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Abstract  

Beginning in 1991 (and continuing until 1995) a research program has been undertaken involving the participation of six Western European countries, focusing on the following main objectives: (i) comparison of operational analytical methods for long-lived radionuclides and application to real waste samples; (ii) improvement of existing procedures and/or development of some alternative analytical methods; (iii) computation of correlation factors between long-lived radionuclides and easily-measured key radionuclides, through the analysis of some of the main waste streams from the participants' countries. Some preliminary and significant results that have been obtained in the framework of this project are presented and discussed.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: M. Arnal, V. Balsamo, G. Ronca, A. Sánchez, A. Müller, E. Cañizales, and C. Urbina de Navarro

Abstract  

A new technique to thermally fractionate polymers using DSC has been recently developed in our laboratory. The applications of the novel successive self-nucleation and annealing (SSA) technique to characterize polyolefins with very dissimilar molecular structures are presented as well as the optimum conditions to thermally fractionate any suitable polymer sample with SSA. For ethylene/-olefin copolymers, the SSA technique can give information on the distribution of short chain branching and lamellar thickness. In the case of functionalized polyolefins, detailed examinations of SSA results can help to establish possible insertion sites of grafted molecules. The application of the technique to characterize crosslinked polyethylene and crystallizable blocks within ABC triblock copolymers is also presented.

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Abstract  

The accuracy of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) for measurement of bone mass carried out by quantitative digital radiography (Hologic Inc.) was compared to results with neutron activation analysis (NAA) on 106 subjects. The accuracy with DEXA was further investigated by measurements on aluminium samples of known composition. DEXA measured 4 lumbar vertebrae by spine scan. The central third of the skeleton also was measured by whole body scan to obtain data on the same large part of the skeleton as measured by NAA. Results suggested that DEXA spine scans were more reliable than whole body scans. In addition, the measurement of total mineral content (BMC) was more reliable than the normalization of BMC to bone surface area (BMC/Area) or bone mineral density (BDM). Since the proportion of bone below detection would increase with development of osteoporosis, with osteoporosis the BMC would be increasingly underestimated, but to only a small extent, while the BMD would be more significantly overestimated.

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Journal of Flow Chemistry
Authors: Dambarudhar Parida, Christophe A. Serra, Rigoberto Ibarra Gómez, Dhiraj K. Garg, Yannick Hoarau, Michel Bouquey, and René Muller

We report on the synthesis of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) in tubular microreactors. Different process parameters, temperature, pressure, and shear rate, were considered to accelerate the reaction. Increase in temperature induced a faster reaction, but controlled nature of ATRP decreased past a threshold value that can be increased up to 95 °C by reducing the residence time. Positive effect of pressure was observed since significant increases in monomer conversion (+12.5 %) and molecular weight (+5,000 g/mol) were obtained. Moreover, polydispersity index was found to decrease from 1.52 at normal pressure to 1.44 at 100 bars. Benefit of pressure was more visible in smaller reaction space (smaller tube diameter). Finally, shear rate has quite an influence on the early stage of the polymerization and is expressed by an increase in the reaction rate. However, the effect was dimed for long residence times.

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Journal of Flow Chemistry
Authors: Christophe A. Serra, Ikram U. Khan, ZhenQi Chang, Michel Bouquey, René Muller, Isabelle Kraus, Marc Schmutz, Thierry Vandamme, Nicolas Anton, Christian Ohm, Rudolf Zentel, Andrea Knauer, and Michael Köhler

Abstract

Capillary-based flow-focusing and co-flow microsystems were developed to produce sphere-like polymer microparticles of adjustable sizes in the range of 50 to 600 μm with a narrow size distribution (CV < 5%) and different morphologies (core-shell, janus, and capsules). Rod-like particles whose length was conveniently adjusted between 400 μm and few millimeters were also produced using the same microsystems. Influence of operating conditions (flow rate of the different fluid, microsystem characteristic dimensions, and design) as well as material parameters (viscosity of the different fluids and surface tension) was investigated. Empirical relationships were thus derived from experimental data to predict the microparticle's overall size, shell thickness, or rods length. Besides morphology, microparticles with various compositions were synthesized and their potential applications highlighted: drug-loaded microparticles for new drug delivery strategies, composed inorganic-organic multiscale microparticles for sensorics, and liquid crystalline elastomer microparticles showing an anisotropic reversible shape change upon temperature for thermal actuators or artificial muscles.

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