LE STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal
ABSTRACT The combination of stem cell therapy with a supportive scaffold is a promising approach to improving tissue engineering. We aim producing novel material composites that may serve as artificial Extracellular Matrix (ECM). The natural ECM is composed of an organic (protein, polysaccharide) and inorganic (i.e. hydroxy-apatite) components that when combined with the cells form a tissue. ECM is an integral part of every tissue that besides providing the environment for cells to grow, it also improves tissue’s mechanical properties. It provides elasticity, flexibility and durability for the tissue. Tissue engineering approaches utilize artificial materials (biomaterials) as a substitute of natural ECM. The process of producing tissue scaffolds obtained from biodegradable polymers has become a very intensively researched area for the past several years. Most of the current work focuses on the design and preparation of scaffolds with use of various production technologies and different natural materials like chitosan, collagen, elastin and different synthetic ones, like polymer polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). The objective of this study was to check the impact of the biomaterials on various cell types, and compare their growth pattern. Biodegradable PCL, and five of its hybrids: PCL+SHAP (SHAP, synthetic hydroxyapatite), PCL+NHAP (NHAP, natural hydroxyapatite), PCL+PLGA (PLGA, poly(lactide-co-glycolide), PCL+CaCO3, PCL+SHAP+NHAP+CaCO3 as well as one non degradable biomaterial: polyacrylonitryl (PAN), were tested. For the experiments four different cell types were used: human dermal skin fibroblasts, B16F10 (mouse melanoma cells), HSkMEC (Human Skin Microvascular Endothelial Cells) and HEPC-CB1 (Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells –Cord Blood 1). Impacts of the biomaterials on cells were assessed: 1) by measuring cytotoxic effect of the biomaterials liquid extracts and 2) by direct contact test. The ability of cells to attach to the biomaterials was tested as well as cells’ potential to growth and proliferate on the surface of the biomaterials. None of the tested biomaterials was cytotoxic towards the tested cells, making them a potential valuable raw ingredient for 3D scaffold development that would find its applications in tissue engineering. The differences in efficiency of cells attachment and proliferation between tested biomaterials and cells lines were observed. In addition, a stimulating effect of the biomaterials on cells growth was also detected.
Throughout the 20th century, an impressive amount of scholarship was devoted to the origin of the concepts of the prince and sovereignty. By focusing on the ancient and mediaeval sources of 16th-century authors, I tried to determine the degree to which the modern fate of the notion of power depended on ancient and mediaeval debates. I paid special attention to the ethical, anthropological, and legal questions implied in the European encounter with the ‘New World’. Despite its broad relevance to studies on early modern era, this subject has often been disregarded with respect to the history of the concept of power. My analysis helped me trace this subject within the most central debates of the last decades of the 16th century. Through the authors of this time, I showed the interrelation between the discussion on Native Americans and a variety of sources of modern history of ideas, which span early-modern philosophy, cosmology, theology, and public and international law.
The transition in the 10th century from the centralised Carolingian state to the decentralised feudal principalities is a subject of debate among historians: was it a violent breakdown or a continuous evolution? The major problem facing historians is the scarcity of written sources. But coins are numerous and constitute a relevant source material. Indeed, Coinage is an official institution, and studying it informs us about the state of society and the organisation of the administration. The study of Norman coinage in the 10th century shows a large and well-managed production and a firm control of the circulation. Exchange fees provided income for the duke. This reflects a well-organised stable administration and an ability of controlling society, far from the chaotic, violent and anarchistic picture of early feudalism that is sometimes purported.
The main hypothesis of this project is connected to the notion of pre-cultural origins of the humanity, situated in the paradisaical reality, not only before the fall, but also before the invention of the human language (Adam naming the animals created by God). The myth of the pre-lapsarian unity of the human kind became crucial to the development of the European relationship with other peoples in the aftermath of the maritime discoveries in the 16th c. The examination of this topic is an important element of the projected transcultural humanities, searching to establish a comprehensive outlook of the cultural inscription and limitations of the human thought.
The project addresses a fundamental problem of forest reaction forecast to the climate change and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases for the terrestrial ecosystems of the Earth. The main target is to produce a retrospective assessment and a short-term forecast of annual tree-ring productivity (seasonal cell production) of the major conifer plant species in terrestrial forest ecosystems around Eurasia forced by climate and non-climatic factors. The analysis is based on an Interactive Information platform “Global Tree-Ring Growth Evolution Neural Network” (www.vs-genn.ru) and datasets available for the European and Asian dendroecological test-polygons. To achieve the goal of the project, we testified the Vaganov-Shaskin model and its parametrization, as a part of the developing IT system, based on direct long-term field observations for the tree-ring sites in Europe and Asia. As a result of the fellowship four papers were published in high impacted ISI journals. Moreover, a special issue of the ISI journal “Annals of Forest Science” is prepared.
The relationship between the early musical works of Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) and their affective context in the world of his time is evaluated. To this end, technical elements of his musical compositions are assessed in light of key philosophical, theological, literary, sociological, historical, and theoretical evidence in the early 15th century, which allow the constitution of an affective environment around him. Amid this evidence, the late writings of theologian Jean Gerson plays a particular role in its emphasis on musical accidentals as a means to project emotional transformation. In related research domains, the relationship between music and architecture of the late Gothic period is analyzed, and a book of essays on medieval music will be published
The elucidation of three-dimensional structures of molecular machines that control cellular physiology is necessary for the understanding of the mechanisms of life and for the development of rational screening tests for pharmaceutical applications. Due to the large size of these biological entities and the high resolution which is sought, X-ray crystallographic structure determination is the method of choice. Obtaining crystals of biological complexes however remains difficult and is the bottleneck to this method. In this project, we have applied sophisticated crystallization strategies to a hitherto intractable problem: crystallising a molecular motor, namely the bacterial transcription termination factor Rho from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Rho is a ring-shaped hexameric helicase targeting transcriptional complexes and R-loops, and regulating RNA metabolism in a variety of ways. The first crystals of M.tub. Rho have been obtained, which however should now be optimised to reach an X-ray diffraction resolution sufficient for full three-dimensional structure determination. In addition, we have developed a theoretical model describing the varying usefulness of ions at different positions in the Hofmeister series, according to thermodynamic properties of the crystallizing protein.
Climate change is influencing population dynamics of several pest insect species leading to the expansion of their range. Range expansion can be driven also by human-mediated dispersal, with the establishment of new insect populations in suitable areas far from their native range. In this process, interactions between insects and their natural enemies can change due to new environmental conditions or to different rate of dispersion. In recent years, pine processionary moth (PPM), one of the main forest pests in the Mediterranean region, is expanding its range favored by both higher winter mean temperatures and accidental human-mediated transportation. Here we outlined the genetic structure of PPM along its range in France using 23 microsatellites loci, characterizing the main patterns of expansion of this species and identifying the source populations of new colonies in the expansion areas. These data can be employed for developing assignment tools to genetically characterize PPM for a quick identification of their origin area. Finally, we developed a new set of microsatellite primers for the PPM specialist egg-parasitoid in order to track its dispersion following its host in the expanding areas. The low genetic variability found, not directly useful for tracking parasitoid expansion, shed light on the role of bacterial endosymbionts in the population genetic structure of this species.
This project focus on the molecular basis of a peculiar class of conformational diseases, called Serpinopathies, with a special emphasis to glycosylation, an important post-translational modification which rules the functional and pathological behaviour of the proteins responsible for the diseases. The authors exploited their expertise on protein biophysics and glyco-biochemistry to set up a long-term program for the studies on the role of glycosylation in the functional activity and pathological consequences of serpin proteins. An experimental work was accomplished to start the expression and production of two serpins, neuroserpin and C1-inhibitor, in a novel eukaryotic expression model. Further, the program was given a wider scope by consolidating a European network of researchers working on closely related issues.
This project analysed 1968 as a watershed moment in children’s culture and its related disciplines, following Marwick’s (1998) now canonical definition of 1968 as the crystallisation of the cultural revolution of the ‘long sixties’ (c.1958-c.1974). We pursued this objective with specialists from cognate fields within childhood studies, including children’s history and media, children’s culture, heritage and art education, and bring them into dialogue with historians of 1968. This new collaboration brought together researchers and practitioners from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK. By thinking about children’s culture as a site for artistic and intellectual experimentation, at the centre of ideological activity across disciplinary boundaries and national borders, this project opened up new ways of understanding the 1968 liberation movements and their legacies. Culminating in a series of public events and exhibitions in 2018 for the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, it brought the children’s perspective into scholarly debate and public commemorations.