha­nisms invol­ved in dif­ferent aetio­lo­gies evol­ving towards Meta­bo­lic Syn­drome. This will contri­bute to the deve­lop­ment of diag­no­sis and scree­ning tools for effi­cient and accu­rate sta­ging of the disease, invol­ving organ to organ inter­ac­tions. They will then be used to eva­luate the effects of new drug can­di­dates. With our research net­work of experts in dif­ferent fields, we thus expect to move a step clo­ser towards unders­tan­ding, diag­nos­tics and the­ra­pies of meta­bo­lic syndrome.


The objec­tive here are to train stu­dents from UTC and abroad, and espe­cial­ly from the Ins­ti­tute of Indus­trial Sciences (IIS) and from the Gra­du­sate School of Engi­nee­ring (GSE) of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo.  The joint semi­nars and schools include the events to be held at Tokyo and at Compiegne.

More spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, a Win­ter­School is pro­po­sed eve­ry year at UTC on Bio­ar­ti­fi­cial Organs, Sen­sors and Micro and Nano Sys­tems, Bio­chips, Organoids’technology. It com­bines Ple­na­ry Lec­tures from French and Japa­nese Pro­fes­sors, Hand-ons in BMBI Lab and a pro­ject about the desi­gn of an inno­va­tive organ on chip. At UTC, it is open as “API”.  

Lec­tures by experts from U Tokyo are also orga­ni­zed in the fra­me­work of UTC major courses such as Bio­com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty, Arti­fi­cial Organs or Inno­va­tions in Bio­me­di­cal Engineering.

Final­ly, UTC stu­dents are wel­come for inter­n­ship in the IIS and GSE labs to par­ti­ci­pate to research pro­jects, in the fra­me­work of both signed MOU, in link with the inter­na­tio­nal direc­tion of UTC (DRI) and the one of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo.


This ambi­tious pro­ject is fun­ded by UTC, and will bene­fit from addi­tio­nal finan­cial sup­ports (ANR MIM­li­ver on chip;  JSPS Grant in aid‑B, liver fibro­sis; LIMMS inter­nal pro­ject; JSPS C2C Jetme, …)

Cur­rent­ly, UTC sup­ports consist in:

  • 2  PhD co-funds (1 alrea­dy co-finan­ced by Region Hauts de France, wor­king on WP1);
  • Run­ning costs for PhD stu­dents invol­ved in the program;
  • Tra­vel bud­get to orga­nize Semi­nars and WinterSchools;
  • Posi­tion as Invi­ted Pro­fes­sors for Prof. Sakai and Prof. Minami.

Two PhDs (CNRS/U Tokyo) has alrea­dy been allo­ca­ted to sup­port the col­la­bo­ra­tion, and will start in Oct. 2023.

Contacts de la recherche à l'UTC

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