Hi !

I am Caroline, I am a PhD student in soft matter and polymer physics, working on theory, numerical simulations and experiments. I am supervised by Thomas Salez, in Condensed matter theory group at the LOMA, U. Bordeaux and Joshua McGraw, at Gulliver lab, ESPCI.



I am working on soft and porous materials. Such systems, as smart hydrogels, find application in biomedical engineering, switchable optics and mocrofluidics, biological encapsulation…

Mechanical response of poroelastic hydrogels

When submitted to a sudden pressure, a gel fully swollen in a solvent instantaneously deforms, as an incompressible material would do. Then, due to fluid flows inside the matrix of the gel, the deformation increases with a diffusive dynamics, and reaches a saturations. The final deformation is associated with a compressible behaious. I work on a theoretical description of the mechanical behaviour of permeable, poroelastic layer, of infitie and finite thickness. Experimentally, colloidal-probe Atomic Force Miscroscopy and Surface Forces Apparatus experiments in sphere-plane geometry are suitable to gently probe mechanical properties of soft and fragile swollen hydrogels of various thickness.

Surface destabilization of swollen material

When exposed to watera hydrophylic polymer network absorbs the surrounding solvent and swell isotropically, exhibiting a volumetric change. If the crosslinked network is now attached covalently to a rigid substrat such as glass, the swelling is geometrically constrained. A sufficient change in volume results in a destabilization of the free surface in the form of elastic instabilities. I work on the various morphologies that can be observed at the surface.


Atomic Force microscopy
Surface Forces Apparatus
Numerical simulations of elastohydrodynamics (EHD) problems
Spinning drop tensiometry
Fluorescence confocal microscopy
2020-2023 – Tutorials in 1st year of engineer school ECE.

  • Material point mechanics – 58 hours per year, 1st semester.
  • Oscillations and mechnical wave – 58 hours per year, 2nd semester.
  • CV & publications

    Curriculum vitae


    2020- currently
    PhD in soft matter and polymer physics
    Gulliver (ESPCI, Paris)
    LOMA (Univ. Bordeaux)
    2017 – 2020
    Master ICFP, soft matter and biophysics
    Ecole Normale Supérieure
    2015 – 2016
    Bachelor in physics
    Ecole Normale Supérieure
    Admission to the Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Paris.
    2013 – 2015
    Classes préparatoires PCSI/PC
    Lycée Stanislas
    Combined Baccalauréat and Esame di Stato
    Lycée Pierre de Fermat

    Scientific experience


    M2 Internship in soft matter
    Gulliver, ESPCI
    Supervised by Joshua McGraw

    Numerical simulations of elastohydrodynamic interactions.

    PhD in soft matter
    Gulliver, ESPCI and LOMA, U. Bordeaux
    Supervised by Joshua McGraw and Thomas Salez

    Diffusive and hydrodynamic motion near soft and porous interfaces.

    Internship in soft matter
    L2C, U. Montpellier
    Supervised by Domenico Truzzolillo

    Study of interfacial tension between miscible fluids by spinning drop tensiometry.

    Internship in biophysics
    EMBL Australia, U. of New South Wales, Sydney.
    Supervised by Yann Gambin et Emma Sierecki

    Study of oligomerization and activity of molecular chaperone proteins by single-molecule spectroscopy.

    Participation in the International Physics’ Tournament
    with ENS team

    Study of oligomerization and activity of molecular chaperone proteins by single-molecule spectroscopy.



  • C. Kopecz-Muller, V. Bertin, E. Raphaël, J.D. McGraw, T. Salez. Mechanical response of a thick poroelastic gel in contactless colloidal-probe rheology. Proc. R. Soc. A, 479:20220832, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2022.0832
  • Main oral contributions and posters

  • Contactless response of lubricated poroelastic material. APS Division of Fluid Dynamics. Indianapolis, November 2022. Oral.
  • Morphological transition in the instability of surface-attached hydrogel films. International summer School of Soft Matter. Cargèse, Corsica, July 2022. Poster.
  • Contacless response of lubricated poroelastic material. LOMA seminar, Bordeaux, June 2022. Oral.
  • How do patterns emerge on soft squishy matter ?. Doctoral School day. Bordeaux, March 2022. Oral.
  • Morphological transition in the instability of surface-attached
    hydrogel films. GDR ISM. Grenoble, October 2021. Oral.
  • Lubricated hydrodynamic interactions between a hard spherical indenter and a poroelastic nanolayer. InterPore Conference. Online, May 2021. Poster.
  • Lubricated interactions between a nanosphere. APS March Meeting. Online, March 2021. Oral.
  • Collaborations


    EmetBrown group
    A team interested in confined Brownian motion


    Collaborators :

    Permanents :

  • Joshua McGraw
  • Thomas Salez
  • Elie Raphaël
  • Non-permanents :

  • Vincent Bertin
  • Marjan Abdorahim
  • Alexandre Vilquin
  • Gabriel Guyard
  • Finn Box
  • Elodie Millan
  • Caroline KOPECZ-MULLER

    Laboratoire Ondes et Matière d’Aquitaine (LOMA)
    351 cours de la libération
    33405 Talence Cedex

    Phone : + 33 (0)5 40 00 61 96
    E-mail: caroline.kopecz-muller@u-bordeaux.fr