• Pr Geneviève ROUGON (DRCE émérite CNRS)
  • C. MEUNIER (IE CDI Eurobio)
  • Marie Claude AMOUREUX (CDI Eurobio)
  • Clément RICARD (IR CDD AP-HM, Cancéropole)
  • Alexandre JAOUEN (IE CNRS ANR puis bourse CIFRE)
  • Charles-Vivien OLIVIERI (stagiaire ingénieur)


  • Labs : basement and 1st floor (Level 0 and +1)
  • Office : Tertiary Deptt (Level +1)
  • Contact us


The team is studying cell-cell interactions in the normal and diseased nervous system. The ultimate goal is to understand these cellular dynamics and then use this acquired knowledge to possibly treat pathological conditions. During the last five years, the team has devoted its efforts to set up two in vivo imaging modalities with two scales of spatial resolution, X-ray micro computed tomography (CT) and 2-photon (2P) microscopy. So far, by combining the use of transgenic multicolor fluorescent mice with chronic in vivo 2P imaging techniques the team has described over time and space the interplay between neural cells and angiogenesis in the context of glioblastoma (GBM) and spinal cord injury (SCI). The team is presently studying the dynamics of neuronal/vascular/inflammatory responses in SCI and GBM. VEGF is upregulated in these pathologies and can act on several cellular targets in addition to its angiogenic action. VEGF-dependent events and their time window are clarified using gain and loss of function approaches in view to help optimizing VEGF based treatment protocols.

In collaboration with the XGam team (CPPM) a high resolution computed tomography (micro-CT) system PIXSCAN based on a new generation of detectors called Hybrid Pixel Detectors (HPS), has been developed and validated. The team ongoing project is to implement a multicolor CT scanner to obtain complementary information (mainly all body information) on the same animals previously imaged with the 2P microscope at a local scale.


CT imaging of a mouse bearing a GFP-expressing GBM implanted in cortex

Fluorescent macroscope imaging of a mouse bearing a GFP-expressing GBM implanted in cortex

2P imaging of a mouse bearing a GFP-expressing GBM implanted in cortex

Biphoton microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy with infrared LASER scanning in straight configuration above a micrometric motorized deck, capable of receiving a stereotaxy device for rodents under the objective. A thermostated surrounding wall at 34°C surrounds the motorized deck. The femtosecond pulsed infrared LASER comes with several watts and is compatible with the 700-1020nm range to allow an optimal excitement of a broad selection of fluorophores. The adjustable intensity (1% precision) between 0 and 100 % allows the imaging on >700µm depth in vivo in the brain. The objectives for IR until 1020nm have a digital opening superior to 0.8 and magnify sufficiently to obtain a submicrometric definition of the image on a field >400µm. The detection system of the very sensitive fluorescence allows to acquire simultaneously several colors to follow the dynamics of the interactions between several populations of cells on alive animals.


1. Ricard, C., Stanchi, F., Rougon, G., Debarbieux, F. An Orthotopic Glioblastoma Mouse Model Maintaining Brain Parenchymal Physical Constraints and Suitable for Intravital Two-photon Microscopy. J. Vis. Exp. (), e51108, doi:10.3791/51108 (2014). Jove Video

2. Ricard C, Stanchi F, Weber P, Rougon G, Debarbieux F. An Orthotopic Glioblastoma Mouse Model Maintaining Brain Parenchymal Physical Constraints and Suitable for Intravital Two-photon Microscopy J Vis Exp. 2014 (in press)

3. Ricard C, Debarbieux FC. Six-color intravital two-photon imaging of brain tumors and their dynamic microenvironment. Front Cell Neurosci. 2014 Feb 24;8:57. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00057.

4. Fenrich KK, Weber P, Rougon G, Debarbieux F.Implanting glass spinal cord windows in adult mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Vis Exp. 2013 Dec 21;(82):e50826. doi: 10.3791/50826
.5. Ricard C, Stanchi F, Rodriguez T, Amoureux MC, Rougon G, Debarbieux F. Dynamic Quantitative Intravital Imaging of Glioblastoma Progression Reveals a Lack of Correlation between Tumor Growth and Blood Vessel Density. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 12;8(9):e72655

6 . Fenrich KK, Weber P, Rougon G, Debarbieux F. (2013) Long and short term intravital imaging reveals differential spatiotemporal recruitment and function of myeloid cells after spinal cord injury J Physiol.; 2013 Sep 9.

7. Fenrich KK, Weber P, Hocine M, Zalc M, Rougon G, Debarbieux F. (2012) Long‐term in vivo imaging of normal and pathological mouse spinal cord with subcellular resolution using implanted glass windows. J Physiol.; 590:3665-­‐75.

  • Christian MOREL (Co-responsable secteur)
  • Thomas FABIANI
  • ITA en mécanique/mécatronique

The technological department is dedicated to assembling and setting up innovative imaging systems.

This department is a technical lab dealing with integration and validation of complex prototypes. This lab comes with a 180 sqm assembly hall, adjacent to a 80 sqm mechanic workshop. The 77 sqm clinical experiment room allows to accommodate for clinical purpose in one and same place, the prototypes assembled beforehand in the hall. Underground, a second 50 sqm experiment room part of the SPF zone of the preclinical department allows the implementation of prototypes for preclinical imaging. These devices are completed by:

  • una workshop for electronics (48 sqm),
  • un a workshop for optics(38 sqm),
  • une a grey room (30 sqm),
  • une a CAD room (20 sqm),
  • une a server room (30 sqm).

The technological department is placed under the responsibility of the CPPM (Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille) technical services, for mechanics, eclectronics, and computing.


Assembly Hall

The assembly hall is subdivided into a zone of delivery, a zone of storage and a zone of assembly. The hall of assembly is also accessible by a large gate allowing the entrance of a 19-ton truck in the zone of delivery. A zone of storage equipped with a mezzanine is next to the zone of delivery. The zone of assembly can itself be subdivided into 6 workspaces linked individually with the various networks (electricity, gas and IT) and being able to be separated by removable protective walls of concrete. The whole assembly hall comes with a 5-ton charge crane.

Workshop for mechanics

The workshop for mechanics allows to bring a logistic support to the teams working on the assembly and validation of the prototypes. It is equipped with diverse machines and tools, of a metrology cabin and a mezzanine for storage.

Workshop for electronics

The workshop for electronics allows testing and assembly of electronic boards. It includes two electronics engineer’s workbenches equipped with the necessary furnitures for setting up electronic boards (oscilloscope, logical analyzer, multimeasure, etc.).

Workshop for optics

The workshop for optics is a room without window, with darkening airlock, endowed with a double normal and inactinic lighting. It is equipped with an optical table and elements of optics (lasers, objects carrier, lenses, diaphragms, etc.) necessary for the realization of bench tests in optics.

Grey room

The grey room is in overpressure, endowed with an airlock for entrance allowing to guarantee one degree of cleanliness of the air equivalent to 30 000 particles/m3, enabling the assembly of devices requiring strict cleanliness conditions (integrated circuits, twinkling modules, etc.). It includes a laminar flow cell.

CAD room

The CAD room allows to accommodate up to four workstations for the design of mechanical plans and electronic boards.

Server room

The server room, endowed with ventilated cupboards and invertersupplies arranged on a false floor, enables the accomodation of digital systems (calculation farms, CPU/GPU cluster, storage bays, etc.) and routers necessary for the smooth running of the building and all its activities.

Mecatronic tomXgam bench

Besides, the experiment room of the Preclinical Department will be equipped with the tomXgam mecatronics bench developed in the CPPM. Established with two rotators on a common translation rail and fed by slip rings, tomXgam will host prototypes of detection and/or irradiation to allow the acquisition of tomographic data on spiral trajectories around a retractable animal support. Rotators can be either enslaved or operated independently and will be accompanied with a mobile specific equipment allowing to disengage them and to handle them in the hall of assembly.


The technological sector will support the experiments approved by the CERIMED commitee on proposal of the Scientific Orientation Council of CERIMED, up to the number of ETP awarded by the projects partners to the Technological department (mechanics, electronics, computing) for the fulfillment of this service.