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See detailComparison of Indium Tin Oxide and Indium Tungsten Oxide as Transparent Conductive Substrates for WO3-Based Electrochromic Devices
Maho, Anthony ULg; Nicolay, Sylvain; Manceriu, Laura ULg et al

in Journal of the Electrochemical Society (2017), 164(2), 25-31

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See detailDatasets for Testing Probabilistic Models of Choice using Column Generation
Spieksma, Frits C.R.; Davis-Stober, Clint; Regenwetter, Mike et al

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2017)

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See detailCan DEM time series produced by UAV be used to quantify diffuse erosion in an agricultural watershed?
Pineux, Nathalie ULg; Lisein, Jonathan ULg; Swerts, Gilles ULg et al

in Geomorphology (2017), 280

Erosion and deposition modelling should rely on field data. Currently these data are seldom available at large spatial scales and/or at high spatial resolution. In addition, conventional erosion ... [more ▼]

Erosion and deposition modelling should rely on field data. Currently these data are seldom available at large spatial scales and/or at high spatial resolution. In addition, conventional erosion monitoring approaches are labour intensive and costly. This calls for the development of new approaches for field erosion data acquisition. As a result of rapid technological developments and low cost, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have recently become an attractive means of generating high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). The use of UAV to observe and quantify gully erosion is now widely established. However, in some agro-pedological contexts, soil erosion results from multiple processes, including sheet and rill erosion, tillage erosion and erosion due to harvest of root crops. These diffuse erosion processes often represent a particular challenge because of the limited elevation changes they induce. In this study,we propose to assess the reliability and development perspectives of UAV to locate and quantify erosion and deposition in a context of an agricultural watershed with silt loam soils and a smooth relief. Erosion and deposition rates derived from high resolution DEM time series are compared to field measurements. The UAV technique demonstrates a high level of flexibility and can be used, for instance, after a major erosive event. It delivers a very high resolution DEM(pixel size: 6 cm) which allows us to compute high resolution runoff pathways. This could enable us to precisely locate runoff management practices such as fascines. Furthermore, the DEMs can be used diachronically to extract elevation differences before and after a strongly erosive rainfall and be validated by field measurements. While the analysis for this study was carried out over 2 years, we observed a tendency along the slope from erosion to deposition. Erosion and deposition patterns detected at the watershed scale are also promising. Nevertheless, further development in the processing workflow of UAV data is required in order to make this technique accurate and robust enough for detecting sediment movements in an agricultural watershed affected by diffuse erosion. This area of investigation holdsmuch potential as the images processing is relatively new and expanding. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the numerical simulation of sheet metal blanking process
Canales Cardenas, Cristian ULg; Bussetta, Philippe; Ponthot, Jean-Philippe ULg

in International Journal of Material Forming (2017), 10

The use of the blanking process has been widely spread in mass production industries. In this technique, the quality of the final product is directly related to the setting parameters of the process and ... [more ▼]

The use of the blanking process has been widely spread in mass production industries. In this technique, the quality of the final product is directly related to the setting parameters of the process and the material response of the sheet. In the present work, a general framework based on the finite element method for the simulation of the sheet metal blanking process is presented. The proposed approach properly addresses all the numerical challenges related to blanking. First, an extension of elasto-viscoplastic constitutive equations for the large strain regime is used to take into account the material strain-rate sensitivity. Then, the inertial effects coming from high velocity operations are considered by means of an implicit time integration scheme. Moreover, the frictional contact interactions are simulated with the classical Coulomb law and an energetically consistent formulation of area regularization. Finally, ductile fracture is modeled thanks to the element deletion method coupled with a fracture criterion. The blanking process is then simulated for different setting parameters. The accuracy of this approach is evaluated by comparing the numerical predictions to experimental results for both quasi-static and dynamic conditions. Good agreement is found between experimental and numerical results for all cases. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear system identification in structural dynamics: 10 more years of progress
Noël, Jean-Philippe ULg; Kerschen, Gaëtan ULg

in Mechanical Systems & Signal Processing (2017), 83

Nonlinear system identification is a vast research field, today attracting a great deal of attention in the structural dynamics community. Ten years ago, in an MSSP paper reviewing the progress achieved ... [more ▼]

Nonlinear system identification is a vast research field, today attracting a great deal of attention in the structural dynamics community. Ten years ago, in an MSSP paper reviewing the progress achieved until then, it was concluded that the identification of simple continuous structures with localised nonlinearities was within reach. The past decade witnessed a shift in emphasis, accommodating the growing industrial need for a first generation of tools capable of addressing complex nonlinearities in larger-scale structures. The objective of the present paper is to survey the key developments which arose in the field since 2006, and to illustrate state-of-the-art techniques using a real-world satellite structure. Finally, a broader perspective to nonlinear system identification is provided by discussing the central role played by experimental models in the design cycle of engineering structures. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the photocatalytic activity of Fe3+, Cr3+, La3+ and Eu3+ single-doped and co-doped TiO2 catalysts produced by aqueous sol-gel processing
Malengreaux, Charline; Pirard, Sophie ULg; Léonard, Géraldine ULg et al

in Journal of Alloys and Compounds (2017), 691

An aqueous sol-gel process, previously developed for producing undoped and Cu2+, Ni2+, Zn2+ or Pb2+ doped TiO2 photocatalysts with remarkably high photocatalytic activity without requiring any calcination ... [more ▼]

An aqueous sol-gel process, previously developed for producing undoped and Cu2+, Ni2+, Zn2+ or Pb2+ doped TiO2 photocatalysts with remarkably high photocatalytic activity without requiring any calcination step, has been adapted to produce Fe3+, Cr3+, La3+ or Eu3+ single-doped TiO2 photocatalysts as well as La3+-Fe3+ and Eu3+-Fe3+ co-doped TiO2 catalysts. The physicochemical properties of the obtained catalysts have been characterized using a suite of complementary techniques, including ICP-AES, XRD, UV-Vis spectroscopy, nitrogen adsorption-desorption and Fe-57 Mössbauer. The active crystalline phase is obtained without requiring any calcination step and all the different catalysts are composed of nanocrystallites of anatase with a size of 6-7 nm and a high specific surface area varying from 181 to 298 m² g-1. In this study, the effect of the NO3:Ti(IV) mole ratio used to induce the peptisation reaction during the synthesis has been studied and the results revealed that this ratio can influence significantly the textural properties of the resulting catalyst. A screening of the photocatalytic activity of the undoped and Fe3+, Cr3+, La3+ or Eu3+ single-doped and co-doped photocatalysts has been performed by evaluating the degradation of 4-nitrophenol under UV-Visible light (330 nm < λ < 800 nm). This study suggests that the photocatalytic activity is significantly influenced by the dopant nature and content with an optimal dopant content being observed in the case of Fe3+ or La3+ single-doped as well as in the case of La3+-Fe3+ and Eu3+-Fe3+ co-doped catalysts. In the case of Cr3+ single-doped catalysts, a detrimental effect of the dopant on the photocatalytic degradation of 4-nitrophenol has been observed while no significant influence of the dopant has been detected in the case of Eu3+ single-doped catalysts. The role of the different dopants in modulating the photocatalytic activity is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailImplementation of the biogenic emission model MEGAN(v2.1) into the ECHAM6-HAMMOZ chemistry climate model
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULg; Stanelle, T.; Schröder, S. et al

in Geoscientific Model Development [=GMD] (2017)

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See detailDo flower mixtures with high functional diversity enhance aphid predators in wildflower strips?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

in European Journal of Entomology (2017), 114

Among semi-natural elements in agricultural landscapes, wildflower strips sown at field margins or within fields represent potential habitats for the natural enemies of insect pests. As insects are ... [more ▼]

Among semi-natural elements in agricultural landscapes, wildflower strips sown at field margins or within fields represent potential habitats for the natural enemies of insect pests. As insects are sensitive to a variety of flower traits, we hypothesised that mixtures with high functional diversity attract and support a higher abundance and species richness of aphid flower visiting predators compared to mixtures with low functional diversity. During a field experiment, repeated over two years (2014 and 2015) in Gembloux (Belgium), aphid predators (i.e., lacewings, ladybeetles and hoverflies) were pan-trapped in five sown flower mixtures (including a control mixture, with three replicates of each mixture) of low to high functional diversity based on seven traits (i.e., flower colour, ultra-violet reflectance and pattern, blooming start and duration, height and flower class, primarily based on corolla morphology). In both years, flower species in the sown mixtures (i.e., sown and spontaneous flowers) were listed, and the realised functional diversity of each plot was calculated. Over the two years, an increase in functional diversity did not result in an increase in the abundance and richness of aphid predators. Moreover, ladybeetles, representing the majority of trapped predators, were more abundant in mixtures with very low or intermediary functional diversity at sowing, especially in 2014. We hypothesise that certain flower species, which were abundant in certain mixtures (and not in those exhibiting the highest functional diversity), attracted predators and were sufficiently represented to support them. Our results present novel information that could be used to the development of flower mixtures that provide effective ecosystem services, such as pest control. [less ▲]

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See detailThe lure of pedogenesis. An anthropological foray into making urban soils in contemporary France
Meulemans, Germain ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis is an anthropological inquiry into the emergence of urban soils as matters of concern in the worlds of soil scientists and other fields more traditionally involved with cities. City soils have ... [more ▼]

This thesis is an anthropological inquiry into the emergence of urban soils as matters of concern in the worlds of soil scientists and other fields more traditionally involved with cities. City soils have typically been neglected in modern thinking about nature and urbanism. They have long been framed solely as a technical question which seemed to require no further pondering until – in the last two decades – they entered the scope of the soil sciences. This thesis draws on over 13 months of multi-locale fieldwork conducted in Paris and Lorraine with soil scientists, gardeners and foundation builders. Through the lens of soil-making practices, it seeks to elucidate the specificity of new forms of urban pedogenesis, including the growth of soils and the lives of the humans associated with them. Building on scholarship in anthropology, the soil sciences, science studies, and speculative philosophy, it follows how these actors learn to be affected in the material performance of different relations between people and soils. Occasionally turning to narrative to complement analysis and more traditional ethnography, each chapter pulls a different diffractive string from the mesh of urban soil matters, and follows where it leads in what Deleuze and Guattari call an ‘itinerant’ mode of research. As ways of knowing that emerge from soil construction are described, the question of what making soils does to knowing them becomes a central thread of the thesis. In this, it looks at how soils participate in apparatuses where they become ‘lures for feelings’ – affective interweavings in which worlds are experienced. The introduction sets the stage for the thesis, and explains how the fieldwork was conducted. It sets pointers for the rest of the work by explaining the attentive, yet critical posture it adopts towards scientific theories of soils. The thesis is then divided into two parts: the first part (chapters 1-4) presents a detailed consideration of the world being newly explored by urban soil scientists, and showcases key points of encounter between pedology, the environmental sciences and themes such as urban sprawl, ‘peak soil’, and ‘the Anthropocene’. It starts by problematizing the movement by which, in the 19th century, urban soils became ‘blackboxed’ when their hard sealing initiated a long standing separation between earth and sky. This is followed by an examination of the renewed interest towards urban soils in realms as diverse as city planning, waste management and hydraulics. The thesis then turns to exploring more specifically the impact of urban soils on soil science research in France. It describes how the new urban soil sciences invoke non-linear ecological dynamics, and how they question distinctions such as those between the living and the non-living, and between the human and the natural. In the face of this questioning, scientists started to experiment with urban soils by engaging directly in their construction through their ‘ecological engineering’. Rejecting separations between making and theory, these practices are understood by attending to soil scientist’s digging practices, described as ways of learning to be affected by soils and their liveliness. This part concludes with a study of the multispecies interactions entailed in soil ecologists’ attempts to ‘collaborate’ with earthworms and other soil organisms. An analysis of the modes of joint becoming of soils and humans at play in soil construction is developed by way of a reinterpretation of the soil sciences’ concept of pedogenesis. These ideas are developed in the second part of the thesis (chapters 5-7), which addresses practices of urban soil construction in the fields of urban gardening and foundation building, and introduces an art and anthropology experiment. It first presents the work of urban gardeners who develop their own understanding of city soils and botany, and attempt to grow knowledge, soils and community by adapting ancient rural practices of earth working to the reclamation of city interstices. It then introduces the work of foundation builders, and shows that far from entailing soils as inert matter that would be malleable at will, their work can be characterised as a play on equilibrium across interfaces of exchange. The thesis concludes with the presentation of an art, anthropology and soil science experiment in which the author participated. In this experiment fieldwork was re-interrogated by means of narrative speculation and installation making. This finally provides the grounds from which to draw methodological conclusions for an experimental anthropology, premised on the interweaving of imagination and practice. [less ▲]

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See detailEmployee perspectives on safety citizenship behaviors and safety violations
Chmiel, Nik; Laurent, Julie ULg; Hansez, Isabelle ULg

in Safety Science (2017), 93

Two studies investigate whether employees viewing discretionary safety activities as part of their job role (termed safety citizenship role definitions, SCRDs) plays an important part in predicting two ... [more ▼]

Two studies investigate whether employees viewing discretionary safety activities as part of their job role (termed safety citizenship role definitions, SCRDs) plays an important part in predicting two types of safety violation: routine violations conceptualized as related to an individual’s available cognitive energy or ‘effort’; and situational violations, which are those provoked by the organization (Reason, 1990). Study 1 showed SCRDs predicted situational violations only, and partially mediated the relationships between Perceived Management Commitment to Safety (PMCS) and work engagement with situational violations. These findings add to those by Hansez and Chmiel (2010), showing that routine and situational violations have predictors that differ. Study 1 findings also extend research reported by Turner et al. (2005), by showing that the effect of Job Control on SCRDs was mediated by both PMCS and work engagement. In study 2, participation in discretionary safety activities (safety participation) mediated the relationship between SCRDs and situational violations. Similar to study 1 The link between SCRDs and routine violations was non-significant and, strikingly, so was the link between safety participation and routine violations. These results support the view that processes involving SCRDs and safety participation are not cognitive-energetical in nature. In addition, study 2 findings extend previous work by Neal and Griffin (2006) by showing that SCRDs and safety knowledge partially mediated relationships between safety motivation and safety participation, whereas the direct effect of safety motivation on safety participation was non-significant. The results from both studies support the view that SCRDs are important in predicting situational violations. In study 2 SCRDs were shown to partially mediate the relationship between safety motivation and selfreported participation in discretionary safety activities (Safety Participation) which, in turn, related to situational violations. Interestingly there was no significant direct link between SCRDs and situational violations. These findings support the view that the effect of SCRDs on situational violations is fully mediated by participation in discretionary safety activities. [less ▲]

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See detailCabergoline for Cushing's disease: a large retrospective multicenter study.
Ferriere, A.; Cortet, C.; Chanson, P. et al

in European Journal of Endocrinology (2017), 176(3), 305-314

OBJECTIVE: The efficacy of cabergoline in Cushing's disease (CD) is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of cabergoline in a large contemporary cohort of ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: The efficacy of cabergoline in Cushing's disease (CD) is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of cabergoline in a large contemporary cohort of patients with CD. DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective multicenter study from thirteen French and Belgian university hospitals. METHODS: Sixty-two patients with CD received cabergoline monotherapy or add-on therapy. Symptom score, biological markers of hypercortisolism and adverse effects were recorded. RESULTS: Twenty-one (40%) of 53 patients who received cabergoline monotherapy had normal urinary free cortisol (UFC) values within 12 months (complete responders), and five of these patients developed corticotropic insufficiency. The fall in UFC was associated with significant reductions in midnight cortisol and plasma ACTH, and with clinical improvement. Compared to other patients, complete responders had similar median baseline UFC (2.0 vs 2.5xULN) and plasma prolactin concentrations but received lower doses of cabergoline (1.5 vs 3.5 mg/week, P < 0.05). During long-term treatment (>12 months), cabergoline was withdrawn in 28% of complete responders because of treatment escape or intolerance. Overall, sustained control of hypercortisolism was obtained in 23% of patients for 32.5 months (19-105). Nine patients on steroidogenesis inhibitors received cabergoline add-on therapy for 19 months (1-240). Hypercortisolism was controlled in 56% of these patients during the first year of treatment with cabergoline at 1.0 mg/week (0.5-3.5). CONCLUSIONS: About 20-25% of CD patients are good responders to cabergoline therapy allowing long-term control of hypercortisolism at relatively low dosages and with acceptable tolerability. No single parameter, including the baseline UFC and prolactin levels, predicted the response to cabergoline. [less ▲]

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See detailRezeption Thibauts in Belgien und in Frankreich
Gerkens, Jean-François ULg

in Baldus, Christian; Hattenhauer, Christian; Schroeder, Klaus-Peter (Eds.) Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut (1772-1840) Bürger und Gelehrter (2017)

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See detailSwimmer's Itch in Belgium: First Recorded Outbreaks, Molecular Identification of the Parasite Species and Intermediate Hosts.
Caron, Yannick ULg; Cabaraux, Ariane; Marechal, Francoise et al

in Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) (2017)

BACKGROUND: Cercarial dermatitis or swimmer's itch is a skin condition in humans due to the larval forms of bird schistosomes of some species of the genus Trichobilharzia. The life cycle of these ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Cercarial dermatitis or swimmer's itch is a skin condition in humans due to the larval forms of bird schistosomes of some species of the genus Trichobilharzia. The life cycle of these schistosomes requires freshwater snails (intermediate host) and waterfowl (definitive host). Repeated exposures to cercariae can lead to skin sensitization with the induction of pruritic skin lesions. METHODS: We describe, in this study, two outbreaks of human cercarial dermatitis at the Eau d'Heure Lakes, Belgium. In July and August 2012, a total of, respectively, 78 and 10 people reported a sudden skin rash accompanied by pruritus following recreational activities in the Plate Taille Lake. However, no ocellate furcocercariae were detected following light exposure of the snails collected between September 2012 and September 2013 (n = 402). No outbreaks were recorded in 2013 and 2014. In August 2015, about 30 new cases were recorded. Snails were collected (n = 270) in different locations around the lake. PCR was used to identify accurately the intermediate hosts and the parasite species involved. RESULTS: After light exposure, seven Radix spp. (2.6%) shed ocellate furcocercariae. Molecular identification based on the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 sequence ascribed the infected snails to R. balthica ( = R. peregra = R. ovata) (6/7) and R. auricularia (1/7). Based on the amplification of the D2 domain of the 28S rDNA, the cercariae were shown to belong to two different haplotypes of Trichobilharzia franki. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first record in Belgium of T. franki and associated skin condition. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison between sedation and general anesthesia for high resolution computed tomographic characterization of canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in west highland white terriers
Roels, Elodie ULg; Couvreur, Thierry; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound (2017)

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF) is a progressive interstitial lung disease mainly affecting West Highland white terriers (WHWTs). Thoracic high-resolution computed tomographic (T-HRCT ... [more ▼]

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF) is a progressive interstitial lung disease mainly affecting West Highland white terriers (WHWTs). Thoracic high-resolution computed tomographic (T-HRCT) findings for CIPF acquired under general anesthesia have been described previously. However, the use of general anesthesia may be contraindicated for some affected dogs. Sedation may allow improved speed and safety, but it is unknown whether sedation would yield similar results in identification and grading of CIPF lesions. The aim of this prospective, observational, method-comparison, case-control study was to compare findings from T-HRCT images acquired under sedation versus general anesthesia for WHWTs affected with CIPF (n=11) and age-matched controls (n=9), using the glossary of terms of the Fleischner Society and a scoring system. Ground-glass opacity (GGO) was identified in all affected WHWTs for both sedation and general anesthesia acquisitions, although the GGO extent varied significantly between the two acquisitions (P<0.001). Ground-glass opacity was the sole lesion observed in control dogs (n=6), but was less extensive compared with affected WHWTs. Identification and grading of a mosaic attenuation pattern differed significantly between acquisitions (P<0.001). Identification of lesions such as consolidations, nodules, parenchymal and subpleural bands, bronchial wall thickening, and bronchiectasis did not differ between acquisitions. The present study demonstrated that T-HRCT obtained under sedation may provide different information than T-HRCT obtained under general anesthesia for identification and grading of some CIPF lesions, but not all of them. These differences should be taken into consideration when general anesthesia is contraindicated and sedation is necessary for evaluating WHWTs with CIPF. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse de Risque SIAMU
Kasprzyk, Jean-Paul ULg

Software (2017)

The tool allows users from SIAMU to generate different risk maps based on past interventions (recurring risk), punctual risk (schools, hospitals, etc.) and the accessibility of SIAMU resources ... [more ▼]

The tool allows users from SIAMU to generate different risk maps based on past interventions (recurring risk), punctual risk (schools, hospitals, etc.) and the accessibility of SIAMU resources (firestations and ambulance departures). This decision support tool helps SIAMU to fairly distribute their resources In Brussels agglomeration. [less ▲]

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See detailA multivariable prediction model for pegvisomant dosing: monotherapy and in combination with long-acting somatostatin analogues
Franck, Sanne Elisabeth; Korevaar, Tim; PETROSSIANS, Patrick ULg et al

in European Journal of Endocrinology (2017)

Background: Effective treatment of acromegaly with pegvisomant (PEGV), a growth hormone receptor antagonist, requires an appropriate dose titration. PEGV doses vary widely among individual patients, and ... [more ▼]

Background: Effective treatment of acromegaly with pegvisomant (PEGV), a growth hormone receptor antagonist, requires an appropriate dose titration. PEGV doses vary widely among individual patients, and various covariates may affect its dosing and pharmacokinetics. Objective: To identify predictors of the PEGV dose required to normalize insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels during PEGV monotherapy and in combination with long-acting somatostatin analogues (LA-SSAs). 188) were meta-analysed as a form of external replication to study the predictors of PEGV dosing in addition to LA-SSA, the LAS (n=83) was used to study the predictors of PEGV monotherapy dosing. Multivariable regression models were used to identify predictors of the PEGV dose required to normalize IGF-I levels. <0.001, p=<0.001, p=0.028 and p=0.047, respectively). Taken together, these characteristics predicted the PEGV normalization dose correctly in 63.3% of all patients within a range of +/- 60 mg/week (21.3% within a range of +/- 20 mg/week). For monotherapy, only weight was associated with the PEGV normalization dose (p=<0.001) and predicted this dosage correctly in 77.1% of all patients within a range of +/- 60 mg/week (31.3% within a range of +/- 20 mg/week). Conclusion: In this study, we show that IGF-I levels, weight, height and age can contribute to define the optimal PEGV dose in order to normalize IGF-I levels in addition to LA-SSA. For PEGV monotherapy, only the patient's weight was associated with the IGF-I normalization PEGV dosage. [less ▲]

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See detailAccuracy and performance of continuous glucose monitors in athletes
Thomas, Felicity Louise ULg; Pretty, Christopher; Signal, Matthew et al

in Biomedical Signal Processing and Control (2017)

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See detailModeling pre-metastatic lymphvascular niche in the mouse ear sponge assay.
Garcia-Caballero, Melissa; Van De Velde, Maureen ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7

Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, occurs in primary tumors and in draining lymph nodes leading to pre-metastatic niche formation. Reliable in vivo models are becoming instrumental ... [more ▼]

Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, occurs in primary tumors and in draining lymph nodes leading to pre-metastatic niche formation. Reliable in vivo models are becoming instrumental for investigating alterations occurring in lymph nodes before tumor cell arrival. In this study, we demonstrate that B16F10 melanoma cell encapsulation in a biomaterial, and implantation in the mouse ear, prevents their rapid lymphatic spread observed when cells are directly injected in the ear. Vascular remodeling in lymph nodes was detected two weeks after sponge implantation, while their colonization by tumor cells occurred two weeks later. In this model, a huge lymphangiogenic response was induced in primary tumors and in pre-metastatic and metastatic lymph nodes. In control lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels were confined to the cortex. In contrast, an enlargement and expansion of lymphatic vessels towards paracortical and medullar areas occurred in pre-metastatic lymph nodes. We designed an original computerized-assisted quantification method to examine the lymphatic vessel structure and the spatial distribution. This new reliable and accurate model is suitable for in vivo studies of lymphangiogenesis, holds promise for unraveling the mechanisms underlying lymphatic metastases and pre-metastatic niche formation in lymph nodes, and will provide new tools for drug testing. [less ▲]

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See detailRationalising vitamin B6 biofortification in crop plants.
Fudge, Jared; Mangel, Nathalie; Gruissem, Wilhelm et al

in Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2017), 44

Vitamin B6 encompasses a group of related compounds (vitamers) that can only be biosynthesised de novo by plants and microorganisms. Enzymatic cofactor and antioxidant functions for vitamin B6 are ... [more ▼]

Vitamin B6 encompasses a group of related compounds (vitamers) that can only be biosynthesised de novo by plants and microorganisms. Enzymatic cofactor and antioxidant functions for vitamin B6 are established in all kingdoms. Human vitamin B6 dietary insufficiency or genetic defects in B6 vitamer interconversion result in various neurological and inflammatory pathologies with several populations at-risk or marginal for vitamin B6 status. Three (rice, wheat and cassava) of the world's top five staple crops do not meet the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B6, when consumed as a major proportion of the diet. In addition, controlled enhancement of the appropriate B6 vitamer in crops has the potential to confer stress resistance. Thus, crop biofortification strategies represent an opportunity to reduce the risk of deficiency in populations with limited diet diversity and quality, as well as improving stress tolerance. [less ▲]

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See detailPEGylated and Functionalized Aliphatic Polycarbonate Polyplex Nanoparticles for Intravenous Administration of HDAC5 siRNA in Cancer Therapy
Frère, Antoine ULg; Baroni, Alexandra; Hendrick, Elodie ULg et al

in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (2017), 25(9(3)), 2181-2195

Guanidine and morpholine functionalized aliphatic polycarbonate polymers are able to efficiently deliver histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) siRNA into the cytoplasm of cancer cells in vitro leading to a ... [more ▼]

Guanidine and morpholine functionalized aliphatic polycarbonate polymers are able to efficiently deliver histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) siRNA into the cytoplasm of cancer cells in vitro leading to a decrease of cell proliferation were previously developed. To allow these biodegradable and biocompatible polyplex nanoparticles to overcome the extracellular barriers and be effective in vivo after an intravenous injection, polyethylene glycol chains (PEG750 or PEG2000) were grafted on the polymer structure. These nanoparticles, showed an average size of about 150 nm and a slightly positive zeta potential with complete siRNA complexation. Behavior of PEGylated and non-PEGylated polyplexes were investigated in the presence of serum, in terms of siRNA complexation (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy), size (Dynamic Light Scattering and Single-Particle Tracking), interaction with proteins (Isothermal Titration Calorimetry) and cellular uptake. Surprisingly, both PEGylated and non-PEGylated formulations presented relatively good behavior in the presence of fetal bovine serum (FBS). Hemocompatibility tests showed no effect of these polyplexes on hemolysis and coagulation. In vivo biodistribution in mice was performed and showed a better siRNA accumulation at the tumor site for PEGylated polyplexes. However, cellular uptake in protein-rich conditions showed that PEGylated polyplex lost their ability to interact with biological membranes and enter into cells, showing the importance to perform in vitro investigations in physiological conditions closed to in vivo situation. In vitro, the efficiency of PEGylated nanoparticles decreases compared to non-PEGylated particles, leading to the loss of the antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. [less ▲]

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