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Adhesion of Nanoparticle-Coated Hydrogels to Living Tissues - Raphaël Michel


Contributing to the development of an academic department in Ethiopia

Raphaël Michel

To sustain the economical growth of Ethiopia, the strategy of its government is to develop the industrial sector [1]. In that context, international engineers are placed in academic institutions to assist in training qualified workforce for the growing Ethiopian industry. As a volunteer, I was appointed to contribute to the development of the Biochemical engineering department of the Addis Ababa institute of technology (AAiT).
From January 2014 onwards, starting with very limited resources, our small team strove to develop research projects and facilities, design relevant teaching activities and build fruitful scientific cooperation with external partners. These tasks were performed while being continuously mindful of values essential to development initiatives such as gender equality, environmental awareness and sustainability.
Thanks to the commitment of our team and a supportive context, our department quickly developed to become an important focal point of technological cooperation between local industries and academic institutions in the field of Biochemical engineering.
This work not only presents a different perspective of academic research but it also shed light on the crucial role of universities in developing countries, as being key players in tackling the challenges of development.

[1]. Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan, Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, 2010

Adhesion of Nanoparticle-Coated Hydrogels to Living Tissues

Raphaël Michela,b, Laurent Cortéa,b
a Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie, CNRS UMR 7167 ; ESPCI-Paris ; Paris, France.
b Centre des Matériaux, CNRS UMR 7633 ; MINES-ParisTech ; Evry, France.

Hydrogel films are particularly interesting as substrates or membranes for medical applications such as drug delivery, cell therapy, wound dressing and hemostasis.[1] Their adhesive properties are often central to these applications where an intimate contact with living tissues is required. Yet, the microscopic and quantitative phenomena governing this adhesion are still little understood.
In that context, we devise an in vitro experiment based on a 90° peel test to measure the adhesion of model PEG hydrogel films onto porcine liver (Figure 1). Using this technique, we compare the influence of various parameters (contact pressure, contact duration, tissue hydration, hydrogel swelling ratio, etc.) on the adhesive properties of the films. Combining these results with swelling measurements and microscopic observations, we show that the adhesion between hydrogel films and tissues is strongly governed by the transport and distribution of fluid across the interface.
Building on this knowledge, we investigate how the presence of nanoparticles at the hydrogel-tissue interface can enhance this adhesion as recently discovered by Leibler and coworkers.[2]
This study provides valuable guides to design adhesive films relevant for clinical practice.
[1] M. Mehdizadeh, J. Yang, Macromol. Biosci. 2013, 13, 271-288.
[2] aA. Meddahi-Pelle, A. Legrand, A. Marcellan, L. Louedec, D. Letourneur, L. Leibler, Angew. Chem.-Int. Edit. 2014, 53, 6369-6373 ; bS. Rose, A. Prevoteau, P. Elziere, D. Hourdet, A. Marcellan, L. Leibler, Nature 2014, 505, 382-385.


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