11,123 research outputs found

    3D Experimental investigation of the hygro-mechanical behaviour of wood at cellular and sub-cellular scale: detection of local deformations

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    The swelling/shrinkage of spruce wood samples (Picea Abies) is documented with high resolution XRay Tomography and advanced image analysis tools. We report the reversible moisture-induced global and local deformations at the cellular and sub-cellular scales. In particular, we present sophisticated methods for detecting local deformations in the cell wall. Insight is given on the hygromechanical behaviour of wood cell material and on the role of ultra-cellular components in wood, such as bordered pits and rays

    Influence of the nature of interfaces on the capillary transport in layered materials

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    This paper presents an experimental and quantitative analysis of capillary transport across the interface brick-mortar joint in masonry. Moisture profiles are measured with X-ray projection. The influence of curing conditions is analyzed by considering three types of mortars: cured in a mould, between capillary wet and dry bricks. A decrease in moisture inflow for the mortars cured between bricks is measured. The pore structure and the moisture transport properties of mortar change significantly due to water extraction from the initially wet mortar to the bricks during curing. Numerical simulations reveal the existence of a hydraulic interface resistance between brick and wet/dry cured mortar.status: publishe

    Dynamic induced softening in frictional granular material investigated by DEM simulation

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    A granular system composed of frictional glass beads is simulated using the Discrete Element Method. The inter-grain forces are based on the Hertz contact law in the normal direction with frictional tangential force. The damping due to collision is also accounted for. Systems are loaded at various stresses and their quasi-static elastic moduli are characterized. Each system is subjected to an extensive dynamic testing protocol by measuring the resonant response to a broad range of AC drive amplitudes and frequencies via a set of diagnostic strains. The system, linear at small AC drive amplitudes has resonance frequencies that shift downward (i.e., modulus softening) with increased AC drive amplitude. Detailed testing shows that the slipping contact ratio does not contribute significantly to this dynamic modulus softening, but the coordination number is strongly correlated to this reduction. This suggests that the softening arises from the extended structural change via break and remake of contacts during the rearrangement of bead positions driven by the AC amplitude.Comment: acoustics, nonlinearity, granular medi

    Effect of PlGF-inhibition on survival in mice with hepatocellular carcinoma

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    Background: Inhibition of angiogenesis is currently hot topic in the search for an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Up till recently, the focus was mainly on VEGF, an important regulator in the pathologic and physiologic angiogenesis. Although promising results are seen by inhibiting the VEGF-pathway, patients often suffer from major side effects. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a VEGF analogue only involved in pathologic angiogenesis and its inhibition has the potential to restrain tumour growth, without affecting healthy organs. Therefore, we assessed whether administration of PlGF-antibodies could serve as a potential therapy for HCC in mice. Methods: 5-week-old male mice (sv129) received intraperitoneal (ip) injections once per week with N-nitrosodiethylamine (35 mg/kg bodyweight) or saline , which gives rise to HCC after 25W in WT. PlGF-knock-out mice (PlGF-/-) received weekly ip DEN-injections and were compared with their WT counterparts. At 26W, WT mice were treated with twice a week with murine monoclonal PlGF-antibodies (20 mg/kg anti-PlGF) or IgG for 5W and 10W. Results: By 25 weeks of DEN treatment, 29% of the WT mice but none of the PlGF-/- mice had succumbed to the disease (p = 0,056). Also, treatment of DEN-injected HCC mice from 25 weeks for 5 weeks with 5D11D4 (ThromboGenics N.V.) or IgG showed a significant difference in mortality. While 45% died in the control IgG group, only 23% mortality was observed in the anti-PlGF group (N=48; P < 0.05). Also, the liver/body weight ratio was 0.057 ± 0.003 in the control group versus 0.042 ± 0.004 in the 5D11D4 group (N=19; P < 0,05). After 10W treatment 90% died in the control IgG group, while only 41 % mortality was observed in the anti-PlGF group (N = 11, P < 0,05). No mortality was observed in mice injected with saline instead of DEN, followed by 5 wks of treatment with anti-PlGF or IgG. The liver/body weight ratio was 0.038 ± 0.001 in the saline and IgG group versus 0.041 ± 0.002 in the anti-PlGF group (N=12, P = 0,27). Figure 1: left: Mean survival of IgG and aPlGF treated mice ; right: mean survival of PlGF knock out mice and WT’s during DEN-induction Conclusion: Our study showed that administration of 20 mg/kg anti-PlGF twice a week, has a positive effect on survival in mice with HCC. The liver/bodyweight ratio of anti-PlGF treated mice was significantly lower than in the control IgG group, showing a specific effect on liver tumours. Treatment of anti-PlGF in healthy mice did not induce negative side effects. Therefore, treatment with PlGF antibodies might serve as a promising systemic treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma patients

    Crystallization of hydrated and anhydrous salts in porous limestone resolved by synchrotron X-ray microtomography

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    ACLInternational audienceThe crystallization processes of two anhydrous salts (NaCl and Na 2SO4) and one hydrated (sodium sulfate) salt in the pore space of a natural building stone, Savonnières limestone, are studied. We imaged the salt solution distribution before and after crystallization and the solid crystal distribution in between repeated crystallization cycles using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. This technique proves to be very useful to study salt crystallization processes at the pore scale. The use of simultaneous phase-and-amplitude retrieval during X-ray tomographic reconstruction allows a clear segmentation of sodium sulfate solution and hydrated sodium sulfate crystals without the need for a dopant. Salt crystals can precipitate under unconfined as well as confined conditions in the multiple pore systems of Savonnières limestone, depending on their interconnection. Salt solution and salt crystals are located in mechanically weak zones of the limestone, which can be linked to damage patterns observed in this stone after repeated salt weathering cycles. The distribution and the process of pore filling by salt crystals that are revealed here advance the understanding of salt damage in porous media and may open ways to perform remediation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Segmentation of salt solution and hydrated salt crystals in porous limestone

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    This paper presents how simultaneous phase-and-amplitude retrieval during X-ray tomographic reconstruction allows a clear segmentation of sodium sulfate solution and hydrated sodium sulfate crystals in Savonnières limestone without the need for a dopant. This technique could be very useful to study salt crystallization processes at the pore scale, in order to improve the understanding and remediation of salt damage in porous media

    The Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor PAI-1 Controls in Vivo Tumor Vascularization by Interaction with Proteases, Not Vitronectin: Implications for Antiangiogenic Strategies

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    The plasminogen (Plg)/plasminogen activator (PA) system plays a key role in cancer progression, presumably via mediating extracellular matrix degradation and tumor cell migration. Consequently, urokinase-type PA (uPA)/plasmin antagonists are currently being developed for suppression of tumor growth and angiogenesis. Paradoxically, however, high levels of PA inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) are predictive of a poor prognosis for survival of patients with cancer. We demonstrated previously that PAI-1 promoted tumor angiogenesis, but by an unresolved mechanism. We anticipated that PAI-1 facilitated endothelial cell migration via its known interaction with vitronectin (VN) and integrins. However, using adenoviral gene transfer of PAI-1 mutants, we observed that PAI-1 promoted tumor angiogenesis, not by interacting with VN, but rather by inhibiting proteolytic activity, suggesting that excessive plasmin proteolysis prevents assembly of tumor vessels. Single deficiency of uPA, tissue-type PA (tPA), uPA receptor, or VN, as well as combined deficiencies of uPA and tPA did not impair tumor angiogenesis, whereas lack of Plg reduced it. Overall, these data indicate that plasmin proteolysis, even though essential, must be tightly controlled during tumor angiogenesis, probably to allow vessel stabilization and maturation. These data provide insights into the clinical paradox whereby PAI-1 promotes tumor progression and warrant against the uncontrolled use of uPA/plasmin antagonists as tumor angiogenesis inhibitors

    Acoustically-induced slip in sheared granular layers: application to dynamic earthquake triggering

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    A fundamental mystery in earthquake physics is ``how can an earthquake be triggered by distant seismic sources?'' Here, we use discrete element method simulations of a granular layer, during stick-slip, that is subject to transient vibrational excitation to gain further insight into the physics of dynamic earthquake triggering. Using Coulomb friction law for grains interaction, we observe delayed triggering of slip in the granular gouge. We find that at a critical vibrational amplitude (strain) there is an abrupt transition from negligible time-advanced slip (clock advance) to full clock advance, {\it i.e.}, transient vibration and triggered slip are simultaneous. The critical strain is order of 10−610^{-6}, similar to observations in the laboratory and in Earth. The transition is related to frictional weakening of the granular layer due to a dramatic decrease in coordination number and the weakening of the contact force network. Associated with this frictional weakening is a pronounced decrease in the elastic modulus of the layer. The study has important implications for mechanisms of triggered earthquakes and induced seismic events and points out the underlying processes in response of the fault gouge to dynamic transient stresses
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