Abstract : Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are used today in many applications that differ in their own objectives and specific constraints. However the common challenge in designing WSN applications comes from the specific constraints of micro-sensors because of their limited physical resources such as limited battery lifetime, weak computational capability and small memory capacity. This thesis aims to develop techniques to improve the energy efficiency of wireless sensor networks intended to a cold chain monitoring application. In such area, existing solutions consist of walled temperature recorders in warehouses and transport vehicles, which essentially control the room storage temperature which is not necessarily the product one. By integrating wireless micro-sensor devices with pallets and trays, one allows full real-time tracking of the cold chain originating from factories to the shelves of retailers. The first approach developed in this thesis concerns the phase of transporting food. The proposed VBS, WaS and eVBS protocols address the main issue resulting from the absence of a permanent base station in the small network deployed in a truck where nodes are generally in the same transmission range. These methods have the triple advantages of having a low overhead, increasing the ergonomics of the application and enhancing the economic interest of the network. In the state of art, there is no very large scale deployment of WSN for a cold chain monitoring system. Thus, the core of this thesis addresses the scalability issues by offering several ways to improve overall energy efficiency of the network. So, routing techniques improvement and efficient multi-hop clustering protocols are proposed through some original ideas using the Link Quality Indicator (LQI) provided by the MAC sublayer. The LQI is defined in the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in which its context of use is not specified. The link reliability based routing protocol (L2RP) which load balances the traffic between nodes, the single-node cluster reduction mechanism (SNCR) and the LQI-DCP multi-hop clusters formation protocol which improves clusterhead locations are some of contributions of this thesis which exploit the LQI to, significantly, increase the WSN efficiency. We also show that the MaxMin d-cluster formation heuristic does not support the grid deployment topology which is the more often used in WSN architectures.