Vincent Darcos

Vincent Darcos

Research engineer, Faculty of pharmacy, University of Montpellier

Vincent is a CNRS Research Engineer at the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron (IBMM). After defending his PhD in the field of organic chemistry (2000, University of Bordeaux), he joined the group of Prof. Dave Haddleton at the University of Warwick in UK (Marie-Curie Fellowship, 2000-2002). Then, he moved for a one-year post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bordeaux (LCPO) in the group of Dr. Yves Gnanou (Rhodia funding). In 2004, he joined the IBMM and defended his HDR in 2017. His research interests focus in the field of macromolecular engineering in order to develop original polymeric biomaterials for health applications.
His research interests focus in the field of macromolecular engineering in order to develop original polymeric biomaterials for health applications. Some of his current projects focus on the development of new drug delivery systems, implantable medical devices for bone reconstruction, or bioconjugates for medical diagnosis. He is the co-author of 42 publications and 2 patents in the field of polymer chemistry.
He’s in charge of the “polymer” facility of the SynBio3 platform (IBISA label & ISO9001 certification) dedicated to assist the development of research programs in life science providing biomolecules and polymers of biological and pharmaceutical interest.


(+33) 0411759704

5 recent publications:

El Habnouni, S.; Darcos, V.; Coudane, J., Synthesis and Ring Opening Polymerization of a New Functional Lactone, alpha-Iodo-epsilon-caprolactone: A Novel Route to Functionalized Aliphatic Polyesters. Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2009, 30 (3), 165-169.

Bakkour, Y.; Darcos, V.; Li, S. M.; Coudane, J., Diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) as a powerful tool for amphiphilic block copolymer characterization and for critical micelle concentration (CMC) determination. Polymer Chemistry 2012, 3 (8), 2006-2010.

Coumes, F.; Huang, C. Y.; Huang, C. H.; Coudane, J.; Domurado, D.; Li, S. M.; Darcos, V.; Huang, M. H., Design and Development of Immunomodulatory Antigen Delivery Systems Based on Peptide/PEG-PLA Conjugate for Tuning Immunity. Biomacromolecules 2015, 16 (11), 3666-3673.

Younis, M.; Darcos, V.; Paniagua, C.; Ronjat, P.; Lemaire, L.; Nottelet, B.; Garric, X.; Bakkour, Y.; El Nakat, J. H.; Coudane, J., MRI-visible polymer based on poly(methyl methacrylate) for imaging applications. Rsc Advances 2016, 6 (7), 5754-5760.

Coumes, F.; Beaute, L.; Domurado, D.; Li, S.; Lecommandoux, S.; Coudane, J.; Darcos, V., Self-assembly of well-defined triblock copolymers based on poly(lactic acid) and poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) prepared by ATRP. RSC Advances 2016, 6 (58), 53370-53377

Protein-Polymer Bioconjugates Prepared by Post-Polymerization Modification of Alternating Copolymers


Saxer, S.; Erdogan, O.; Paniagua, C.; Chavanieu, A.; Garric, X.; Darcos, V.


Protein-polymer bioconjugates have shown great promise in biomedical and life science applications including drug delivery and diagnosis. The current bioconjugation strategies suffer from lack of efficiency and versatility. In this article, poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) copolymers were first prepared by RAFT polymerization and characterized by different analytical techniques. Then, the poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) precursors were functionalized with primary amine such as azidopropylamine and amino poly(ethylene glycol). The reaction of amino compounds with maleic anhydride was found to be a highly efficient, a versatile, and a facile chemical ligation reaction for the synthesis of macromolecules with quantitative yield under mild conditions. The main benefit is the incorporation of a wide range of functionality by easily changing the primary amine compound. For the amphiphilic graft copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol), aggregation behavior in water was investigated. In a second part, azido-functionalized polystyrene copolymers were used to prepare a new protein-polymer bioconjugate by copper-free click chemistry reaction.

Polyester-polydopamine copolymers for intravitreal drug delivery: role of polydopamine drug-binding properties on extending drug release

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Biomacromolecules 23, 4388-4400, (2022)

Floriane Bahuon, Vincent Darcos, Sulabh Patel, Zana Marin, Jean Coudane, Grégoire Schwach, and Benjamin Nottelet


PCL-g-PDA drug binding copolymer


This work reports on a novel polyester copolymer containing poly(dopamine), a synthetic analogue of natural melanin, evaluated in sustained-release drug delivery system for ocular intravitreal administration of drugs. More specifically, a graft copolymer of poly(ε-caprolactone)-graft-poly(dopamine) (PCL-g-PDA) has been synthesized, and was shown to further extend the drug release benefits of state-of-the-art biodegradable intravitreal implants made of poly(lactide) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide). The innovative biomaterial combines the documented drug-binding properties of melanin naturally present in the eye, with the established ocular tolerability and biodegradation of polyester implants. The PCL-g-PDA copolymer was obtained by a two-step modification of PCL with a final PDA content around 2-3 wt.%, and was fully characterised by SEC, NMR, and DOSY NMR. The thermoplastic nature of PCL-g-PDA allowed its simple processing by hot-melt compression moulding to prepare small implants. The properties of unmodified PCL and PCL-g-PDA implants were studied and compared in terms of thermal properties (DSC), thermal stability (TGA), degradability and in vitro cytotoxicity. PCL and PCL-g-PDA implants exhibited similar degradation properties in vitro and were both stable under physiological conditions over 110 days. Likewise, both materials were non-cytotoxic towards L929 and ARPE-19 cells. The drug-loading and in vitro release properties of the new materials were investigated with dexamethasone (DEX) and ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (CIP) as representative drugs featuring low and high melanin binding affinities, respectively. In comparison to unmodified PCL, PCL-g-PDA implants showed significant extension of drug release most likely because of specific drug-catechol interaction with the PDA moieties of the copolymer. The present study confirms the advantages of designing PDA-containing polyesters as a class of biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastics that can modulate and remarkably extend drug release kinetics thanks to their unique drug binding properties, especially, but not limited to, for ocular applications.

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Star-poly(lactide)-peptide hybrid networks as bioactive materials


Eur. Pol. J. 139, 109990 (2020)

L.V. Arsenie, C. Pinese, A. Bethry, L. Valot, P. Verdie, B. Nottelet, G. Subra, V. Darcos, X. Garric


Abstract Poly(lactide) (PLA) is a widely used biomaterial in many biomedical applications. However, it is inert and therefore lacks bioactivity, which is a major drawback in addressing tissue regeneration issues. This work aims to develop new implantable biomaterials composed of PLAs functionalized with bioactive peptides. For that purpose, we set up an original synthesis based on star-PLA bearing triethoxysilyl propyl groups (PLA-PTES) and bifunctional silylated peptides that react together via sol-gel process to create a bioactive network. We demonstrate that the molecular weight of the PLA and the quantity of peptide have a large influence on the crosslinking efficiency, the mechanical properties and the biodegradability of the resulting materials. The presence of peptide increases the crosslinking efficiency of the networks resulting in more rigid networks with stable mechanical properties up to 8 weeks. At last, the potential of this new type of hybrid biomaterials for soft tissue engineering was demonstrated through cells adhesion assays that showed a significant enhancement of fibroblasts adhesion

Star-poly(lactide)-peptide hybrid networks as bioactive materials

Star-poly(lactide)-peptide hybrid networks as bioactive materials

Well-defined polyester-grafted silica nanoparticles for biomedical applications: Synthesis and quantitative characterization

Polymer, 2020, 211, 123048

Lagarrigue P., Soulié J., Grossin D., Dupret-Bories A., Combes C., Darcos V.


Polyester-based composites with silica nanoparticles fillers are promising candidates as biomaterials due to improved mechanical and biological properties. However, nanofillers use generally leads to an inhomogeneous distribution inside the polymer matrix because of agglomeration, decreasing composites overall performances. To improve nanofillers dispersion, the aim of this study is to prepare and characterize poly(D,L lactide) grafted silica nanoparticles using “grafting to” method and to quantify the amount of grafted poly(D,L lactide). Firstly, well-defined N hydroxysuccinimide ester poly(D,L lactide)s were synthetized through a new pathway. Then, amino-functionalized silica nanoparticles were grafted with those customized polyesters yielding an amide covalent bond between both reagents. Such PDLLA grafted nanoparticles were precisely characterized and the grafting amount was quantified using a dual approach based on TGA and FTIR analysis. The synthesis and the characterization methods developed constitute a robust and reproducible way to design well-defined polymer grafted silica nanoparticles that could be used as nanofillers in polymer matrix nanocomposites for biomedical