The Department of Polymers for Health and Biomaterials (PHBM) at IBMM (UM, CNRS UMR 5247, ENSCM) is a multidisciplinary research group dedicated to polymers related to biomedical applications. The PHBM, originally known as the Department of Artificial Biopolymers (CRBA), was founded in the 1980s and has since pursued its main objectives of designing, synthesizing, characterizing and evaluating polymers to meet the requirements of therapeutic applications. The PHBM is recognized for its expertise in degradable polymers and polymer biomaterials for healthcare applications. The PHBM brings together expertise in polymers, macromolecular chemistry and biomedical sciences.  It is currently headed by Prof. Xavier Garric.

The main topics developed at the PHBM are advanced polymer biomaterials, polymers for tissue engineering and medical devices, polymers for drug delivery and polymers for diagnostics. More details on our activities can be found on the research and publications pages.

In addition to fundamental research, the PHBM is heavily involved in value-adding and transfer activities through collaborations with clinicians and industrial partners, as well as through the creation of spin-offs, and is a member of the Institut Carnot Chimie Balard Cirimat.

The PHBM’s integrated, multidisciplinary research environment offers excellent opportunities for finding practical solutions to unmet clinical needs.

Our Themes

The objective of this exploratory theme is to synthesize polymers, hybrid polymers, and polymer composites with unique properties to meet the requirements of advanced biomedical applications. In this context, we are developing chemical strategies to create new degradable (co)polymers with multiple functionalities, introduce bioactivity (for example, on surfaces), or enhance the properties of existing biomaterials and composites (resorbable elastomers, stimulus-responsive biomaterials, self-healing materials, etc.). These innovative (co)polymers possess properties of interest that are leveraged in other application-oriented research of PHBM.

Our aim is to design tailor made degradable (co)polymers that meet the specific requirements of temporary medical devices or scaffolds for tissue engineering. To achieve this, we combine our expertise in polymer synthesis with processing techniques such as 3D printing or electrospinning. Simple polymer matrices, porous biomaterials, fibrous biomaterials, and their combinations are primarily investigated. The introduction of biologically active biomaterials into these matrices is also being studied by the PHBM.

The aim of this research is to provide polymer systems that address the challenges of active ingredient formulation: high loading rates, polymer/active ingredient interactions, reduced side effects, controlled release, co-formulation of actives molecules, stimuli-responsive release, vectorization, targeting, etc. Our research is driven by innovation while keeping regulatory aspects in mind. In this thematic area, we also develop new degradable (co)polymers for self-assemblies, including micelles, nanoparticles, microparticles, gels, and coatings for medical devices.

We design new biostable or degradable polymers of interest for medical diagnostics and imaging. Such polymers are used either as macromolecular contrast agents, or markers for tracking the fate of active release systems and medical devices. Our approaches include polymers for medical imaging (fluorescence, MRI, X-rays), polymer bioconjugates for in vitro diagnostic approaches (IVD), or labeled polymers for degradation tracking in accordance with regulatory requirements. In this context, we develop advanced analysis methods for synthetic and natural macromolecules (including proteins and antibodies) and their degradation products.

The members of the team



Xavier Garric was born in Nice (France) in 1977. He first received his PharmD degree in 2001 before he obtained his PhD in 2004 from the University of Montpellier I, under the supervision of Doctors Michel Vert and Jean-Pierre Molès in the field of degradable polymeric scaffold in skin engineering…



Benjamin initially graduated as a chemical engineer from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie of Montpellier (ENSCM), France before completing an industrial PhD on degradable polymers from the University of Montpellier (UM) in 2005 in contract with RHODIA in the group of Prof. Vert. He then worked …

Anissa Benkhedim

graduate student

Anissa obtained a Master degree in Polymer Chemistry at Grenoble University in 2022. Starting from the same year, she is doing a PhD about biodegradable polymeric hydrogel/nanoparticles hybrids as dual-drug delivery system for cancer therapy. The PhD project is supervised jointly by PHBM team (Prof. Benjamin Nottelet and Dr. Hélène...

BéTHRY Audrey
Audrey Béthry

Engineer (dsign/devt. eng. | permanent staff)

After a master degree in Health engineering obtained in Montpellier, Audrey moved to Strasbourg and joined in 2009 a team working in cell signaling in urological cancers (INSERM U1113) as engineer. Then she became a member of Urolead, preclinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) created in 2010 offering patient tumorgraft-based services...

Laura Chamard

graduate student

Laura graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse in 2022. She is completing her PhD (CIFRE) on development and characterization of innovative solutions for dental remineralization since 2023. The thesis project is supervised by Xavier Garric and Hélène Van Den Berghe from the PHBM team, Christophe Hirtz...

Jean Coudane

emeritus ,Full Professor (permanent staff)

Jean is an alumnus of the ENS Cachan, he has passed aggregation in Chemistry before moving to INSA of Rouen as assistant professor in organic chemistry in the Laboratory of Macromolecular Substances, managed by Professor Maréchal. In 1991 he moved at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Montpellier in the CRBA...

DARCOS Vincent
Vincent Darcos

research engineer (permanent staff)

Vincent is a CNRS Research Engineer at the Max Mousseron Institute of Biomolecules (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...

Renaud De Tayrac

Full Professor & Hospital Practitioner (permanent staff)

DéJEAN Stéphane
Stéphane Déjean

Technician (permanent staff)

Stéphane Déjean obtained his Diploma of Higher Education in Chemistry in 2011 and specialized in polymers chemistry with a bachelor’s degree. In 2013, he joined the Biopolymers Artificial Department at IBMM as a CNRS chemist. He is currently working on the synthesis and the characterization of biodegradable polymers and also...

Sarah Di Prospero

Technical staff (temporary) ,temporary position

Sarah obtained her engineering degree from the École Centrale Marseille in 2022, specializing in mechanical modeling of materials and structures. Additionally, she obtained a double degree in tissue and implant biotechnology from the University of Aix-Marseille. Now, she is developing a medical device for male urinary incontinence using 3D printing...

Abdeslam El Ghzaoui

Assistant Professor (permanent staff)

Abdeslam graduated in chemical physics at the University of Montpellier (France). After defending his PhD in the field of chemical physics at the University of Montpellier (1997), he worked for the C.E.A (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique) in the field of radionuclides solubilization in micellar and physical hydrogel systems. Then, he...

Chloé Falcoz

Technical staff (temporary) ,temporary position

Chloé obtained a Master of Science degree in Polymers for Advanced Technologies at Grenoble Alpes University in 2021. Since March 2022, she’s working as an engineer on DISCAFF project which aims to design and characterize a degradable nanofibrillar scaffold to promote the regeneration of the Annulus Fibrosus in intervertebral disc...

Xavier Garric

Full Professor & Hospital Practitioner (permanent staff)

Xavier Garric was born in Nice (France) in 1977. He first received his PharmD degree in 2001 before he obtained his PhD in 2004 from the University of Montpellier I, under the supervision of Doctors Michel Vert and Jean-Pierre Molès in the field of degradable polymeric scaffold in skin engineering....

Philippe Gonzalez

Assistant-Engineer (permanent staff)

Team Publications