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Practical applications of our research

The research at the LabEx lead to innovations in all scientific fields such as health, climatology, pollution treatment, security, that sustainably help improve the daily lives of the general population, with a return on investment often surpassing the expectations of the scientific teams who conducted them.

Health & Cancerology

Biomarkers to track cancer development

Geochemists of the LGL-TPE laboratory and oncologists from the Inserm have discovered a new way to track cancer development by using tools traditionnaly used in Earth sciences: isotope ratios of copper and sulfur.

Treatment of radioresistant tumors

Hadrontherapy is the technique currently used to cure cancer tumors with ion beams. Ions are well suited to the treatment of deep cancer tumors. Moreover, the biological activity of relatively heavy ions, such as carbon ions, is very high around the tumor area, which qualifies this technique as a very good therapy for radioresitant tumors.

Bio-inspired ceramics

The URAMAN Raman spectroscopy facility has had numerous connections with industrial partners including St Gobain (glass and materials industry). A.C. Ganzhorn, a LIO1 postdoc, was hired at St Gobain and several research projects with potential applications have been initiated with a direct involvement of the URAMAN facility: a project focusing on improving lubrication and engine efficiency, the study of ageing and mechanical behaviour of bioceramics used as implants for improving their lifetime and reducing the impact of surgery on the ageing human population, and bio-inspired ceramics, the conception and production of very high temperature cells for in situ Raman spectroscopy under hazardous conditions with adaptable designs (first units sold to the French atomic agency CEA).

Climate change

Study of atmospheric volcanism

Archives of the ice ages show that the past volcanic eruptions are correlated to sulfate concentration peaks. To assess the role of past volcanic eruptions in former climatic varitions, one has to be able to distinguish stratospheric eruptions, with strong impact on climate, from low impact local tropospheric eruptions in these records. The study of sulfate isotopes (sulphur and oxygen) allows to differentiate them and to present a new 2600-year chronology of stratospheric volcanic events recorded from Dome C, Antartica.

Pollution treatment and safety

Pollution by chrome in India
The TIMS facility is also used for chrome contamination detection. Chrome, that is carcinogenous when diluted in water, is still used for leather production in India. Thanks to mass spectometry , the behaviour of different isotopes of chrome is studied, the aim being to find out the path followed and the various transformations undergone to end to a dissolved form. That way, solutions to control this kind of pollution can be implemented.
Measurement of radioactivity
LABRADOR is a laboratory dedicated to the measurement of radioactivity. Created in 2003, it is a COFRAC laboratory covering an area of 120m2 that offers a range of analyses to public and private partners.
Nuclear waste storage
Two directions are explored, for the purposes of controlling the effects of radiation, identifying the risks to people and equipment, and defining the required security standards, Firstly, the effects of irradiation on materials are studied, with the long-term aim of developing innovative materials for storing radioactive material. The second direction is the consequences of ionising radiation for biomolecular nanosystems.

The global seismology team in Lyon has broad interests ranging from improving tomographic models of the Earth's mantle and developing new methods for imaging Earth's interior, to understanding the history and evolution of crustal and mantle structures at different scales.


Spectrometry applied to Nuclear Forensics and Nutrition

The TIMS-Mass Spectrometry facility developed thanks to LIO1 has enabled the establishment of new research contracts: long term collaboration with CEA in the field of nuclear forensics with a funding >400 k€ since 2012, establishment of a new start-up company using isotope biomarkers at ENS Lyon based on a patent, research contracts with Nestlé and LVMH in the field of nutrition using again isotope biomarkers (V. Bondanese, a LIO1 postdoc working on isotope biomarkers, was hired at the pharmaceutical company Biomérieux).

Cutting edge optical coatings

Strong connections have emerged thanks to the establishment of the IADC (Ion assisted deposition chamber) and IBS (Ion beam sputtering) facilities at LMA, and a new partnership with Winlight Systems will emerge to develop cutting edge optical coatings.