#FutureMedicine – Mines Saint-Étienne Tech

Biological Activity of inhaled Particles (BioPi)

The department proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of particle inhalation. The activities are focused on the biological activity of inhaled particles both in a therapeutic (aerosol therapy) and in a pathological (nanotoxicity) context.

BioPi is attached to the Laboratory U1059 Inserm Sainbiose, (Santé Ingénierie Biologie Saint-Étienne), DVH Team, (Vascular and Hemostasis Dysfunctions)

Application Fields

  • Toxicity of nano and micrometric particles in relation with their physicochemical properties.
  • Detection of particles in biological samples of patients and link with pathologies
  • Aerosol metrology and exposure analysis at workstations.
  • Aerosol therapy (technological development, performance evaluation, regional mapping of deposition in the respiratory tract).
  • Electronic cigarettes (emission characterization, toxicology, observational studies on the gateway effect).
  • Bacterial filtration efficiency of medical masks against Covid-19.

Technical Space Facilities platform: Inhaled particles

Aerosol: aerosol metrology, anatomical models for the study of aerosol deposition
Toxicity: nano and cell culture laboratories, physicochemical characterization techniques of particles, toxicology tests, exposure at the air/liquid interface (contact: Lara Leclerc)


CHU de Saint-Etienne, University of Saint-Etienne, Michelin, CEA, Dassault, INRS, LNE, Mines Paris Tech, Mines Alès, Bolton University (UK), University of Turin (Italy), Anses, …

Examples of projects (2020 >)

  • Nicotine salts and vaping: toxicological issues and pharmacological impact on nicotine delivery. National Cancer Institute.
  • Evaluation of face masks against COVID-19: viral and bacterial filtration efficiency. ANR Covid-19 program (FAMAS).
  • Physico-chemical and toxicological characterization of particulate samples during the different stages of processes related to metal additive manufacturing. Rhône-Alpes Region project, CEA, Dassault, Mines Saint-Étienne (AEROPRINT).
  • Indicator of exposure to nanoparticles and evaluation of the relationship with pulmonary pathologies. Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française, Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (NanoPI).
  • Toxicity of non-recyclable nanocomposite incineration waste. ADEME (Nano DeTox).
  • Anatomical models for pulmonary delivery of aerosols for obstructive pathologies. ANR (AMADEUS).
  • 2 CIFRE theses with Michelin.


Temporary accreditation by the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé (ANSM) for the measurement of the bacterial filtration efficiency of masks (une Première en France, May 2020).


Valérie FOREST, Head of Dept, Jérémie POURCHEZ, Lara LECLERC, Gwendoline SARRY
PhD Students : Salma ACHAWI, Mohamed Nour AZZOUGAGH, Mariam CHAOUI

#FutureMedicine – inhaled Particles Demonstrator

Also to be discovered