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Hélène Van Den Berghe

Hélène Van Den Berghe

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montpellier

Hélène graduated in Organic Chemistry at the Universtiy of Montpellier (France). She completed her PhD in 2007 under the supervision of Pr J. Coudane in the Artificial Biopolymers Department of IBMM in Montpellier, working on the synthesis of biodegradable polymers for tissue engineering and sustained drug release applications. She then joined the group of Pr Rachel Auzély in the CERMAV (Grenoble, France) as a post-doc to work on the chemical modifications of polysaccharides. Hélène moved to England in 2010 in the Dove group at the Warwick University before moving at the University of Lille (France) to work as a post-doctoral fellow with Pr Bernard Martel developing multi-drug stents based on polysaccharide layer-by-layer assemblies. In 2011, she became Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy of Montpellier in the Artificial Biopolymers Department of IBMM. Her research is dedicated to the synthesis and chemical modification of synthetic and natural biodegradable polymers for biomedical applications including : nano-systems for anti-cancer drug release, anti-adhesive polymeric membranes for orthopedic surgery, synthesis of amphiphilic copolymers for environnemental applications.   

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5 recent publications:

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Performances and behavior of a water-soluble and pH-sensitive polycarboxybetaine used for metal ion recovery

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Materials Today Communications 20, 100575, 2019

 

Mouton, J., Kirkelund, G.M., Hassen, Y., Chastagnol, S., Van den Berghe, H., Coudane, J., Turmine, M

 

ABSTRACT

Zwiterionic functional groups give polycarboxybetaines a great ability to chelate copper and their use for metal ions recovery was suggested in previous studies. The use of a water-soluble and pH-sensitive polymer (polycarboxy-ethyl-3-aminocrotonate – PCEAC) was investigated for the removal of copper from aqueous solution. The equilibrium adsorption level was determined as a function of temperature, pH and initial adsorbate concentration. The good fit to the Langmuir model offered various information about copper uptake mechanisms. The maximal adsorption capacities were found to reach 253 ± 11 mg of copper per g of PCEAC at pH=6. The thermodynamic parameters such as free energy, enthalpy and entropy changes for the adsorption of copper were computed to predict the nature of adsorption process. The removal of copper was varying from 2% to 97% depending on pH and initial copper concentration. A particular behavior of PCEAC at pH=4 is discussed and explained by viscosity measurements as a particular conformation of the polymer. The effect of cadmium on copper adsorption was also tested. Some co-adsorption phenomena were observed at low cadmium concentrations ([Cd]/[Cu]≤1), while copper desorption in favor of cadmium adsorption were quantified at higher cadmium concentrations ([Cd]/[Cu]>1).

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Sol-gel synthesis of collagen-inspired peptide hydrogel

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Mater. Today 20, 59–66 (2017)

Echalier, C., Jebors, S., Laconde, G., Brunel, L., Verdie, P., Causse, L., Bethry, A., Legrand, B., Van Den Berghe, H., Garric, X., Noel, D., Martinez, J., Mehdi, A. & Subra, G.

 

ABSTRACT

Conceiving biomaterials able to mimic the specific environments of extracellular matrices are a prerequisite for tissue engineering applications. Numerous types of polymers (PEG, PLA, etc.) have been used for the design of biocompatible scaffolds, but they are still less efficient than natural biopolymers such as collagen extracts. Chemically modified and loaded with different bioactive factors, biopolymers afford an environment favourable to cell proliferation and differentiation. Unfortunately, they present several drawbacks, such as weak batch-to-batch reproducibility, potential immunogenicity and high cost of production. Herein we propose a fully synthetic covalent hydrogel obtained by sol–gel polymerization of a silylated peptide. We selected a short and low molecular building-block derived from the consensus collagen sequence [Pro-Hyp-Gly]. Interestingly, the sol–gel process occurs in physiological buffer, enabling the embedment of stem cells. This collagen-inspired hydrogel provides a cell-friendly environment comparable to natural collagen substrates, demonstrating its potency as a biomimetic scaffold.

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A new water-soluble polycarbobetaine showing high selectivity toward copper

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Chem. Eng. J. 283, 1168–1175 (2016)

Mouton, J., Turmine, M., Van den Berghe, H. & Coudane, J.

 

ABSTRACT

In this study, betaine-type polyampholytes (polycarbobetaines, PCBets) are investigated as complexing agents of metal ions. Because PCBets are pH-sensitive due to the presence of amine and carboxylic acid groups, the complexation of copper was monitored at various pH values (from 3 to 6) by UV–vis spectroscopy and/or electrochemical measurements. The results obtained for the complexation of copper were greatly enhanced as the pH increased and reached 264 ± 11 mg g1 at pH = 6. This maximum adsorption capacity rivals the recent results obtained for molecules of environmental interest, such as chitosan. The selectivity of the target PCBets for copper was indicated in the presence of nickel and/or cobalt and partially accounts for the interest in this material and demonstrated the relevance of using
PCBet in environmental applications (such as metal recovery from wastes/wastewaters or environmental sensors). The efficiency of copper adsorption was maintained over 5 cycles of PCBet reuse (91 ± 4%).

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Easy Synthesis of Tunable Hybrid Bioactive Hydrogels

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Chemistry of Materials 28, 1261–1265 (2016)

Echalier, C., Pinese, C., Garric, X., Van Den Berghe, H., Jumas Bilak, E., Martinez, J., Mehdi, A. & Subra, G.

ABSTRACT

This work presented an easy and original method to prepare PEG-based hydrogels by the sol − gel process at physiological temperature and pH. We demonstrated through two examples that bioactive peptides can be covalently incorporated into gels and can confer their biological properties to the gels. Such gels could find applications in tissue engineering or in controlling postsurgical adhesions. In addition, this one-pot method to prepare biocompatible and bioactive hydrogels is highly adaptable. Indeed, gel properties can be finely tuned by mixing different building blocks to address a specific need for healthcare.

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