About the National University of Singapore

About NUSA leading global university centred in Asia, NUS is Singapore's flagship university, offering a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

About the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

About MBIOne of four Research Centres of Excellence at NUS, MBI is working to identify, measure and describe how the forces for motility and morphogenesis are expressed at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.
Virgile Viasnoff 2017-05-23T10:52:41+00:00


Associate Professor, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

+65 6601 1400 ext 11400
09-03-05 T-Lab
National University of Singapore
5A Engineering Drive 1
Singapore 117411

Laboratory website
Biomechanics of Cell-Cell Contacts

Research Program
Technology Innovation for Mechanobiology

Charge de Recherche 1st Class CNRS/ France

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore

Recent Research

Virgile Viasnoff

Principal Investigator

Research Areas

Cell-cell adhesion, microfabrication of controlled environment for cell culture, biophysic of single molecules

Research Interests

Cell-cell adhesion is a fundamental biological process in tissue formation, embryogenesis and cancer development. Our research aims at understanding the physical and biomolecular mechanisms that underlies the formation of cell-cell junction in various conditions. One approach that we have taken is to use model cell systems to understand the dynamics and spatial organization of cadherin during the formation of the junction. We also develop physical approaches to test and measure the influence of mechanical tensions on the structure and dynamics of junction formation.  Another approach is to study specific junction such as bile canaliculi formed between primary hepatocytes . Using microfabricated patterns with 3D protein coating we control the dynamics and position of bile canaliculi formation. Performing specifically developed techniques we image in real time the formation of the secretion tube and study how its formation is affected by physical parameters.

Building on our experience with 3D protein coating in nano and microtextured environment, we are developing a platform for controlled cell culture, high resolution imaging and high through-put screening capabilities.


Virgile Viasnoff was trained as a soft matter physicist at Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris. After one Year at Johns Hopkins (USA) as a master thesis, he joined ESPCI (Paris) where he did his PhD on the microrheology of aging colloidal system. He then spent a 2 year post doc in Harvard where he worked on nanopore technologies to study RNA folding kinetics. In 2006 he was recruited at CNRS at ESPCI in Paris where he now works on single molecule biophysics. In parallel to his activity in Paris, he joined MBI in 2010 as an Associate Prof where he started working on cell-cell junction mechanics and microfabrication of patterned substrate for cell culture. He is now heading a collaborative Research program between MBI and CNRS on cell adhesion.


PhD ESPCI (Paris)

Recent Publications

  1. Gupta K, Li Q, Fan JJ, Fong ELS, Song Z, Mo S, Tang H, Ng IC, Ng CW, Pawijit P, Zhuo S, Dong C, Low BC, Wee A, Dan YY, Kanchanawong P, So P, Viasnoff V, and Yu H. Actomyosin Contractility Drives Bile Regurgitation as an Early Response During Obstructive Cholestasis. J. Hepatol. 2017;. [PMID: 28189756]
  2. Singh AP, Galland R, Finch-Edmondson ML, Grenci G, Sibarita J, Studer V, Viasnoff V, and Saunders TE. 3D Protein Dynamics in the Cell Nucleus. Biophys. J. 2017; 112(1):133-142. [PMID: 28076804]
  3. Ruprecht V, Monzo P, Ravasio A, Yue Z, Makhija E, Strale PO, Gauthier N, Shivashankar GV, Studer V, Albiges-Rizo C, and Viasnoff V. How cells respond to environmental cues - insights from bio-functionalized substrates. J. Cell. Sci. 2016;. [PMID: 27856508]
  4. Li Q, Zhang Y, Pluchon P, Robens J, Herr K, Mercade M, Thiery J, Yu H, and Viasnoff V. Extracellular matrix scaffolding guides lumen elongation by inducing anisotropic intercellular mechanical tension. Nat. Cell Biol. 2016; 18(3):311-8. [PMID: 26878396]
  5. Payet L, Martinho M, Merstorf C, Pastoriza-Gallego M, Pelta J, Viasnoff V, Auvray L, Muthukumar M, and Mathé J. Temperature Effect on Ionic Current and ssDNA Transport through Nanopores. Biophys. J. 2015; 109(8):1600-7. [PMID: 26488651]
  6. Galland R, Grenci G, Aravind A, Viasnoff V, Studer V, and Sibarita J. 3D high- and super-resolution imaging using single-objective SPIM. Nat. Methods 2015; 12(7):641-4. [PMID: 25961414]
  7. Ravasio A, Vaishnavi S, Ladoux B, and Viasnoff V. High-resolution imaging of cellular processes across textured surfaces using an indexed-matched elastomer. Acta Biomater 2014; 14:53-60. [PMID: 25462842]
  8. Herr KJ, Tsang YN, Ong JWE, Li Q, Yap LL, Yu W, Yin H, Bogorad RL, Dahlman JE, Chan YG, Bay BH, Singaraja R, Anderson DG, Koteliansky V, Viasnoff V, and Thiery JP. Loss of α-catenin elicits a cholestatic response and impairs liver regeneration. Sci Rep 2014; 4:6835. [PMID: 25355493]
  9. Auger T, Mathé J, Viasnoff V, Charron G, Di Meglio J, Auvray L, and Montel F. Zero-mode waveguide detection of flow-driven DNA translocation through nanopores. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014; 113(2):028302. [PMID: 25062242]
  10. Engl W, Arasi B, Yap LL, Thiery JP, and Viasnoff V. Actin dynamics modulate mechanosensitive immobilization of E-cadherin at adherens junctions. Nat. Cell Biol. 2014; 16(6):587-94. [PMID: 24859003]

Lab Members

Fu Chaoyu

May 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Fu Chaoyu

PhD Student, Viasnoff Group

Megan Louise Finch-Edmondson

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Research Fellow, Viasnoff Group

Richard De Mets

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Research Fellow, Viasnoff Group

Myint Zu Myaing

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Research Associate, Viasnoff Group

Gao Xumei

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PhD Student, Viasnoff Group

Celine Marie Helene Stoecklin

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PhD Student, Viasnoff Group

Zhang Yue

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PhD Student, Viasnoff Group

Salma Jalal

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PhD Student, Bershadsky Group, Viasnoff Group

Shi Shidong

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PhD Student, Bershadsky Group, Viasnoff Group

Recent Alumni

Andrea Ravasio

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Senior Research Fellow, Viasnoff Group

Dhermendra Kumar Tiwari

Apr 19th, 2017|Comments Off on Dhermendra Kumar Tiwari

Research Fellow, Viasnoff Group