Research Group Leader : Dr Laetitia Mespouille

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Dr. Laetitia Mespouille has a 10 years well-recognized expertise in smart hydrogels preparation and characterizations through various synthetic approaches. She has gained experiences in smart hydrogels by developing skills in macromolecular engineering (ROP, ATRP, RAFT), Click coupling reactions and polymer biomaterials design. The main researched properties are biocompatibility, strengthening though self-assembly, environmental-sensitiveness and post-modification through orthogonal synthetic processes. Recent focus points are devoted to new injectable doubly crosslinked biomaterials, microstructured hydrogels, surface coating of biomaterials, prosthesis construction through additive techniques, smart coating for cell growth and polymer vector for targeted therapy.

She is one of the group leader in the LPCM, a 20 years-old laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art polymer synthesis facilities, major techniques for polymer characterization, along with a platform for the characterization of mechanical/thermal properties of soft materials.

Applications :

  • Smart hydrogels
  • Polymer vectors
  • DX gels
  • Functional aliphatic polycarbonates
  • Smart coating for metal alloy
  • Biodegradable prosthesis

Projects :

Top selected papers

Electroassisted Functionalization of Nitinol Surface, a Powerful Strategy for Polymer Coating through Controlled Radical Surface Initiation

Bastien Arrotin, Joseph Delhalle, Philippe Dubois, Laetitia Mespouille and Zineb Mekhalif   Coating Nitinol (NiTi) surfaces with a polymer layer has become very appealing in the past few years owing to its increased attraction in the biomedical field. Although its intrinsic properties helped ensure its popularity, its extensive implementation is still hampered by its nickel inclusion, making it sensitive to pitting corrosion and therefore leading to the release of carcinogenic Ni2+ions. Among all recent ways to modify NiTi surfaces, elaboration of self-assembled monolayers is of great interest as their high order confers a reinforcement of the metal surface corrosion resistance and brings
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PEGylated and Functionalized Aliphatic Polycarbonate Polyplex Nanoparticles for Intravenous Administration of HDAC5 siRNA in Cancer Therapy

Antoine Frère, Alexandra Baroni, Elodie Hendrick, Anne-Sophie Delvigne, François Orange, Olivier Peulen, Georges R. Dakwar, Jérôme Diricq, Philippe Dubois, Brigitte Evrard, Katrien Remaut, Kevin Braeckmans, Stefaan De Smedt, Julie Laloy, Jean-Michel Dogné, Georges M. Feller, Laetitia Mespouille, Denis Mottet, Géraldine Piel.   Guanidine and morpholine functionalized aliphatic polycarbonate polymers are able to deliver efficiently 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 vivoafter an intravenous injection, polyethylene glycol chains (PEG750 or PEG2000) were grafted
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Click reactive microgels as a strategy towards chemically injectable hydrogels

R. Absil, S. Cakir, S. Gabriele, P. Dubois, C. Barer-kowollik, F. Du Prez, L. Mespouille Abstract Doubly crosslinked microgels (DX microgels) are hydrogels constructed by covalently interlinked microgel particles, offering two levels of hierarchy within the network, the first one being the microgel and the second being the interlinked microgel network. Herein we describe an efficient approach for DX microgel synthesis viathe ultrafast triazolinedione (TAD)-based click reaction. Cyclopentadienyl functional microgels were prepared by a conventional water in oil (W/O) suspension, free-radical copolymerization of poly(ethylene glycol)methyl ether methacrylate (Mn = 500 g mol−1) with glycidyl methacrylate and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as crosslinkers. Microgel post-modification was
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Influenza-binding sialylated polymer coated gold nanoparticles prepared via RAFT polymerization and reductive amination

Zhiyue Zhang, Bert Schepens, Lutz Nuhn, Xavier Saelens, Michael Schotsaert, Nico Callewaert, Riet De Rycke, Q. Zhang, Sébastien Moins, Samira Benali, Laetitia Mespouille, Richard. Hoogenboom, and Bruno. G. De Geest   We report on a straightforward strategy to fabricate bioactive glycosylated gold nanoparticles via a combination of RAFT polymerization, carbohydrate ligation through reductive amination and thiol–gold self-assembly. This approach is used for the design of gold nanoparticles decorated with the complex sialylated glycan Neu5Ac-α-2-6-Gal, and we demonstrate multivalent and specific recognition between the nanoparticles, lectins and hemagglutinin on the surface of the influenza virus.   MORE INFORMATION
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Poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)-block-polycarbonate block copolymers: from improved end-group control in poly(2-oxazoline)s to chain extension with aliphatic polycarbonate through a fully metal-free ring-opening polymerisation process

Victor De La Rosa, Sarah Tempelaar, Philippe Dubois, Richard Hoogenboom, Laetitia Mespouille.   Block copolymer micelles hold great promise for developing next generation drug delivery vehicles to improve therapeutics. In this work, the biocompatibility of poly(2-alkyl-2-oxazoline)s (PAOx) was combined with the biodegradability and biocompatibility of aliphatic polycarbonates through the preparation of block copolymers. These well-defined blocks were prepared via cationic ring-opening polymerisation (CROP) of 2-oxazolines followed by the organocatalytic ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic carbonate monomers. The improved synthesis of hydroxyl terminated poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)s (PEtOx-OH) is reported allowing high end-group fidelity. These polymers were used as macroinitiators in the controlled ROP of various cyclic carbonate
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What's new ?

ACS Young Investigator award

« ACS Young Investigator » par la PMSE, Spring ACS National Meeting, April 2017, San Francisco  
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TEXTOS – Interreg project presentation
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