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See detailThermo-responsive gold/poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) core–corona nanoparticles as a drug delivery system
Liu, Ji ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; Hurtgen, Marie et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2014), 5(18), 5289-5299

Core–corona gold/poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) nanoparticles (gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs) were fabricated via an in situ method, where a gold salt was reduced within the macromolecular aqueous ... [more ▼]

Core–corona gold/poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) nanoparticles (gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs) were fabricated via an in situ method, where a gold salt was reduced within the macromolecular aqueous solution. Arrangement of macromolecular chains on the surface of gold cores was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy. The responsiveness to temperature and the preserved colloidal stability of the gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) were confirmed by dynamic light scattering and turbidity measurements. The drug loading capacity (DLC of ca. 1.3–2.8 wt%) of the gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs as a drug delivery system (DDS) was tested with Nadolol®, a hydrophilic drug, and the release behaviours were studied at several temperatures. PVOH-b-PNVCL copolymers with an LCST of a few degrees above the biological temperature (37 °C), for example, PVOH180-b-PNVCL110 (LCST of 41 °C), are preferential, due to the slower release at 37 °C, but a faster release at temperatures that are a few degrees higher. The cytocompatibility of the gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs against mouse fibroblastic L929 cells was evaluated via the MTS assay. Cellular uptake within MEL-5 human melanoma cells was studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy, fluorescence-activated cell sorting and TEM techniques and it showed that gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs preferably accumulated within the cellular cytoplasm, with an incubation concentration and period-dependent uptake process. All these results corroborated a general utility of these thermo-responsive gold@PVOH-b-PNVCL NPs for drug delivery and controlled drug release. [less ▲]

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See detailBlock, random and palm-tree amphiphilic fluorinated copolymers: controlled synthesis, surface activity and use as dispersion polymerization stabilizers
Alaimo, David ULg; Beigbeder, Alexandre; Dubois, Philippe et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2014), 5(18), 5273-5282

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See detailDes activités pour les patients souffrant de la maladie d'Alzheimer? Oui! Mais pas n'importe lesquelles!
Adam, Stéphane ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

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See detailLes effets de la retraite sur la mémoire
Adam, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2014, September 16)

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See detailInvestigating apical adverse effects of four endocrine active substances in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis
Giusti, Arnaud ULg; Lagadic, Laurent; Barsi, Alpar et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 493

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active ... [more ▼]

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active substances (EASs). Up to now, only a few putative EASs have been tested for their reproductive toxicity in this species. In this study, we investigate the effects of four EASs with different affinities to the vertebrate estrogen and androgen receptors (chlordecone as an estrogen; cyproterone acetate, fenitrothion and vinclozolin as anti-androgens) on the reproduction of L. stagnalis in a 21-day semi-static test. Testosterone and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) were used as the reference compounds. The tested EASs had no significant effect on growth and survival at the tested concentration ranges (ng to μg/L). Classical reproduction endpoints (i.e., oviposition and fecundity) were not responsive to the tested chemicals, except for chlordecone and 17α-ethinylestradiol, which hampered reproduction from 19.6 μg/L and 17.6 μg/L, respectively. The frequency of polyembryonic eggs, used as an additional endpoint, demonstrated the effects of all compounds except EE2. The molecular pathways, which are involved in such reproduction impairments, remain unknown. Our results suggest that egg quality is a more sensitive endpoint as compared to other reproductive endpoints commonly assessed in mollusk toxicity tests. [less ▲]

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See detailInteractions discursives et graphiques en conception architecturale à distance
Joachim, Guillaume ULg

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cet article présente une analyse qualitative de la conception architecturale à distance outillée par un dispositif de communication multimodale synchrone. À partir d’une transcription et d’un codage de ... [more ▼]

Cet article présente une analyse qualitative de la conception architecturale à distance outillée par un dispositif de communication multimodale synchrone. À partir d’une transcription et d’un codage de vidéos d’architectes qui collaborent en dessinant et discourant simultanément, nous étudions comment ces professionnels utilisent différentes ressources graphiques et verbales pour élaborer collectivement des connaissances. [less ▲]

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See detailLes Mooc : étude énonciative d’une pédagogie multimodale
Dondero, Maria Giulia ULg; Eléni, Mouratidou

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cette contribution interroge les pratiques de pédagogie multimodale instrumentée des Massive Open Online Courses au travers d’une étude énonciative. Partant du principe que la communication multimodale ... [more ▼]

Cette contribution interroge les pratiques de pédagogie multimodale instrumentée des Massive Open Online Courses au travers d’une étude énonciative. Partant du principe que la communication multimodale instrumentée utilise différentes médiations sémiotiques (vidéo, peinture, dessin à la main, graphique, schéma, sonorité, musique etc.) nous nous proposons d’observer et d’analyser ces types de modalités communicationnelles telles que mises en place par les mooc. Ce, dans l’objectif de saisir la variété des pratiques multimodales auxquelles recourent les Massive Open Online Courses. Nous tentons également de souligner ce qui définit la spécificité de ces pratiques et la manière dont l’étude sémiotique des stratégies énonciatives peut-elle contribuer aux questionnements actuels en sciences de la communication. Nous répondons à ces questions à travers l’analyse de deux mooc issus de deux plateformes différentes : The Future of Storytelling de la plateforme Iversity et Scientific Humanities de la plateforme France Université Numérique. [less ▲]

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See detailAppropriation et gestion d’une activité collaborative distante. Le cas d’un atelier pédagogique de la conception architecturale
Dondero, Maria Giulia ULg; Shirkhodaei, Shima ULg

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cette étude porte sur l’utilisation du dispositif SDC (Studio Digital Collaboratif) dans un projet collaboratif pédagogique de conception architecturale. Dans une perspective sémiotique, nous étudions le ... [more ▼]

Cette étude porte sur l’utilisation du dispositif SDC (Studio Digital Collaboratif) dans un projet collaboratif pédagogique de conception architecturale. Dans une perspective sémiotique, nous étudions le fonctionnement de la communication médiatisée dans les ateliers de formation par projet. Dans ces ateliers, les encadrants suivent l’avancement du projet de la conception architecturale des étudiants à travers les séances hebdomadaires de correction des documents. Ainsi, nous nous focalisons sur le rôle de l’opérateur — ici une des équipes collaboratrices — en adoptant le point de vue de la sémiotique des pratiques (J. Fontanille, Pratiques sémiotiques, Paris, PUF, 2008). Une perturbation dans l’activité collaborative des étudiants pendant l’atelier est au centre de notre propos et nous permettra de problématiser la question de l’appropriation, de la désappropriation et de la réappropriation de la pratique distante et simultanée. Cette perturbation nous permettra également de valoriser le rôle de l’opérateur dans la gestion d’une activité collaborative outillée en cours d’accomplissement. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopping a physically based groundwater vulnerability concept in a DPSIR framework
Beaujean, Jean ULg; Brouyère, Serge ULg; Lemieux, Jean-Michel et al

Conference (2014, September 15)

A general physically based method is presented to assess vulnerability of groundwater to external pressures with respect to quality and/or quantity issues. In the vulnerability assessments, many ... [more ▼]

A general physically based method is presented to assess vulnerability of groundwater to external pressures with respect to quality and/or quantity issues. In the vulnerability assessments, many scientific authors agree nowadays that ‘physically based’ methods must be preferred to traditional approaches based on empirical overlay and index methods where physical attributes are often mixed with implicitly embedded conventional priorities. Results from one or another of these last methods can consequently be very dissimilar for a given case study and decision makers are losing confidence in these tools. A methodology is proposed to reframe the groundwater vulnerability assessment in a Pressure-State-Impact causal chain that is familiar to decision makers. The DPSIR framework, for describing interactions between society and the environment, defines a chain of Drivers that exert Pressures on the State of a given resource, such as water, which then generates an Impact that will require an appropriate Response (Kristensen, 2004). The concept of groundwater vulnerability assessment considered here is based on the calculation of sensitivity coefficients for a user-defined groundwater state for which several physically-based indicators are proposed. These sensitivity coefficients reflect the easiness with which the groundwater state transmits pressures into impacts. They are grouped into a vulnerability matrix of pressures and impacts that quantify vulnerability for every combination of causal links identified in the DPSIR chain. For that reason, the sensitivity coefficients are converted to vulnerability, using the concept of ‘falling below a given threshold’, which is commonly used in socioeconomic sciences (Luers et al. 2003). Outside the careful selection of the sensitivity analysis method that can significantly influence the computational effort (Beaujean et al., 2013), emphasis will be given to the illustration of the general methodology on a simple case (of an alluvial aquifer with concerns related to water supply) demonstrating the potential use of this general and physically based vulnerability assessment method. While the methodology is general, the choice of causal chains has to be made prior to the calculation. The vulnerability is also related to a damaged state and is related to the ‘distance’ between the current state and a given threshold. This choice is arbitrary such that the vulnerability is sensitive to the choice of the threshold. The framework is general and, when applied to water, can include states that are not limited to quality such as, for example, water quantity and availability. [less ▲]

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See detailSleep homeostasis and the circadian timing system set the dynamics and excitability of neuronal ensembles
Vandewalle, Gilles ULg

in Journal of Sleep Research (2014, September 14), Suppl

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See detailAnalyse de la variabilité naturelle du climat : application à l’aide des ondelettes
Mabille, Georges ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Ce travail a pour but de mettre en évidence des cycles méconnus et cachés de la transformée de Fourier dans les séries temporelles liées au climat. Les périodes recherchées, à l’aide de l’outil ondelettes ... [more ▼]

Ce travail a pour but de mettre en évidence des cycles méconnus et cachés de la transformée de Fourier dans les séries temporelles liées au climat. Les périodes recherchées, à l’aide de l’outil ondelettes développé à l’Institut de Mathématique de l’Université de Liège, sont de l’ordre de quelques dizaines de mois. [less ▲]

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See detailDéveloppement de nouvelles méthodes de marquage au fluor-18 pour peptides et oligonucléotides en vue de leur études par tomographie par émission de positons
Flagothier, Jessica ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Positron Emission Tomography is a highly sensitive imaging technique currently available in nuclear medicine for diagnostic. In regard to his physical and nuclear characteristics, fluorine-18 appears ... [more ▼]

Positron Emission Tomography is a highly sensitive imaging technique currently available in nuclear medicine for diagnostic. In regard to his physical and nuclear characteristics, fluorine-18 appears often as the radionuclide of choice for the preparation of short-lived positron-emitter radiotracers for PET studies. The fluorine-18 labelling reaction for biomolecules requires very mild conditions. The current method for highly efficient fluorine-18 labelling of biomolecules is the conjugation of a [18F]prosthetic group with a reactive function on the organic compound. During this thesis, two techniques were developed to label biomolecules via a [18F]prosthetic group: the first one to label tyrosine-containing peptides and the second one to label a siRNA. The first part of this work present the synthesis of the [18F]F-PTAD which is a agent for specific radiolabelling of tyrosine. [18F]F-PTAD was coupled with a tyrosine with a global radiochemical yield (synthesis, coupling, purification) of 20% (DC) and the synthesis lasts 2h30. During the second part of this work, two alkyne-bearing linkers were synthesized. These linkers were ligated with siRNA and then reacted with azide-bearing [18F]prosthetic group via a Huisgen cycloaddition reaction. The [18F]siRNA is then obtained with an global radiochemical yield of 12% (DC) and the synthesis lasts 2h00. In conclusion, two methods for labeling biomolecules have been developed. [less ▲]

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See detailRANS and Large Eddy Simulation of the hydrodynamics inside mini-bioreactors designed for stem cell culture
Collignon, Marie-Laure ULg; Martin, Céline; Blanchard, Fabrice et al

Conference (2014, September 07)

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See detailEtude de l'implication de cellulases dans la voie de biosynthèse de cellulose chez les bactéries
Delsaute, Maud ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

By definition, cellulases are enzymes that catalyze the degradation of cellulose. However, their involvement in cellulose biosynthesis by bacteria and plants has been reported, although their exact ... [more ▼]

By definition, cellulases are enzymes that catalyze the degradation of cellulose. However, their involvement in cellulose biosynthesis by bacteria and plants has been reported, although their exact contribution remains unclear. In the present study, we have investigated the involvement of cellulases from glycoside hydrolase family 5 (GH5) in cellulose synthesis. In particular, we have functionally and structurally characterized the Ps_Cel5A cellulase from Pseudomonas stutzeri and its metagenome-derived homolog RBcel1, which both belong to the GH5 family and are suspected to be involved in cellulose biosynthesis. In addition, we have also compared these enzymes with the well-characterized Ta_Cel5A cellulase from the cellulolytic fungus Thermoascus aurantiacus. The first part of the work was devoted to the description of the tridimensional structure of RBcel1, in comparison with other glycoside hydrolases from GH5. In the second part of the study, we focused on the functional and structural comparison between RBcel1, Ps_CelA and Ta_Cel5A. Biochemical analysis has highlighted that, besides their hydrolytic activity, RBcel1 and Ps_Cel5A were able to catalyze transglycosylation in vitro. This synthesis reaction was not detected for Ta_Cel5A, which seemed to remain hydrolytic only. Determination of the structure of RBcel1 in complex with cellobiose has revealed distinct features in the aglycone substrate binding sites compared to Ta_Cel5A which could potentially explain the observed differences in their activities in vitro. Finally, the involvement of Ps_Cel5A in cellulose production by P. stutzeri was confirmed, by analysis the ability of P. stutzeri-ΔPs_Cel5A to produce the polymer. Complementation of this mutant strain by the three cellulases was also performed and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detail"'What is an incident?': Conceptual Boundaries under the Microscope"
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Scientific conference (2014, September 04)

Within the context of a nuclear facility, how can an event be qualified as an incident or not, depending on different definitions, either formal or corresponding to actors' own representations? In this ... [more ▼]

Within the context of a nuclear facility, how can an event be qualified as an incident or not, depending on different definitions, either formal or corresponding to actors' own representations? In this presentation, we show how different those definitions are, and we elaborate on the reasons why such a focus on conceptual boundaries is interesting in the context of "incident reporting". [less ▲]

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See detailLes effets délétères métaboliques et oxydants induits lors d'un sepsis sur la fonction rénale
Quoilin, Caroline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of sepsis that can increase mortality as high as 70%. The pathophysiology of this kidney failure was previously believed to be secondary to decreased ... [more ▼]

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of sepsis that can increase mortality as high as 70%. The pathophysiology of this kidney failure was previously believed to be secondary to decreased global renal perfusion causing hypoxia-induced injury. However, new research suggests this paradigm is overly simplistic, and injury is now considered multifactorial in origin. Mechanisms that contribute to kidney injury mainly include inflammation, alterations in microvascular renal blood flow and changes in bioenergetics. To study the mechanism of oxygen regulation in acute kidney injury during sepsis, we developed a sepsis-induced in vitro model using proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2) exposed to a bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS). Our first investigation, by using both high-resolution respirometry and electron spin resonance spectroscopy, showed that HK-2 cells exhibit a decreased oxygen consumption rate when treated with LPS. Surprisingly, this cellular respiration alteration persists even after the stress factor is removed. We suggested that this irreversible decrease in renal oxygen consumption after LPS challenge is related to a pathologic metabolic down-regulation such as a lack of oxygen utilization by cells for ATP production. In the long term, this metabolic disturbance leads cells to a predominantly apoptotic death. To confirm this hypothesis of cytopathic hypoxia, we demonstrated that this alteration in the renal respiratory function is mainly due to an impairment in the metabolic activity of HK-2 cell mitochondria. Following LPS treatment, the oxidative phosphorylation is interrupted because of the inhibition of cytochrome c oxidase activity. As a consequence, disruptions in the electron transport and the proton pumping across the system occur, leading to a decrease of the mitochondrial membrane potential, the release of apoptotic-inducing factors and a decrease in ATP production. To clarify the mechanism by which the LPS induces mitochondrial alterations, we studied the oxidative stress generation in HK-2 cells. Interestingly, we revealed that the induction of a cytosolic oxidative stress is an event that appears before mitochondrial dysfunction in the LPS-treated HK-2 cells. This primary redox state is notably due to the activation of the two enzymes NADPH oxidase 4 and inducible NO synthase. The simultaneous production of anion superoxide and nitric oxide strongly suggests the formation of peroxynitrite, a relative stable powerful oxidant that can diffuse through mitochondrial compartments and undergo cytotoxic reactions. To our knowledge, our model reveals for the first time the role of NADPH oxidase-derived cytosolic ROS in triggering tubular cell damage. Moreover, after being first target of the oxidative stress, mitochondria become in turn producer of reactive oxygen species that carry on mitochondrial dysfunction. It seems thus that a mechanism of oxidative stress-induced redox cycling is a main cause of the mitochondrial dysfunction of LPS-treated HK-2 cells. The role of oxidants in mitochondrial dysfunction was further confirmed by the use of iNOS inhibitors or antioxidants that preserve cytochrome c oxidase activity and block mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation. Overall, these results suggest that sepsis-induced AKI should not only be regarded as failure of energy status but also as an integrated response, including transcriptional events, ROS signaling, mitochondrial activity and metabolic orientation such as apoptosis. [less ▲]

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