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MARTIN Nicolas

CNRS Researcher
IdEx Bordeaux Junior Chair Fellow

Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal
115 Avenue du Dr. Albert Schweitzer
33600 Pessac (France)
Office : B222
Tel : (+33)-5-56-84-30-20
Mail : nicolas.martin [at] crpp.cnrs.fr
Links : ORCID, ResearchGate, GoogleScholar

Research activities

The spatiotemporal organization of matter and energy fluxes across a broad range of length- and time-scales is one of the most prominent features of life. To try and capture the physicochemical principles that rule this complex organization, we work at the interface of soft matter science, materials chemistry, biophysics and bottom-up synthetic biology to assemble compartmentalized systems that reproduce keys features of living matter.

PNG - 33.7 ko

We are particularly interested in reproducing aspects of dynamic compartmentalization found in living cells. We focus on Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation (LLPS) such as complex coacervation to assemble stimuli-responsive micro-droplets as models of synthetic cells and membraneless organelles. We also harness the diversity and modularity of the compartments to produce populations of artificial cells capable of collective coordination or competition.

Our group is part of the Structure and Dynamics of Soft Matter team within the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CRPP). Our multidisciplinary approach involves collaborations with chemists, physicists and biologists, and we work closely with the Soft Micro Systems group of Prof. Jean-Christophe Baret on microfluidics approaches to study artificial cells.

Career and education


  1. Spontaneous membrane-less multi-compartmentalization via aqueous two-phase separation in complex coacervate micro-droplets
    N G Moreau, N Martin, P Gobbo, TY D Tang, S Mann*
    Chem. Commun., 56, 12717-12720 (2020)
    front cover
  2. Reversible photocontrol of DNA coacervation
    S Lafon, N Martin*
    Methods Enzymol., in press (2020)
    invited chapter
  3. Photo‐switchable phase separation and oligonucleotide trafficking in DNA coacervate micro‐droplets
    N Martin*, L Tian, D Spencer, A Coutable-Pennarun, JLR Anderson, S Mann*
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 58, 14594-14598 (2019)
  4. Dynamic synthetic cells based on liquid‐liquid phase separation
    N Martin*
    ChemBioChem, 20, 2553-2568 (2019)
    invited review, Special issue : Bottom-up Synthetic Biology
  5. Antagonistic chemical coupling in self-reconfigurable host–guest protocells
    N Martin, JP Douliez, Y Qiao, R Booth, M Li, S Mann*
    Nat. Commun., 9, 3652 (2018)
  6. Preparation of swellable hydrogel‐containing colloidosomes from aqueous two‐phase Pickering emulsion droplets
    JP Douliez*, N Martin, T Beneyton, JC Eloi, JP Chapel, L Navailles, JC Baret, S Mann, L Béven
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 57, 7780-7784 (2018)
  7. Catanionic coacervate droplets as a surfactant‐based membrane‐free protocell model
    JP Douliez*, N Martin, C Gaillard, T Beneyton, JC Baret, S Mann, L Beven
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 57, 13689-13693 (2017)
  8. Refolding of aggregation‐prone scFv antibody fragments assisted by hydrophobically modified poly(sodium acrylate) derivatives
    N Martin, N Costa, F Wien, FM Winnik, C Ortega, A Herbet, D Boquet, C Tribet*
    Macromol. Biosci., 17, 1600213 (2017)
    back cover
  9. Light-induced dynamic shaping and self-division of multipodal polyelectrolyte-surfactant microarchitectures via azobenzene photomechanics
    N Martin, KP Sharma, RL Harniman, RM Richardson, RJ Hutchings, D Alibhai, M Li, S Mann*
    Sci. Rep., 7, 41327 (2017)
  10. Spontaneous assembly of chemically encoded two-dimensional coacervate droplet arrays by acoustic wave patterning
    L Tian, N Martin, PG Bassindale, AJ Patil, M Li, A Barnes, BW Drinkwater*, S Mann*
    Nat. Commun., 7, 13068 (2016)
  11. Selective uptake and refolding of globular proteins in coacervate microdroplets
    N Martin, M Li, S Mann*
    Langmuir, 32, 5881-5889 (2016)
  12. Aggregation of antibody drug conjugates at room temperature : SAXS and light scattering evidence for colloidal instability of a specific subpopulation
    B Frka-Petesic, D Zanchi, N Martin, S Carayon, S Huille, C Tribet*
    Langmuir, 32, 4848-4861 (2016)
  13. Prevention of aggregation and renaturation of carbonic anhydrase via weak association with octadecyl- or azobenzene-modified poly(acrylate) derivatives
    N Martin, J Ruchmann, C Tribet*
    Langmuir, 31, 338-349 (2014)
  14. Quantitative characterization by asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation of IgG thermal aggregation with and without polymer protective agents
    D Ma, N Martin, C Tribet, FM Winnik*
    Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 406, 7539-7547 (2014)
    paper in forefront
  15. Prevention of thermally induced aggregation of IgG antibodies by noncovalent interaction with poly (acrylate) derivatives
    N Martin, D Ma, A Herbet, D Boquet, FM Winnik, C Tribet*
    Biomacromolecules, 15, 2952-2962 (2014)
  16. The thermally induced aggregation of immunoglobulin G in solution is prevented by amphipols
    D Ma, N Martin, A Herbet, D Boquet, C Tribet, FM Winnik*
    Chem. Lett., 41, 1380-1382 (2012)


  • 2020 : Projet Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  • 2018 : IdEx Bordeaux Junior Chair
  • 2018 : Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship (declined)