Statistical and Biological Physics

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Estelle Berthier

Estelle Berthier, Ph.D.

Former Marie Curie Individual Fellow


The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional fibrous network of macromolecules that provides a scaffold for cells and maintains the integrity of tissues. Cells robustly measure and respond to the mechanical properties of their surrounding ECM. However, the fibrous networks that form this cellular substrate are structurally highly heterogeneous and their intricate mechanical response exhibits dramatic nonlinear stiffening, even for modest deformations. The strategy cells employ to robustly perform mechanosensation by obtaining reliable mechanical information in such a disordered matrix remains unknown. This project aims to establish a theoretical framework to obtain fundamental understanding on how cells mechanically interact with their surrounding environment. We use biophysical experiments to develop and calibrate a computational model to simulate and quantitatively assess cell behavior and further advance knowledge on cell and tissue function.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 891217.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 06.2020-present: Postdoc in the group of Chase Broedersz. Marie Curie Individual Fellowship – project CellMechSensE program H2020-EU.1.3.2., GA 891217.
  • 09.2017-12.2019: Postdoc in the group of Karen Daniels, Physics Department, NCSU (USA). Study of the Mechanical Failure of Disordered Networks.
  • 10.2012-12.2015: Ph.D student in the group of Laurent Ponson, Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert, UPMC (France). Study of the “Quasi-brittle failure of heterogeneous materials: damage statistics and localization”.
  • 2009–2012: M.Sc.Eng. Materials sciences, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) Lyon (France). Erasmus Program in 2010-2011 at Denmark Technical University (DTU), Denmark.
  • 2011–2012: M.Sc. Materials sciences, Research Master in Innovative Materials, INSA Lyon (France)
  • 2007-2009: B.Sc.Eng., INSA Rouen (France)




  • Damage spreading in quasi-brittle disordered solids: II. What the statistics of precursors teach us about compressive failure

    Estelle Berthier Ashwij Mayya Laurent Ponson [arXiv: 2107.14763]


  • Procédé et dispositif d'analyse d'une structure

    Ashwij Mayya Estelle Berthier Laurent Ponson