Personne : Lefèvre, Thierry
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Université Laval. Département de chimie
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- PublicationAccès libreSpider silk as a blueprint for greener materials : a review(Taylor & Francis, 2016-03-16) Auger, Michèle; Lefèvre, ThierrySpider silk exhibits remarkable properties, especially its well-known tensile performances. They rely on a complex nanostructured hierarchical organisation that studies progressively elucidate. Spider silk encompasses a vast range of fibres that exhibit diverse and captivating physical and biological characteristics. The full understanding of the relation between structure and properties may lead in the future to the design of a variety of high-performance, tailored materials and devices. Reknown for being produced in mild and benign conditions, this outstanding biological material constitutes one of the more representative example of biomimetism. In addition, silk's structure is produced with limited means, i.e. low energy and relatively simple renewable constituents (silk proteins). Then, if successfully controlled and adequately transposed in biomaterials, some properties of natural silk could lead to innovative green materials that may contribute to reduce the ecological footprint of societies. In fact, striking recent advanced applications made with B. mori silk suggest that spider silk-based materials may lead to advanced resistant and functional materials, then becoming among the most promising subject of study in material science. However, several challenges have to be overcome, especially our ability to produce native-like silk, to control biomaterials’ structure and properties and to minimise their ecological footprint. This paper reviews the characteristics of spider silk that make it so attractive and that may (or may not) contribute to reduce ecological footprint of materials and the challenges in producing innovative spider silk-based materials. First, from a biomimetic perspective, the structure and models that explain the tensile resistance of natural silk are presented, followed by the state of knowledge regarding natural silk spinning process and synthetic production methods. Biocompatibility (biosafety and biofunctionality) as well as biodegradability issues are then addressed. Finally, examples of applications are reviewed. Features that may lead to the design of green materials are emphasised throughout.
- PublicationRestreintA surface spectroscopy study of a Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilm in the presence of an immobilized air bubble(Elsevier, 2019-05-28) Lefèvre, Thierry; Greener, Jesse; Abbaszadeh Amirdehi, Mehran; Pousti, MohammadA linear spectral mapping technique was applied to monitor the growth of biomolecular absorption bands at the bio-interface of a nascent Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilm during and after interaction with a surface-adhered air bubble. Attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra were obtained in different locations in a microchannel with adequate spatial and temporal resolution to study the effect of a static bubble on the evolution of protein and lipid signals at the ATR crystal surface. The results reveal that the presence of a bubble during the lag phase modified levels of extracellular lipids and affected a surface restructuring process, many hours after the bubble's disappearance.
- PublicationAccès libreA comparative study between human skin substitutes and normal human skin using Raman microspectroscopy(Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, 2014-02-12) Labbé, Jean-François; Jean, Jessica; Auger, Michèle; Ouellet, Marise; Laroche, Gaétan; Leroy, Marie; Pouliot, Roxane; Lefèvre, ThierryResearch in the field of bioengineered skin substitutes is motivated by the need to find new dressings for people affected by skin injuries (burns, diabetic ulcers), and to develop adequate skin models to test new formulations developed in vitro. Thanks to advances in tissue engineering, it is now possible to produce human skin substitutes without any exogenous material, using the self-assembly method developed by the Laboratoire d’Organogénèse Expérimentale. These human skin substitutes consist of a dermis and a stratified epidermis (stratum corneum and living epidermis). Raman microspectroscopy has been used to characterize and compare the molecular organization of skin substitutes with normal human skin. Our results confirm that the stratum corneum is a layer rich in lipids which are well ordered (trans conformers) in both substitutes and normal human skin. The amount of lipids decreases and more gauche conformers appear in the living epidermis in both cases. However, the results also show that there are fewer lipids in the substitutes and that the lipids are more organized in the normal human skin. Concerning the secondary structure of proteins and protein content, the data show that they are similar in the substitutes and in the normal human skin. In fact, the epidermis is rich in α-keratin, whereas the dermis contains mainly type I collagen.
- PublicationAccès libreUsing infrared and raman microspectroscopies to compare ex vivo involved psoriatic skin with normal human skin(SPIE, 2015-06-17) Lefèvre, Thierry; Auger, Michèle; Laroche, Gaétan; Leroy, Marie; Pouliot, RoxanePsoriasis is a chronic dermatosis that affects around 3% of the world’s population. The etiology of this autoimmune pathology is not completely understood. The barrier function of psoriatic skin is known to be strongly altered, but the structural modifications at the origin of this dysfunction are not clear. To develop strategies to reduce symptoms of psoriasis or adequate substitutes for modeling, a deep understanding of the organization of psoriatic skin at a molecular level is required. Infrared and Raman microspectroscopies have been used to obtain direct molecular-level information on psoriatic and healthy human skin biopsies. From the intensities and positions of specific vibrational bands, the lipid and protein distribution and the lipid order have been mapped in the different layers of the skin. Results showed a similar distribution of lipids and collagen for normal and psoriatic human skin. However, psoriatic skin is characterized by heterogeneity in lipid/protein composition at the micrometer scale, a reduction in the definition of skin layer boundaries and a decrease in lipid chain order in the stratum corneum as compared to normal skin. A global decrease of the structural organization is exhibited in psoriatic skin that is compatible with an alteration of its barrier properties.
- PublicationAccès libreTransdermal diffusion, spatial distribution and physical state of a potential anticancer drug in mouse skin as studied by diffusion and spectroscopic techniques(IOS Press, 2018-05-07) Lefèvre, Thierry; Le, Quoc-Chon; Auger, Michèle; Laroche, Gaétan; C. Gaudreault, René.Background:Understanding the efficiency of a transdermal medical drug requires the characterization of its diffusion process, including its diffusion rate, pathways and physical state. Objective:The aim of this work is to develop a strategy to achieve this goal. Methods:FTIR spectroscopic imaging in conjunction with a Franz cell and HPLC measurements were used to examine the transdermal penetration of deuterated tert-butyl phenylchloroethylurea (tBCEU), a molecule with a potential anticancer action. tBCEU has been solubilized in an expedient solvent mixture and its diffusion in hairless mouse skin has been studied. Results:The results indicate that tBCEU diffuses across the skin for more than 10 hours with a rate comparable to selegiline, an officially-approved transdermal drug. IR image analyses reveal that after 10 hours, tBCEU penetrates skin and that its spatial distribution does not correlate with neither the distribution of lipids nor proteins. tBCEU accumulates in cluster domains but overall low concentrations are found in skin. FTIR spectroscopic imaging additionally reveals that tBCEU is in a crystalline form. Conclusions:The results suggest that tBCEU is conveyed through the skin without preferential pathway. FTIR spectroscopic imaging and transdermal diffusion measurements appear as complementary techniques to investigate drug diffusion in skin.