PHENIX directory

PHENIX directory

Emilie Secret

CR, chargé de recherche

Phone: 0144274309

Email :

Office : Barre 32-42, 3ème étage, bureau 312

CNRS researcher, CID 54 (experimental methods, concepts and instrumentation in matter sciences and in engineering for the living), section 11 (Soft matter: synthesis, development, assemblies, structure, properties, functions).

ORCID ID : 0000-0003-2200-7265

Google Scholar: Emilie Secret

Research thematics:

  • Magnetic nanomaterials for cellular engineering
  • Nano and micromaterials for biomedical applications
  • Synthesis of magnetic nano and micromaterials

My research revolves around the use of chemically, physically or biochemically activatable nanomaterials, for biomedical applications. In particular, since my recruitment as a CNRS researcher at the PHENIX lab, I study the use of magnetic nanoparticles in cellular engineering. These studies are based on the use of functional magnetic nanoparticles to control cellular processes with different modalities of magnetic fields.

Up until recently, studies using synthetic magnetic nanoparticles to activate cellular processes by interacting with different kind of receptors, organelles or proteins, were only dealing with extracellular interactions. Yet, numerous targets are located inside the cell, and cannot be reached by the magnetic nanoparticles used. Indeed, when nanoparticles enter cells, they are internalized by an endocytosis pathway, and hence are blocked inside endosomes, from where they cannot escape, which limits their intracellular use. The only current exceptions are by micro-injecting the nanoparticles direclty inside the cells, as was performed in the Magneuron project. However, micro-injection is tedious for the operator, can hardly be parallelized, and is stressful for the cell. It also can only be performed in vitro, and cannot be used on any cellular type.

In this context, I try to develop new tools that will allow an efficient control of intracellular processes. They revolve around differents research axes:

  • Synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles that are colloidally stable in complex medium
  • Strategies to limit the endosomal entrapment of magnetic nanoparticles during the cellular internalization, based on original functionalization, or different morphologies
  • Local magnetic hyperthermia
  • Neuronal cells differentiation

On-going projects :

  • ANR JCJC IPALoWa (project leader, in collaboration with Fabienne Burlina from LBM, Christine Ménager and Jean-Michel Siaugue from PHENIX)
  • ANR DIMELEC (with Jean Gamby au C2N (project leader), in collaboration with Jean-Michel Siaugue and Vincent Dupuis at PHENIX)
  • ANR 2D-ME (with Thanh Duc Mai à l’institut Galien (project leader), in collaboration with Jean-Michel Siaugue at PHENIX)
  • Projet EPSRC : Development of magnetic force biotechnology to facilitate neural regeneration (with Neil Telling à Keele University project leader), in collaboration with Jérôme Fresnais at PHENIX)


Collaborations :

  • PhD students: Mélody Perret (2021-2024), Sirine El Mousli (2019-2022, thesis director J.M. Siaugue), Mathilde Le Jeune (2018-2021, thesis directors C. Ménager et F. Burlina)
  • PHENIX : Christine Ménager, Jean-Michel Siaugue, Jérôme Fresnais, Vincent Dupuis, Aude Michel, Pierre Levitz
  • Laboratoire des biomolécules (LBM) : Fabienne Burlina, Françoise Illien
  • Keele University : Neil Telling, Monte Gates
  • University of Florida: Jennifer Andrew
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum : Rolf Heumann