Laboratoire Léon Brillouin

UMR12 CEA-CNRS, Bât. 563 CEA Saclay

91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France


BD diffusons les neutrons

Faits marquants scientifiques 2023

23 mai 2023

Özge Azeri, Dennis Schönfeld, Bin Dai, Uwe Keiderling, Laurence Noirez and Michael Gradzielski

Block copolymers synthesized via Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization from alkyl acrylate and t-butyl acrylate and the subsequent hydrolysis of the t-butyl acrylate to acrylic acid were systematically varied with respect to their hydrophobic part by the variation in the alkyl chain length and the degree of polymerisation in this block. Depending on the architecture of the hydrophobic part, they had a more or less pronounced tendency to form copolymer micelles in an aqueous solution. They were employed for the preparation of IPECs by mixing the copolymer aggregates with the polycations polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDADMAC) or q-chit. The IPEC structure as a function of the composition was investigated by Static Light and Small Angle Neutron Scattering. For weakly-associated block copolymers (short alkyl chain), complexation with polycation led to the formation of globular complexes, while already existing micelles (long alkyl chain) grew further in mass. In general, aggregates became larger upon the addition of further polycation, but this growth was much more pronounced for PDADMAC compared to q-chit, thereby leading to the formation of clusters of aggregates. Accordingly, the structure of such IPECs with a hydrophobic block depended largely on the type of complexing polyelectrolyte, which allowed for controlling the structural organisation via the molecular architecture of the two oppositely charged polyelectrolytes.

02 mai 2023

Céline JAUDOIN, Isabelle GRILLO, Fabrice COUSIN, Maria GEHRKE, Malika OULDALI, Ana-Andreea ARTENI, Luc PICTON, Christophe RIHOUEY, Fanny SIMELIERE, Amélie BOCHOT, Florence AGNELY

Mixtures of hyaluronic acid (HA) with liposomes lead to hybrid colloid–polymer systems with a great interest in drug delivery. However, little is known about their microstructure. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) is a valuable tool to characterize these systems in the semi-dilute entangled regime (1.5% HA) at high liposome concentration (80 mM lipids). The objective was to elucidate the influence of liposome surface (neutral, cationic, anionic or anionic PEGylated), drug encapsulation and HA concentration in a buffer mimicking biological fluids (37 °C). First, liposomes were characterized by SANS, cryo-electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering and HA by SANS, size exclusion chromatography, and rheology. Secondly, HA-liposome mixtures were studied by SANS. In HA, liposomes kept their integrity. Anionic and PEGylated liposomes were in close contact within dense clusters with an amorphous organization. The center-to-center distance between liposomes corresponded to twice their diameter. A depletion mechanism could explain these findings. Encapsulation of a corticoid did not modify this organization. Cationic liposomes formed less dense aggregates and were better dispersed due to their complexation with HA. Liposome surface governed the interactions and microstructure of these hybrid systems.


08 avril 2023

Anne-Sophie Robbes, Jacques Jestin, Florian Meneau, Florent Dalmas, François Boué, and Fabrice Cousin,
Macromolecules 2022, 55, 15, 6876–6889.

We present a combined detailed monitoring of the respective evolutions of the structure of fillers by SAXS and conformation of polymeric chains by SANS under uniaxial stretching at various elongation ratios in a nanocomposite made of spherical magnetic nanoparticles of γFe2O3 dispersed in a matrix of polystyrene (PS) chains. We can make the structure of fillers in the nanocomposite before stretching very anisotropic, as we demonstrated in reference (Macromolecules,2011,44(22), 8858–8865), thanks to the appliance of a magnetic field during the nanocomposite processing that induces the formation of nanoparticle chains aligned along the direction of the field, either parallel or perpendicular to the subsequent stretching. This gives rise to very anisotropic mechanical properties, and the structure of fillers evolves very differently. In the parallel case, there is a rupture of the chains of nanoparticles into smaller subunits that progressively align completely in the stretching direction. In the perpendicular case, the chains first rotate, to eventually reorient along the stretching direction, gradually breaking themselves. Finally, at a very large elongation rate (λ = 6), the organization of nanoparticles in both cases converge toward a common structure made of small chains of nanoparticles completely oriented along the stretching. The chain conformation is directly obtained by SANS as we probed samples containing 25% PSH/75% PSD chains, taking benefit from the fact that the neutron scattering length density of PSD is similar to the one of γFe2O3. Strikingly, the deformation of the polymer chains is the same as in the reference PS matrix without fillers, whatever stretching is parallel and perpendicular to the chains of nanoparticles at λ = 3. The chains scattering exhibit the typical features of those of the former studies of relaxation during or after stretching on pure melts, accounting for the relatively slow deformation rate, the distance from Tg (15 °C) their average masses, and their large polydispersity.

27 janvier 2023

Sophie Combet, Françoise Bonneté, Stéphanie Finet, Alexandre Pozza, Christelle Saade, Anne Martel, Alexandros Koutsioubas, Jean-Jacques Lacapère, Biochimie (2022) in press.

The translocator protein (TSPO) is a ubiquitous transmembrane protein of great pharmacological interest thanks to its high affinity to many drug ligands. The only high-resolution 3D-structure known for mammalian TSPO was obtained by NMR for the mouse mTSPO in DPC detergent only in presence of the high-affinity PK 11195 ligand. An atomic structure of free-ligand mTSPO is still missing to better understand the interaction of ligands with mTSPO and their effects on the protein conformation.

25 janvier 2023

Les alliages à "haute entropie" forment une nouvelle classe de matériaux cristallins, qui se caractérise par des variations aléatoires dans la composition chimique de chaque maille, sans altérer l’ordre géométrique à longue distance. Constitués d'un mélange de type "solution solide" d'au moins 4 métaux, ces matériaux au désordre partiel (chimique) possèdent des propriétés thermiques qui relèvent à la fois des cristaux, avec des modes de vibrations thermiques (phonons) bien définis, et des verres, avec une longueur de propagation de ces phonons bien plus courte que celles des cristaux.

Ces cristaux chimiquement désordonnés présentent ainsi une faible conductivité thermique, qui pourrait être exploitée en thermoélectricité (conversion directe de chaleur en électricité par effet Seebeck).


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