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See detailNew fluorinated surfactants for nanogels preparation
Alaimo, David ULg; Rieger, Jutta; Beigbeder, Alexandre et al

Conference (2009, June 18)

A series of novel fluorinated amphiphilic stabilizers of different architecture (diblock, grafted, or palm tree copolymers) were successfully prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer ... [more ▼]

A series of novel fluorinated amphiphilic stabilizers of different architecture (diblock, grafted, or palm tree copolymers) were successfully prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer and used as stabilizers for the dispersion polymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) in fluorinated solvent, namely alpha,alpha,alpha-trifluorotoluene (TFT). The effect of the amount and the architecture of the copolymer on the size and the stabilization of the particles was studied. Whatever the experimental conditions, scanning electron microscopy showed the formation of submicronic (typically about 300 nm) spherical particles, with a narrow size distribution. The principal difference emerges from the concentration of surfactant. Indeed, at higher copolymer concentration, smaller and less aggregated particles were produced. These results were confirmed by dynamic light scattering but these measurements also revealed the presence of larger aggregates (1,5 micrometer). Furthermore, the surfactant properties of the copolymers were investigated by measuring the interfacial tension at the H2O/TFT interface, and the results were correlated to their stabilizing efficiency in the dispersion polymerization of HEMA. [less ▲]

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See detailDroplet manipulations
Gilet, Tristan ULg

Doctoral thesis (2009)

In this thesis, we discuss some physical phenomena related to the manipulation of droplets, and their possible use as alternatives for digital microfluidics. In a first part, the behavior of droplets in ... [more ▼]

In this thesis, we discuss some physical phenomena related to the manipulation of droplets, and their possible use as alternatives for digital microfluidics. In a first part, the behavior of droplets in the vicinity of another liquid interface is explored. We have shown that droplets can be kept bouncing onto a liquid interface, provided this latter is vertically vibrated. The bouncing mechanisms are investigated in several configurations. Bouncing droplets may also experience self-propulsion and partial coalescence. The second part of this thesis is dedicated to the study of droplets sliding down fibers. The basic microfluidic operations are advantageously implemented with simple fiber networks. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of contrast enhanced three dimensional echocardiography with MIBI gated SPECT for the evaluation of left ventricular function
Cosyns, Bernard; Haberman, David; Droogmans, Steven et al

in Cardiovascular Ultrasound (2009), 7

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See detailEUROBACK : exchange of duplicates between libraries : bilan après près de 14 ans d'utilisation
Renaville, François ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2009)

Créée en 1995, la liste EUROBACK permet à plusieurs centaines de bibliothèques et centres documentaires européens de proposer des doubles et de rechercher des numéros en vue de compléter leurs lacunes ... [more ▼]

Créée en 1995, la liste EUROBACK permet à plusieurs centaines de bibliothèques et centres documentaires européens de proposer des doubles et de rechercher des numéros en vue de compléter leurs lacunes. Cette présentation tire un bref bilan de ces 14 années d'existence. [less ▲]

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See detailLa réception de l'approche law & economics par les juristes
Sibony, Anne-Lise ULg

Conference (2009, June 16)

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See detailDesign of thermoresponsive magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia
Sibret, Pierre ULg; Aqil, Abdelhafid; Jérôme, Christine ULg

Poster (2009, June 14)

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See detailDevelopment of multilayered chitosan-based nanofibers
Croisier, Florence ULg; Aqil, Abdelhafid ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg et al

Poster (2009, June 14)

By combining electrospinning and layer-by-layer deposition techniques, new porous material scaffolds of multilayered, chitosan-based nanofibers were produced. Layer-by-layer (LBL) is a well-known method ... [more ▼]

By combining electrospinning and layer-by-layer deposition techniques, new porous material scaffolds of multilayered, chitosan-based nanofibers were produced. Layer-by-layer (LBL) is a well-known method for surface coating, based on electrostatic interactions. It enables the controllable deposition of a variety of polyelectrolytes including synthetic and natural materials, with designable layer structure, defined layer thickness and size. Electrospinning (ESP) allows the fabrication of polymer fibers ranging from nanometers to a few microns in diameter, depending on the polymer characteristics (a.o. molecular weight, solution viscosity and conductivity) and processing conditions (electric potential, distance between syringe-capillary and collection plate, concentration, flow rate). Mats of nanofibers produced by ESP display a very large surface area-to-volume ratio and high porosity with very small pore size. The nanometric scale of electrospun fibers also proves a positive effect on cellular growth, as fiber mats mimic extracellular matrix structure. The association of these two techniques with the use of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers such as chitosan, gives outstanding prospects in the field of biomedical applications, especially for the preparation of wound dressings, artificial skin or tissue engineering scaffolds. In the present study, a charged copolymer, poly(methylmethacrylate-block-methacrylic acid), was added to a poly(ε-caprolactone) or poly(D,L-lactide) solution before electrospinning in order to prepare surface charged nanofibers. Oppositely charged polyelectrolytes – chitosan and poly(styrene sulfonate) or hyaluronic acid – were then alternately deposited on these aliphatic polyester fiber “cores” using LBL method. The aliphatic polyester core was also removed selectively to confirm the growth of a multilayered shell, obtaining hollow fibers. [less ▲]

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See detailNovel Amphiphilic copolymers and design of smart nanoparticule for triggered drug delivery systems
Cajot, Sébastien ULg; Jérôme, Christine ULg

Poster (2009, June 14)

Over the last decade, polymer micelles attracted an increasing interest in drug pharmaceutical research because they could be used as efficient drug delivery systems. Micelles of amphiphilic block ... [more ▼]

Over the last decade, polymer micelles attracted an increasing interest in drug pharmaceutical research because they could be used as efficient drug delivery systems. Micelles of amphiphilic block copolymers are supramolecular core-shell type assemblies of tens of nanometers in diameter. In principle, the micelles core is usually constructed with biodegradable hydrophobic polymers such as aliphatic polyesters, e.g. poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL), which serves as a reservoir for the incorporation of various lipophilic drugs. Water soluble poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) is most frequently used to build the micelle corona because it is very efficient in preventing protein adsorption at surfaces and in stabilizing the micelles in the blood compartment, giving rise to particles invisible to the body defence system (so-called stealthy or long circulating particles). Improvements of such simple systems however, rely on the development of novel chemistries and materials by advanced macromolecular engineering techniques. The tumour targeting of a cytotoxic agent refers to the passive accumulation of polymer nanocarriers to solid tumours (EPR effect) followed by active internalization in tumor cells. The internalization of the drug is required for cell death because most cytotoxic drugs act intracellularly. Accordingly, polymer micelles are usually modified by specific ligands. However, these ligands can decrease the micelles stealthiness and stability. No-specific ligands can be used if their exposition is modulated by the pH decrease typical of tumour tissues. Lipophilic drugs are generally incorporated in the hydrophobic core of the micelles. The release of the drug is ruled by diffusion and degradation of the biodegradable polymer used as reservoir. Even if micelles get a high stability in aqueous media thanks to their low critical micellar concentration, the dissociation of micelles is not always preserved when they are injected in the blood compartment. The cross-linking of the core of micelles by disulfide bridges will provide the stability of micelles after the administration and will release the drugs intracellularly by enzymatic breaking of disulfide bridges. This work consists in the development of new macromolecular architectures for the targeting of tumour cells. pH sensitive copolymers able to micellize so as non-specific ligand like biotin is exposed on their surface in response to pH decrease typical for tumour tissues will be synthesized by the incorporation of pH-sensitive linkers like hydrazone or imine benzoïc linkers. In addition, the core of these new micelles will be cross-linked by disulfide bridges to prevent dissociation around healthy cells and trigger the drug release inside tumour cells. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of multilayered chitosan-based nanofibers for tissue engineering
Croisier, Florence ULg; Aqil, Abdelhafid ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg et al

Conference (2009, June 13)

By combining electrospinning and layer-by-layer deposition techniques, new porous material scaffolds of multilayered, chitosan-based nanofibers were produced. Layer-by-layer (LBL) is a well-known method ... [more ▼]

By combining electrospinning and layer-by-layer deposition techniques, new porous material scaffolds of multilayered, chitosan-based nanofibers were produced. Layer-by-layer (LBL) is a well-known method for surface coating, based on electrostatic interactions. It enables the controllable deposition of a variety of polyelectrolytes including synthetic and natural materials, with designable layer structure, defined layer thickness and size. Electrospinning (ESP) allows the fabrication of polymer fibers ranging from nanometers to a few microns in diameter, depending on the polymer characteristics (a.o. molecular weight, solution viscosity and conductivity) and processing conditions (electric potential, distance between syringe-capillary and collection plate, concentration, flow rate). Mats of nanofibers produced by ESP display a very large surface area-to-volume ratio and high porosity with very small pore size. The nanometric scale of electrospun fibers also proves a positive effect on cellular growth, as fiber mats mimic extracellular matrix structure. The association of these two techniques with the use of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers such as chitosan, gives outstanding prospects in the field of biomedical applications, especially for the preparation of wound dressings, artificial skin or tissue engineering scaffolds. In the present study, a charged copolymer, poly(methylmethacrylate-block-methacrylic acid), was added to a poly(ε-caprolactone) or poly(D,L-lactide) solution before electrospinning in order to prepare surface charged nanofibers. Oppositely charged polyelectrolytes – chitosan and poly(styrene sulfonate) or hyaluronic acid – were then alternately deposited on these aliphatic polyester fiber “cores” using LBL method. The aliphatic polyester core was also removed selectively to confirm the growth of a multilayered shell, obtaining hollow fibers. [less ▲]

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See detailIN VITRO CLONAL PROPAGATION OF A PROMISING AGROFUEL PRODUCING-PLANT : JATROPHA CURCAS L.
Medza Mve, Samson Daudet ULg; Mergeai, Guy ULg; Baudoin, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2009, June 13)

In the present investigation, in vitro clonal propagation of two-month-old Jatropha curcas L. was achieved employing nodal explants. Axillary shoot bud proliferation was best initiated on Murashige and ... [more ▼]

In the present investigation, in vitro clonal propagation of two-month-old Jatropha curcas L. was achieved employing nodal explants. Axillary shoot bud proliferation was best initiated on Murashige and Skoog’s (MS) basal medium supplemented with N6-benzyladenine (BA) and adenine sulphate. This medium allowed the production of 3.1 ± 0.5 shoots per nodal explant with 3.5 ± 0.8 cm average length after 3-4 weeks. [less ▲]

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See detailClean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and Sustainable Development in South Countries
Ozer, Pierre ULg

Conference (2009, June 13)

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows emission-reduction (or emission removal) projects in developing countries to earn Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of ... [more ▼]

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows emission-reduction (or emission removal) projects in developing countries to earn Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. These CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to a meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction limitation targets. Accepted projects must qualify through a rigorous and public registration and issuance process designed to ensure real, measurable and verifiable emission reductions that are additional to what would have occurred without the project. Between November 2004 and May 2009, the mechanism has registered 1653 projects and is anticipated to currently produce CERs amounting to 303 106 tonnes of CO2 equivalent yearly. The mechanism is extremely interesting since it is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument. However the geographical distribution of the CDM projects is revealing very large differences in between developing countries since China, India, Brazil and South-Korea totalise 82% of the CERs while Africa only represents 3,3% of the total. [less ▲]

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See detailA risk-based approach for designing climate-proof flood protection
Ernst, Julien ULg; Dewals, Benjamin ULg; Detrembleur, Sylvain ULg et al

Poster (2009, June 12)

In the framework of the Belgian national research project “ADAPT - Towards an integrated decision tool for adaptation measures”, a risk-based decision-support system (DSS) is developed with the aim of ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the Belgian national research project “ADAPT - Towards an integrated decision tool for adaptation measures”, a risk-based decision-support system (DSS) is developed with the aim of selecting the most cost-effective flood protection strategies. Based on detailed 2D hydraulic modelling combined with high resolution and high accuracy land use database as well as socio-economic datasets, integrated risk analysis is conducted to evaluate the benefits of different flood protection measures. The tool is dedicated to the integrated evaluation of flood management strategies in the context of increased flood risk as a result of climate change, considering hydraulic, economic, social as well as environmental parameters to quantify both the benefits (in terms of avoided risk) and the cost of each strategy. While such risk analyses are mostly undertaken at a macro- or meso-scale, the present approach is performed at a micro-scale, meaning that the considered assets are the individual buildings or facilities. The methodology relies on a consistent approach in terms of accuracy of input data, hydraulic modelling and expected results. Indeed, besides detailed hydraulic modelling conducted on computational grids as fine as 2m by 2m, exploited data include laser altimetry (LIDAR), high resolution and high quality land use maps as well as other complementary vector geographic datasets providing socioeconomic information at a micro-scale. Next to the flow modelling and the exposure analysis conducted for each building or facility individually, the procedure involves social impact analysis (accounting for social vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities) and the evaluation of direct economic damage based on different relative damage functions. The outcomes of this risk analysis are subsequently exploited in the DSS to evaluate the effectiveness of individual flood protection measures. Finally all costs and benefits (avoided risk) are combined to enable the evaluation of flood protection strategies. Every scenario for which benefits outweigh costs potentially adds to welfare. The scenario with the highest contribution per Euro invested should ideally be realised first. The extended cost-benefit analysis is complemented by uncertainty and sensitivity analyses of the results. The applicability of the overall automatic procedure is demonstrated by the evaluation of inundation hazard, exposure and flood risk for a case study along river Ourthe in the Meuse basin (Belgium). For validation purpose, recent flood events are first simulated and a base scenario is considered. Next, the effectiveness of a number of flood protection measures is evaluated. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a protocol for micropropagation of Jatropha curcas L
Medza Mve, Samson Daudet ULg; Mergeai, Guy ULg; Baudoin, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

in Fifth International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries (2009, June 11)

In the present investigation, in vitro clonal propagation of two-month-old Jatropha curcas L. was achieved employing nodal explants. Axillary shoot bud proliferation was best initiated on Murashige and ... [more ▼]

In the present investigation, in vitro clonal propagation of two-month-old Jatropha curcas L. was achieved employing nodal explants. Axillary shoot bud proliferation was best initiated on Murashige and Skoog’s (MS) basal medium supplemented with N6-benzyladenine (BA) and adenine sulphate. This medium allowed the production of 3.1 ± 0.5 shoots per nodal explant with 3.5 ± 0.8 cm average length after 3-4 weeks. [less ▲]

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See detailAgreement between raters and groups of raters
Vanbelle, Sophie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2009)

Agreement between raters on a categorical scale is not only a subject of scientific research but also a problem frequently encountered in practice. Whenever a new scale is developed to assess individuals ... [more ▼]

Agreement between raters on a categorical scale is not only a subject of scientific research but also a problem frequently encountered in practice. Whenever a new scale is developed to assess individuals or items in a certain context, inter-rater agreement is a prerequisite for the scale to be actually implemented in routine use. Cohen's kappa coeffcient is a landmark in the developments of rater agreement theory. This coeffcient, which operated a radical change in previously proposed indexes, opened a new field of research in the domain. In the first part of this work, after a brief review of agreement on a quantitative scale, the kappa-like family of agreement indexes is described in various instances: two raters, several raters, an isolated rater and a group of raters and two groups of raters. To quantify the agreement between two individual raters, Cohen's kappa coefficient (Cohen, 1960) and the intraclass kappa coefficient (Kraemer, 1979) are widely used for binary and nominal scales, while the weighted kappa coefficient (Cohen, 1968) is recommended for ordinal scales. An interpretation of the quadratic (Schuster, 2004) and the linear (Vanbelle and Albert, 2009c) weighting schemes is given. Cohen's kappa (Fleiss, 1971) and intraclass kappa (Landis and Koch, 1977c) coefficients were extended to the case where agreement is searched between several raters. Next, the kappa-like family of agreement coefficients is extended to the case of an isolated rater and a group of raters (Vanbelle and Albert, 2009a) and to the case of two groups of raters (Vanbelle and Albert, 2009b). These agreement coefficients are derived on a population-based model and reduce to the well-known Cohen's kappa coefficient in the case of two single raters. The proposed agreement indexes are also compared to existing methods, the consensus method and Schouten's agreement index (Schouten, 1982). The superiority of the new approach over the latter is shown. In the second part of the work, methods for hypothesis testing and data modeling are discussed. Firstly, the method proposed by Fleiss (1981) for comparing several independent agreement indexes is presented. Then, a bootstrap method initially developed by McKenzie et al. (1996) to compare two dependent agreement indexes, is extended to several dependent agreement indexes (Vanbelle and Albert, 2008). All these methods equally apply to the kappa coefficients introduced in the first part of the work. Next, regression methods for testing the effect of continuous and categorical covariates on the agreement between two or several raters are reviewed. This includes the weighted least-squares method allowing only for categorical covariates (Barnhart and Williamson, 2002) and a regression method based on two sets of generalized estimating equations. The latter method was developed for the intraclass kappa coefficient (Klar et al., 2000), Cohen's kappa coefficient (Williamson et al., 2000) and the weighted kappa coefficient (Gonin et al., 2000). Finally, a heuristic method, restricted to the case of independent observations, is presented (Lipsitz et al., 2001, 2003) which turns out to be equivalent to the generalized estimating equations approach. These regression methods are compared to the bootstrap method extended by Vanbelle and Albert (2008) but they were not generalized to agreement between a single rater and a group of raters nor between two groups of raters. [less ▲]

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See detailMaternal transfer of mercury to offspring in phocids
Habran, Sarah ULg; Pomeroy, Paddy; Debier, Cathy et al

Conference (2009, June 09)

Marine mammals may display high mercury (Hg) levels in their tissues, which raises the question of the importance of toxic metal transfer from mother to offspring. Indeed, Hg could be transferred from ... [more ▼]

Marine mammals may display high mercury (Hg) levels in their tissues, which raises the question of the importance of toxic metal transfer from mother to offspring. Indeed, Hg could be transferred from mothers to fetuses via the placenta and to suckling pups via the milk, potentially affecting them during their most sensitive periods of development. Some lactating female phocids fast during the suckling period. This fasting period involves not only an important mobilization of energy reserves, but also mobilization of potentially associated contaminants. We studied and compared maternal transfer of Hg to offspring in two phocid species: the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) from the Californian coast and the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) from the Isle of May in Scotland. Total mercury concentrations (THg) were measured in whole blood and maternal milk of 20 mother-pup pairs of each species in early and late lactation. Methylmercury (MeHg) levels were also measured in the blood and milk of grey seals. Results indicated that Hg passed from the maternal tissue into the phocid milk. Milk showed a range of THg levels from 15 to 60 ppb (ng.g-1-wet-weight). From the first days after birth, pups displayed relatively high blood Hg levels suggesting that a Hg transfer through placenta occurred. Blood Hg levels in mothers and pups also varied significantly throughout lactation. While maternal levels doubled, pup levels were reduced by half between the beginning and the end of lactation. Remobilization of proteins and lipids during fasting and milk production in mothers might lead to a release of Hg in blood and therefore increase the levels in late lactation. On the contrary, Hg would be progressively stored in pup organs during their development. Decreasing Hg levels in pups also suggest that the Hg intake via the milk might be lower than that via the placenta. This study highlights a transplacental and transmammary transfer of Hg in both phocid populations. However, further toxicology studies are needed to help understand the potential impact of this Hg transfer. Results also showed that physiological processes such as lactation and/or fasting can modify Hg levels in the blood of mothers and pups. Therefore, such processes and body condition should be considered carefully when interpreting Hg levels in the framework of biomonitoring. [less ▲]

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