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Biophysics  & Embryology

A book chapter: Embryonic development of motility: lessons from the chicken

N. J. Spencer et al. (eds.), The Enteric Nervous System II, Advances in Experimental Medicine
and Biology 1383,

Image generated by AI in the style of Bosch

In Press: Physical organogenesis of the gut

My « Habilitation to conduct researches » summarized in a review for « Development », with all you ever wanted to know about how physics makes a gut.


N.R.Chevalier, Development, 2022, 149 (16) – PDF Download

In-silico science: Presence of « pacemaker sites » in the gut confirmed by simulation … without pacemakers

Localization of peristaltic waves at distinct nucleation sites has been observed in the developing gut by the team of Shikaya et al., even though pacemakers are not yet active. Here we explain why with a simple probabilistic simulation model of peristaltic waves.

Localization of contractile wave nucleation sites as an emerging phenomenon of stochastic myogenic gut motility, Nicolas R. ChevalierFrontiers in Cell & Dev. Biol., 2022, 10 – PDF Download

Editor’s Suggestion Flow and mixing induced by single, colinear, and colliding contractile waves in the intestine

Richard J. Amedzrovi Agbesi and Nicolas R. Chevalier, Phys. Rev. Fluids 7, 043101 – Published 15 April 2022, selected as Editor’s Suggestion

Shedding light on the non-intuitive propulsion and mixing of intestinal bolus under the effect of different  wave patterns 

PDF – Popular Science Version (English, Physics Mag.) – Popular Science Version (in French)

A neural crest cell isotropic-to-nematic phase transition in the developing mammalian gut

N. R. Chevalier, Y. Ammouche, A. Gomis, L. Langlois, T. Guilbert, P. Bourdoncle & S. Dufour

Communications Biology, 23rd of June 2021 – PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

Où l’on met une évidence une transformation morphologique inattendue du systèmes nerveux entérique des mammifères et l’on en explicite les mécanismes moléculaires.


How Smooth Muscle Contractions Shape the Developing Enteric Nervous System

N.R. Chevalier, R. Amedzrovi Agbesi, Y. Ammouche, S.Dufour

Front. Cell. Dev. Biol, 2 June 2021

Où l’on apprend comment  les contractions musculaires spontanées de l’intestin déforment et modèlent le systèmes nerveux entérique – PDF

Dual Functional States of R406W-Desmin Assembly Complexes Cause Cardiomyopathy With Severe Intercalated Disc Derangement in Humans and in Knock-In Mice

H. Hermann et al., Circulation, 2020 Oct 7.

Où l’on comprend comment une mutation affectant la desmine, un filament intérieur dans les cellules, conduit à une maladie cardiaque et des problèmes intestinaux.

doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.050218

Online article – Author Word File – Figures – Suppmat –   Popular Science Version

Shifting into high gear: how Interstitial Cells of Cajal change the motility pattern of the developing intestine.

Où l’on découvre les premiers soubresauts électriques des pacemakers de l’intestin et leur rôle dans la mise en place des réflexes digestifs.

N.R.Chevalier, Y. Ammouche, A. Gomis, C. Teyssaire, P. de Santa Barbara, and S. Faure, Am. J. Physiol.- GI Liver Physiol., 2020 

Online Article – Author PDF – Popular Science Version


Smooth muscle contractility causes the gut to grow anisotropically

Diana Khalipina, Yusuke Kaga, Nicolas Dacher, Nicolas R. Chevalier

Journal of the Royal Society Interface 16: 20190484, front cover of October 2019 issue.

Online Article – Author PDF – Popular Science Version


Embryogenesis of the Peristaltic Reflex 

N.R. Chevalier, N. Dacher, C. Jacques, L. Langlois, C. Guedj, O. Faklaris

Journal of Physiology front cover of 15th May 2019 issue, 597, 10, p.2785

PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)


The First Digestive Movements in the Embryo Are Mediated by Mechanosensitive Smooth Muscle Calcium Waves

N.R.Chevalier, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 2018, 373

PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

 Mechanical Tension Drives Elongational Growth of the Embryonic Gut 

N.R. Chevalier, T-M de Witte, A. Cornelissen, S. Dufour, V.Proux, A.Asnacios, Scientific Reports 8, 5995 (2018)

PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

Hair-on-hair static friction coefficient can be determined by tying a knot

N.R. Chevalier,Colloids & Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 159 (2017) 924-928

PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

Emergence and development of gut motility in the chicken embryo

N.R. Chevalier, V. Fleury, S. Dufour, V. Proux, A. Asnacios
PLoS ONe, 12(2):e0172511 (2017)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

Physics of amniote formation

V. Fleury, A. Vaishnavi Murukutla, N. R. Chevalier, B. Gallois, M. Capellazzi-Resta, P. Picquet,  A. Peaucelle
Phys. Rev. E 94, 22426 (2016)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French, CNRS website)


 How tissue mechanical properties affect enteric neural crest cell migration

N.R. Chevalier, E. Gazguez, L. Bidault, T. Guilbert, C. Vias, E. Vian, Y. Watanabe, L. Muller , S. Germain, N.Bondurand, S. Dufour, V. Fleury
Scientific Reports 6, 20927 (2016)
PDF  –  Popular Science Version (in French)

Water jet indentation for local elasticity measurements of soft materials

N.R. Chevalier, Ph. Dantan, E.Gazquez, A.J.M. Cornelissen, V. Fleury
Eur. J. Phys E. 39, 10  (2016)
PDF – Popular Science Version

Measuring the micromechanical properties of embryonic tissues

N.R. Chevalier, E. Gazquez, S. Dufour, V. Fleury
Methods 94, 128  (2016)
PDF – Popular Science Version

Buckling along boundaries of elastic contrast as a mechanism for early vertebrate morphogenesis

V. Fleury, N.R. Chevalier, F. Furfaro, JL Duband
Eur. Phys. J. E 38, (2015)
PDF – Popular Science Version (CNRS website)

Physical Chemistry & Biomineralization

Super-hydrophobic powders obtained by froth flotation: properties and applications

N.R. Chevalier,
RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 45335
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)


Surface Tension Drives the Orientation of Crystals at the Air-Water Interface

N.R. Chevalier & P. Guenoun
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 2809–2813 (2016)
PDF  –    Popular Science Version (in French)

Do surface wetting properties affect calcium carbonate heterogeneous nucleation and adhesion?

N.R. Chevalier
J. Phys. Chem. C 118, 17600–17607 (2014)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

When and Why Like-Sized, Oppositely Charged Particles Assemble into Diamond-like Crystals

K.J.M. Bishop, N.R. Chevalier, B.A. Grzybowski
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 1507–1511 (2013)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

CaCO3 mineralization under β-sheet forming peptide monolayers

N.R. Chevalier, C. Chevallard, G. Brezesinski, P. Guenoun
Cryst. Growth Des. 12, 2299–2305 (2012)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)

Monovalent cations trigger inverted bilayer formation of surfactant films

 N. R. Chevalier, C. Chevallard, P. Guenoun
Langmuir 26, 15824–9 (2010)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)


Cryogenic Engineering


Design of a horizontal test cryostat for superconducting RF cavities for the FREIA facility

N.R. Chevalier, J-P. Thermeau,T.Junquera, R. Ruber et al.
AIP Conf. Proc. 1573, 1277–1284 (2014)
PDF – Popular Science Version (to come)

Cryogenic system for the MYRRHA superconducting linear accelerator

N.R. Chevalier, T.Junquera, J-P.Thermeau et al.
AIP Conf. Proc. 315, 315–322 (2014)
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)


PhD & MSc. Thesis 


Influence de surfaces organiques sur la nucléation-croissance du carbonate de calcium et autres observations de nature physico-chimique

Thèse de Doctorat
 N. R.Chevalier, 2010
PDF (in French with abstract in English)

The influence of thermal noise on Liesegang pattern formation

MSc. Thesis
N.R. Chevalier, 2006
PDF (in English)


Popular Science & Science Education


NEW! L’embryogenèse dévoile un rôle du « second cerveau » dans la digestion

Article de vulgarisation paru le 24 mai 2019 à découvrir sur  le site de The Conversation, ici, et émission de radio à réécouter sur France Culture, .

Popular science article and France culture radio interview on embryonic development of the digestive reflex and the role of the « second brain », in French.



Le Mystère Hirschsprung

N.R. Chevalier,
Pour La Science , Février 2018
PDF – Popular Science Version (in French)


IYPT : Un Tournoi International pour Jeunes Physiciens

N. Chevalier, G. Toombes, P. Bottineau, Reflets de la Physique, n°19, 2010 PDF (short version, French)

N. Chevalier, Bulletin de l’Union des Professeurs de Physique-Chimie, 2010, n°920, pp. 91-96 PDF (long version, French)