Recent Submissions

  • The role of the SWI/SNF ATP dependent chromatin remodelling complex in the regulation of the human hair follicle cell proliferation and control of the human cutaneous wound healing

    Fessing, Michael Y.; Botchkareva, Natalia V.; Kellett, Carl W. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life sciences, 2018)
    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression occurs at a number of levels including covalent DNA and histone modifications, nucleosome positioning and ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling as well as higher order chromatin folding and 3D genome organisation. ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling complexes modulate nucleosome structure, positioning and chromatin de-compaction and are involved in gene activation and repression. SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling complexes contain either BRG1 or BRM as the core ATPase together with other common and variable subunits. BRG1 is required for terminal epidermal differentiation in mice and humans and for hair follicle stem cell activation during mouse hair follicle regeneration and cutaneous wound healing. However, the role of SWI/SNF complexes in human hair growth and wound healing remain unknown. Here it is demonstrated that genes encoding SWI/SNF complex subunits are expressed in human hair follicles. It also highlights that siRNA mediated suppression of SWI/SNF complexes in hair follicle culture has no effect on hair growth, or anagen-catagen transition in the short term, but a significant increase in proliferation of the outer root sheath keratinocytes was seen. The data also documents the expression of several SWI/SNF subunits in human epidermis and that siRNA mediated SMARCA4 gene suppression in primary human keratinocyte monolayers defined the requirements of BRG1 for wound closure through control of cell migration, but not proliferation. In summary, this data revealed a diverse SWI/SNF complex subunit composition in human epidermis and hair follicle, and an essential role of the core complex ATPase BRG1 in keratinocyte migration during wound closure and re-epithelisation.
  • Experimental analysis of unreinforced and reinforced piled embankment subjected to cyclic loads

    Mohamed, Mostafa H.A.; Sheehan, Therese; Aqoub, Khaled M. A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2018)
    Reinforced piled embankment technique is becoming increasingly utilised for the construction over soft grounds. Most of the studies focused on studying the behaviour of piled embankments that are loaded with static surcharge load. However, less attention has been given to the behaviour of piled embankments under cyclic loading conditions. In this study, an experimental programme has been undertaken to improve our understanding for the behaviour of unreinforced and reinforced shallow piled embankments subject to cyclic loadings that are applied over a specific area of the embankment. The results showed that arching of the soil was adversely affected during the initial stages of cyclic loading regardless of the embankment height. However, regain of strength and recovery of the arching effect was observable during further stages of cyclic loadings. Inclusion of reinforcement layers was found to enhance the performance of load transfer mechanisms. The surface settlement increased with raising the embankment height and reduced with increasing the number of reinforcement layers. Two preliminary experimental studies have been carried out in order to be able to understand and design the main experiment. The results showed that with increasing number of reinforcement layers, enormous cycles of loading could be applied without experiencing excessive deformation or loss of bearing resistance. Furthermore, it was observed that alternating the direction of movement significantly affected the formation of arching during the initial cycles irrespective of the embankment height.
  • Assessing information value for harnessing knowledge needed for improving decision-making and effectiveness of a government organisation: A Case study of Abu Dhabi Police Force

    Hussain, Zahid I.; Irani, Zahir; Alketbi, Omar H. S. T. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2018)
    Due to many adverse consequences of poor decision making in organisations there is a need to focus on the quality of information and knowledge. This research focuses on how to obtain and use, or “harness” knowledge from information in improving organisational decision-making in a civil protection/security organisation to become effective and enter an organisational wide learning spiral. This is necessary in order to gain a high degree of intuitiveness and intelligence and to be effective. The researcher explores how information-knowledge can be processed and converted into deeper level knowledge, while at the same time how to get decision makers to codify knowledge in order to help them to externalise it. In order to achieve this, the “information-space” model was used to show the information-to-knowledge dynamic journey. The research involved using quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative approach is used to obtain computable results from key decision-makers, such as senior workers, and test a model derived from the literature. Seventeen hypotheses were proposed based on theory to evaluate the proposed model. Primary data was collected during the empirical phase of the research from 135 respondents. A structural equation model was used and included exogenous and endogenous latent constructs. On the other hand, a use of qualitative research helped to obtain deeper insights into the use of information and knowledge in decision making. It was underpinned by several propositions and its aim was to expose the role of information-knowledge and the creation of a learning organisation. The results of the quantitative approach revealed that twelve hypotheses are positively significant. Two hypotheses have a significant negative impact on other constructs. Additionally, three hypotheses are non-statistically significant. The results reveal some very interesting insights, such as that demographic factors, such as age, level of education, gender, work experience and level of authority, have a significant impact on problem solving and decision making. In terms of type of information, the proprietary and common sense information types have more significance for solving problem and decision making. But, much to the researcher’s surprise, the public information and personal information played a very minor role. On the other hand, the results of the qualitative data collection show how key decision makers made decisions and gained a certain degree of intuition from it. Therefore, this research has met its objective in helping towards improvement in a civil protection/security organisation to become a learning organisation and help it to enter a learning spiral and make continual improvement. Hence, the researcher succeeds in making suitable recommendations to a number of different stakeholders, in particular the civil protection/security organisations to (i) to develop their management and specialist personnel, and, (ii) to have the necessary information management strategy in place that would harness information and help towards (iii) creating an effective and robust knowledge management strategy.
  • Investigating prevalence and healthcare use of children with complex healthcare needs using data linkage. A study using multi-ethnic data from an ongoing prospective cohort: the Born in Bradford project

    Small, Neil A.; Parslow, Roger C.; Bishop, Christine F. (University of BradfordFaculty of Health Studies, 2017)
    Background: The impact children with complex healthcare needs have on the healthcare system is significant and requires a multidisciplinary response. Congenital anomaly (CA) is a group of conditions requiring complex and variable input from primary and secondary healthcare. This thesis explores the literature on health system preparedness for children with complex healthcare needs and quantitatively describes healthcare use for a population of children with CA, an exemplar for children with complex healthcare needs. Methods: Routine health data from primary care was explored to identify children with CA and linked to secondary care data, outpatient records, and questionnaire data from a multi-ethnic prospective birth cohort over a five-year period. Rates of CA were calculated and healthcare use for children with and without CA was analysed. Results: Out of a birth cohort of 13,857 children, 860 had a CA. Using primary care data for children aged 0 to 5 years, the number of children with CA was found to be 620.6 per 10,000 live births, above the national rate of 226.5 per 10,000 live births. Healthcare use was higher for children with CA than those without CA. Demand for use of hospital services for children with CA was higher (Incident rate ratio (IRR) 4.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.90 to 4.92) than demand for primary care services (IRR, 1.27, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.35). Conclusion: These results suggest that using primary care data as a source of CA case ascertainment reveals more children with CA than previously thought. These results have significant implications for commissioning healthcare services for children with complex healthcare needs.
  • Determinants of the application of personalised nutrition and associated technologies in dietetic practice - A mixed methods study of key stakeholders in personalised nutrition

    Not named; Abrahams, Mariette I. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Science, 2019)
    Background: Tech-enabled personalised nutrition is an emerging area that has promise to improve health outcomes, widen access to nutrition expertise and reduce healthcare expenditure, yet uptake by registered dietitians remains low. This research programme aimed to identify levers and barriers that contribute to adoption of personalised nutrition in order to guide practice and policy for registered dietitians, educators and consumers. Methods: A mixed methods study with a sequential exploratory design was adopted to determine what the barriers to adoption of technologies are, and secondly, what needs to be in place to make tech-enabled personalised nutrition a reality. The research programme was conducted online using qualitative (focus groups and interviews) and quantitative measures (survey and secondary analysis). Thematic analysis, statistical and secondary analyses of data were performed respectively. Results: Using diffusion of innovation and entrepreneurial theories, findings indicate that barriers to integration of personalised nutrition technologies include intrinsic and extrinsic factors which relate to a low self-efficacy, high perception of risk, low perceived importance and usefulness of technologies to dietetic practice as well as a lack of an entrepreneurial mindset and regulatory environment. Conclusion: Uptake of tech-enabled personalised nutrition by registered dietitians will require a multi-stakeholder approach. Educational, professional, regulatory and health policies will need to be in place and strategies that open discussion between Registered Dietitians (RD’s) at all levels are needed.
  • Identifying organizational learning dimensions that promote patient safety culture: A study of hospital pharmacies in Kuwait

    Johnson, Craig L.; Mohammed, Mohammed A.; Abdallah, Wael (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2019)
    The need for a positive safety culture in healthcare is essential. It not only advances the prevention and reduction of possible medical errors and threats to patient safety, but also enhances the overall quality of healthcare services provided, especially in respect of medication safety. While the evolution and surge in hospital pharmacies has bolstered treatment possibilities, the risk of harm to patients has also increased as errors in the provision of medication by pharmacists create a threat to patient safety. The increasing need to deploy a protective measure to enhance patient safety culture in the healthcare is imperative suggesting the necessity for the inclusion of new knowledge through the process of organizational learning. Safety culture and organizational learning are complex constructs which may be measured, to some extent, by validated instruments. The current study seeks to assess the reliability and validity of a translated Arabic version of the learning organization survey short-form (LOS-27), and the pharmacy survey on patient safety culture (PSOPSC) through the evaluation of pharmacy staff’s knowledge about organizational learning and patient safety culture in public and private hospital pharmacies of Kuwait. The aim is to explore the relationship between organizational learning and patient safety culture in hospital pharmacy settings through the LOS-27 and PSPOSC instruments. In addition, the relationship between the different dimensions of organizational learning and pharmacy patient safety culture is explored. The results highlighted the adequacy of the Arabic translation of the LOS-27 and PSOPSC questionnaires as they depicted the reliability and validity consistent with the original surveys results. It was also found that in the context of Kuwaiti pharmacies, organizational learning was positively related to performance of the staff in creating a positive patient safety culture. Several dimensions of the organizational learning showed association with various elements of patient safety culture in pharmacy settings, specifically: training, management that reinforces learning, and a supportive learning environment had the strongest effects on the pharmacy patient safety culture dimensions. The contribution of this thesis is in three areas. First, it is the first research that links organizational learning with patient safety culture in a hospital pharmacy setting (theoretical contribution). Second, the research is useful for research scholars as it combines the two questionnaires, LOS-27 and PSOPSC, on the same participants using a single form to explore the relationship between organizational learning and patient safety culture in a hospital pharmacy setting and their dimensions (method contribution). Third, this research contributed to the currently limited literature that examines patient safety culture and organizational learning by considering the context of Kuwait (Contextual Contribution).
  • Fairness, trust and motivation in Profit Sharing Systems within German law firms. A qualitative analysis of law firm partner needs in a peer-to-peer context

    Lee, Hugh; Kapsis, Llias; Wiegmann, Thomas (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law & Social Sciences, 2019)
    In professional partnerships, partners have to agree how to split their income between each other. Such a profit sharing system (PSS) must be perceived as being fair and motivating to ensure the enduring success of the partnership. Surprisingly, quite different systems are in use today in otherwise comparable firms. The understanding of a “fair share” and how to motivate best varies con-siderably. Existing literature on professional service firms rarely discusses in which circumstances the different PSS types are adequate; non-economic per-spectives are scarce. Using semi-structured interviews with senior partners from large German law firms, this study evaluates their understanding of trust, fairness and motivation, and how that links to their respective PSS’s. It adds the otherwise missing peer-to-peer perspective to existing organisational research on fairness, trust and motivation. The findings include the presence of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation through money, but also through peer pressure. Different fairness ideals clearly link to PSS types. Mutual trust, based on knowing each other, is key in all but one PSS type. An important, but yet overlooked differentiator between PSS’s is whether profit distribution decisions are made based on algorithms or on human (committee) decisions. A new framework is developed that links the beliefs and values of the partners with the specific characteristics of the PSS, which are systematically assessed for the first time. This framework offers partners from law firms and potentially other professional service firms a methodical approach to identify and discuss their needs and to identify the most appropriate PSS for their specific situation.
  • Budget Institutions in the Euro Area Quality of budget institutions, legislative budgetary power and implications for fiscal discipline

    Baimbridge, Mark J.; Litsios, Ioannis; Espindola, Roberto; Catania, Moira (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2019)
    This study assesses the quality of national budget institutions and legislative budgetary power in the Euro Area (EA) and examines their implications on fiscal discipline. Following the sovereign debt crises, common EA requirements have been introduced for national budget institutions, most notably for fiscal rules and independent fiscal councils. Meanwhile, the legislature has a key role to ensure that budgetary decisions are democratically legitimate, but strong legislative budgetary power is generally associated with less fiscal restraint. Two comprehensive composite indices are produced, based on recent data which captures reforms implemented after the Crisis. The findings show that overall, budget institutions in the EA are of medium quality, whilst legislative budgetary power is weak. Notwithstanding the thrust for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the specific characteristics of budget institutions differ considerably among the EA countries. Furthermore, results from a two-way fixed effects panel model for 2006-2015 show a positive relationship between the quality of budget institutions and the budget balance, but, in contrast to previous studies, the effect is rather weak. Being supra-nationally mandated, recent reforms to budget institutions in EA member states may suffer from a lack of ownership, thus impinging on their effectiveness to instil fiscal discipline. A qualitative case study on Malta provides further insight into the limitations of centrally-mandated institutional reforms. Finally, the findings suggest that stronger legislative budgetary power does not necessarily jeopardise fiscal discipline, if this involves a broad role of the legislature in the budgetary process, beyond amendment powers.
  • An Assessment of Monetary Integration in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ): Feasibility and Trade Implication

    Baimbridge, Mark J.; Litsios, Ioannis; Adu, Raymond (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, School of Management, 2019)
    This thesis provides an assessment of monetary integration in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) focusing upon its feasibility and trade implications, in order to inform policy about the group’s deep integration scheme. The first aspect of the original contribution of the thesis focuses on one of the main issues in the debate of the monetary union in the WAMZ, namely the degree of asymmetry in macroeconomic shocks. The study examines the real effective exchange rate (REER) behaviour among the prospective candidates to assess the degree of potential costs of giving up monetary policy autonomy. The evidence reported from VECM, impulse response and variance decomposition analysis points to heterogeneous economies. Therefore, idiosyncratic shocks imply the need for different policy responses to adjust to macroeconomic shocks. The findings strengthen the case for policy autonomy in the region. The second aspect of original contribution of the thesis evaluates the potential effect of a common currency on trade among WAMZ member countries. Using the existing currency union in ECOWAS, the CFA franc zone, the chapter estimates the effect of a common currency on bilateral trade over the period 1980-2016 using the gravity model. The main conclusion reached is that membership of the CFA franc zone has promoted bilateral trade among members by 60%. The findings support the hypothesis that a common currency increases bilateral trade, which is a helpful guide for a WAMZ monetary union. In summary, the thesis demonstrates that in the long term, a common currency would promote intra-community trade, but at present, a monetary union is not feasible due to asymmetric macroeconomic shocks. Therefore WAMZ deep integration scheme would require members instituting adequate alternative adjustment mechanisms such as fiscal transfer schemes.
  • Liberalizing Trade in Tourism Services Under the CARIFORUM EU Economic Partnership Agreement in the OECS: Examining its Effect on Tourism Demand and Tourism Related Foreign Direct Investment

    Baimbridge, Mark J.; Mykhayliv, Dariya; Alleyne, Alistair (University of BradfordFaculty of Management and Law, School of Management, 2019)
    This thesis is a study on the liberalization of trade in tourism services that has taken place between the European Union and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) under the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) -European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It focuses on Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They are all members of the OECS, the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and CARIFORUM and they are EPA signatories. Using Panel Auto Regressive Distributed Lag modelling, the study is the first to empirically test the effect of liberalizing trade in tourism services (proxied by the EPA) on inflows of tourism related foreign direct investment and European tourism demand regarding the aforementioned countries. It focuses on the period 1997 – 2013. The results indicate that Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (GDPPC) is a statistically significant determinant of tourism related foreign direct investment. This supports the established hypothesis that market size measured by GDP per capita is a key determinant of FDI. Inflation rate (IR) and trade openness (OPEN) are also significant determinants of tourism related foreign direct investment whilst the EPA is not. Regarding European tourism demand income, prices, prices in a substitute destination and room supply are statistically significant determinants in the long run. Barbados is viewed as a complementary destination to the OECS EPA signatories. However, in the short run the EPA is not a statistically significant determinant of European tourism demand which it negatively affects.
  • Investigating Ethical Decision Making in Marketing Research: An Exploratory Study Towards the Interaction of Different Moral Agents in Marketing Research

    Fukukawa, Kyoko; Reynolds, Nina L.; Bimpli, Iva
    The premise of this study is the in-depth exploration and investigation of the nature of Ethical Decision Making (EDM) in marketing research. More specifically, this research is concerned with exploring the understanding and the holistic conceptualisation of Ethical Decision Making (EDM) through the investigation of different moral agents in marketing research in the United Kingdom. In particular, marketing research researchers’ (MR researchers) and marketing research respondents’ (MR respondents) ethical judgements and behavioural intentions have been investigated based on two marketing research techniques that generate ethical issues; neuromarketing [NM] and autoethnography [AE], Despite the examination of the two aforementioned moral agents, at the heart of this thesis has been the investigation of MR researchers’ (un)willingness to adopt or practice (i.e. behavioural intentions) these marketing research techniques. This study employed a qualitative design and was initiated on descriptive behavioural ethics, in order to investigate MR researchers’ behavioural intentions, while it has a nonnative purpose towards norm generation in the field. Thus, the Theory of Planned Behaviour’ and the ‘General Theory of Marketing Ethics’ (i.e. H-V model) were applied for the initial theoretical considerations of this thesis. By utilising descriptive and nonnative ethical accounts, this study has found that Ethical Decision Making (EDM) in marketing research is grounded in a social contract ethics foundation of a multidimensional structural functionalistic premise. Within this ethical setting the MR researcher is considering the MR respondent’s decision making processes with regards to norm generation, governed by social consensus, social proof and conformity. This results from a multidimensional interdependent social interaction of the two moral agents. Finally, this thesis concludes that Ethical Decision Making (EDM) in marketing research is not conceptualised in a linear progressive manner, but it consists of numerous constructs that fit with each other in a rather loosely coupled modular manner depicting a rather complex and dynamic system of multilayered factors and multi-dimensional constructs.
  • Investigating the Existence, Cognitive Attributes and Potential Pathological Consequences of the Extreme Female Brain

    Lesk, Valerie E.; Waters, Gillian M.; Jones, Sarah L.
    The ‘extreme female brain’ (EFB) is derived from the empathising - systemising theory (E-S) which hypothesises that sex differences in cognition exist on a continuum, based on abilities in ‘empathising’ and ‘systemising’ (Baron-Cohen, 2003). The EFB profile; extreme empathising alongside deficient systemising, has received little attention in social cognitive neuroscience research, compared to the extreme male brain, which has advanced the knowledge of sex differences in the expression of autism. Currently, there is no solid evidence of a clinical pathology relating to the EFB nor a marker of cognition associated with a person’s ‘place’ on the E-S continuum. Here, an episodic memory paradigm with social and non-social conditions was given to participants along with measures of empathising and systemising. Scores on the social condition predicted where a person lies on the E-S continuum. The thesis then investigated the hypothesis that schizophrenia is expressed in the feminised profile (Badcock & Crepsi, 2006) and the presumption that empathising and systemising demonstrate a tradeoff. Elements of paranoia were associated with an empathising bias. However, a bias in systemising ability was associated with schizotypy along with a significant overlap in the expression of autistic traits and schizotypy. Therefore, schizophrenia as a whole is unlikely to be the pathology seen in the EFB, rather, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. A trade-off between empathising and systemising was seen but only in participants over 36 years. These results have significant implications for assessment and treatment of neuropsychological disorders and provide more specific details on the potential EFB pathology. ii
  • Rheology and Pumping of Waxy Crude Oils: An experimental study of the yield stresses of waxy crude oils measured using a range of rheological techniques

    Benkreira, Hadj; Patel, Rajnikant; Abdelrahim, A.M.A.
    A major problem faced by the petroleum industry is the deposition of wax during the pumping of waxy crude oils. This precipitation occurs at “normal” temperature, typically 20-30°C in Libya. It could occur during the journey from well to terminal through hundreds of miles of pipelines. This kind of transportation is expensive in terms of pumping costs. The pumping has to be continuous; otherwise wax can build up in the pipeline, reducing the pumping or even stopping it. The property that defines this characteristic is the yield stress which depends on wax concentration and cooling rate. The build-up of paraffin and asphaltenes can lead to serious problems in formation, tanks, and pipelines. Blockages can be expensive and time-consuming to deal with; this is precisely the topic of this research. For this research, model and real waxy crude oils are formulated and their rheology systematically measured under various cooling rates to determine the yield stress. A pipeline loop has been designed to measure the start-up pressure of stagnant oil which has been allowed to precipitate wax. The start-up pressure and the thickness of deposited wax are used in a simple mathematical model to calculate the yield stress. This research thus provides two independent means of predicting the yield stress. This research studied three different waxy crude oils. An MCR-301 Anton Paar rheometer was used to measure the rheology of the oils, and a pipeline rig was used to obtain the start-up pressure to calculate the yield stress of each type of oil after different stoppage times. Also, the thickness of the precipitated wax is measured to calculate the yield stress precisely. The data show that the layer thickness has significant effect on the yield stress and start-up pressures and corresponding yield flow stresses have been found to underpin the crystallisation process of the wax and slow cooling rate produce stronger structures requiring higher stresses to fracture and induce flow. Also, longer shutdown times make these structures even stronger and therefore require even larger stresses for flow to commence.
  • Six Sigma Implementation in Middle East Organisations: An Empirical Study

    Hafeez, Khalid; Abdi, M. Reza; Ashri, Fahad H.
    In the last decade, the rapid economic development in the Middle East has encouraged organisations to implement modem quality management and strategic initiatives such as Six Sigma to ensure continuous improvement and achieved excellence. Six Sigma is a comprehensive business strategic quality programme and a systematic process improvement methodology for achieving, sustaining and maximising business success. The proper implementation of Six Sigma leads to breakthrough in profitability through ensuring quantum gains in product/service quality, customer satisfaction and productivity. This research presents an empirical exploratory and comparative study that aims and attempts to bridge the gap in the existing literature of Six Sigma by investigating the current implementation status of Six Sigma in organisations of three Middle East countries (namely, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE)). The reasons/benefits that encourage Middle East organisations to implement Six Sigma projects, the challenges commonly faced during implementation, the critical success factors (CSFs) for effective implementation and the organisations’ satisfaction with the implementation are investigated. The key issues of Six Sigma implementation and their criticality relating to the experience of the implementing process of Six Sigma projects are explored through an extensive review of the relevant literature. The data were collected from a combination of quantitative (232 questionnaires) and qualitative (74 semi-structured interviews) methodologies. The research covered 44 organisations from manufacturing and services sectors and large, small, and medium enterprises (SME) sizes, which have implemented or were implementing Six Sigma projects in the selected countries at the time of study. The study findings identified 15 significant reasons/benefits which encourages Middle East organisations to implement Six Sigma projects, 13 major challenges commonly faced during implementation, 19 CSFs for effective implementation and level of the organisations’ satisfaction with the implementation. Based on the research findings, a generic model for successful and effective implementation of Six Sigma in Middle East organisations is developed and proposed. The research concludes that Six Sigma implementation in Middle East organisations still in early stage, most organisations have outstanding opportunities to implement the Six Sigma project successfully and effectively with tangible and intangible benefits. In addition, all the responding organisations, which are actively implementing Six Sigma programme, regardless of their countries, sectors and sizes are highly satisfied with the implementation results. However, the research output highlights that an improvement culture must be developed and promoted throughout the organisation to ensure long-term benefit and sustainable success. Furthermore, the research makes recommendations on development of an implementation strategy in Middle East organisations. Finally, a number of suggestions are made for future research.
  • Secondary Metabolites from Xylaria Endophytes: The isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites from Xylaria endophytes by chemical and spectroscopic methods

    Maitland, Derek J.; Edwards, Raymond L.; Al-Busaidi, Harith
    This thesis describes the isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites from a number of endophytic Xylaria fungi. Six Xylaria endophytes were surface cultured on an aqueous malt extract-glucose medium. The fungus A311R, from a palm tree in Thailand, produced nonane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid, which was isolated for the first time as a natural product. Also isolated from the same fungus was spiculisporic acid; the first instance of isolation from a Xylaria fungus. The fungus 6RD12 produced cycloepoxydon, which was isolated for the first time from a Xylaria fungus, and 4,5,6-trihydroxy-3-propyl-3,4,6,7-tetrahydro-l//-isochromen- 8(5//)-one, which is a novel compound. The fungi A217R and A517R produced cytochalasin D, (S)-mellein and (3S,4S)-4-hydroxymellein as main secondary metabolites suggesting that the two fungi are the same species. The fungus X04 (Xylaria cf. juruensis) produced 2-Hydroxy-5-ethoxy-3-methylcyclohexa-2,5-dien- 1,4-dione as a novel compound, coriloxin as the main secondary metabolite in addition to (R)-mellein and a mixture of two stereoisomers of the 4-Hydroxymellein. The fungus 6RD8 produced (S)-Omethylmellein as the main secondary metabolite. l
  • Identification and characterisation of antiplatelet antibodies in ITP patients

    Lindsey, Nigel J.; Aghabeigi, Nabiollah
    The autoimmune disease known as autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is clinically defined by a low numbers of platelets in the circulation blood. Anti-platelet antibodies bind to glycoprotein molecules on the membranes of platelets and result in their dysfunction and destruction. Despite a growing body of information about ITP, it is difficult to isolate and characterise anti-platelet antibodies, because only limited monoclonal antibodies are available from ITP patients. This study used a phage display system to recognise Fab anti-platelet antibodies. Anti-platelet Fab-expressing phage was isolated by sequential panning of an ITP Fab library against normal non-ITP platelets. After isolation, the anti-platelet Fab-expressing phage was characterised by ELISA and Western blotting. The Fab-bearing phage pool obtained from five rounds of panning was analysed in order to determine its anti-platelet reactivity. Of the phage colonies obtained, 100 colonies of different sizes were randomly selected for reaction with whole platelets, using Ml3 phage as a negative control. 12 colonies of them had strong reactions against the whole platelet preparation, but only four colonies showed substantial reactivity against the lysed platelet preparation (lysate). Colony S7 showed highest the greatest degree of binding to both the lysate and the whole platelet preparation. The specificity of the four colonies (S2, S7, S8 and S9) that had strong positive reactions against platelet antigens was determined for the glycoprotein component GP Ilb/IIIa. Further characterisation of the proteins in the lysate preparation was carried out using blotting techniques. The protein content of the four Fab-bearing phage colonies was quantified under the non-reducing conditions of Western blotting to evaluate their ability to recognise platelet antigens. Three of the four colonies showed three bands representing proteins with different molecular weights. Each of these three colonies had one band that corresponded to a protein of molecular weight 92 kD. The fourth colony showed only a single band, but this band also corresponded to a 92-kD protein.
  • Does Cyberspace outdate Jurisdictional Defamation Laws?

    Usman, Muhammad
    Cyberspace produces friction when the law is implemented by domestic courts using 'state-laws'. These laws are based on a ‘physical presence’ of an individual within the territory. It elevates conflicts relating to cyberspace jurisdiction. This research examines private international law complications associated with cyberspace. The paradigm of libel that takes place within the domain of social media is used to evaluate the utility of traditional laws. This research is conducted using ‘black-letter’ methodology, keeping in mind the changes constituted by the Defamation Act 2013. It pinpoints that the instantaneous nature of social media communication demands an unambiguous exercise of 'personal-jurisdiction', beyond the doctrine of territoriality. An innovation to the code of Civil Procedure is recommended to revise the process of service for non-EU defendants. The permission to serve a writ via social networks (or to the relevant Embassy of the defendant’s domicile state), can accelerate the traditional judicial process. This thesis can be utilised as a roadmap by libel victims for preliminary information. It contributes to the knowledge by discovering that the thresholds under Section 1 and Section 9 of the Defamation Act 2013 overlap with the conventional ‘forum-conveniens’ tests. This crossover is causing legal uncertainty in the application of existing rules to the digital libel proceedings. Section 1 and Section 9 thresholds do not fulfil the purpose of eliminating ‘libel-tourism’ and maintaining a balance between speech freedom and reputation rights. They raised the bar for potential victims and restricted their rights to justice. It is proposed that the traditional ‘conveniens test’ must be used for social media libel victims to produce legal certainty in cyberspace defamation.
  • Exploring the Impact of Business Intelligence (BI) Use on Organisational Power Dynamics: A National Health Service (NHS) Case Study

    Hussain, Zahid I.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Mahroof, Kamran A.
    The public sector, particularly healthcare organisations are under ever increasing pressure to do more with less. This coupled with the need to keep up to the constant technological changes and ever increasing abundance of information has led to many public sector organisations adopting Business Intelligence (BI) in order to leverage business value and improve decision-making. However, many organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS) continue to fail in their Information Technology (IT) related initiatives. While the rise of BI and its growing influence in organisations has attracted much academic attention, this has largely been from architectural, design and technological perspectives, whilst little is known about how BI is used by various organisational actors to reach decisions, nor much is understood regarding its resulting impact on organisational power dynamics. Thus, there remains an under researched area of discussion in the literature from the perspective of BI users. While studies report how BI can impact organisational effectiveness, facilitate data driven decision making and supposedly overcome intuitive decision making, the extent to which BI impacts and alters power dynamics between organisational actors across the organisation has received little attention. Accordingly, this research adopts a qualitative case study approach to explore power resulting from BI use within a large NHS trust by conducting 30 semi-structured interviews consisting of operational managers and BI analysts. Through taking a human-centric approach, this research uncovers how BI is altering power dynamics between organisational actors, whereby BI analysts are becoming increasingly influential as a result of their analytical skills. It was found that operational managers are becoming more reliant upon data analysts, resulting in the analysts having more and more influence. However, this research finds it is only when the analysts supplement their technical skill-set with their institutional knowledge, that they have the ability to influence and enact power within the organisational settings. The research also offers insights into the contestations and conflicts which arise from the use of BI, between operational managers and analysts as well as between in-house analysts, based in the operation setting and the centralised analysts, operating across the entire trust. Accordingly, this research empirically validates a BI Power Enactment Framework and proposes the BI Power Matrix, which may assist policy makers in identifying determining key factors which are contributory to the success or failure of technological initiatives.
  • Evaluation of the critical parameters and polymeric coat performance in compressed multiparticulate systems

    Grimsey, Ian M.; Isreb, Mohammad; Gough, Timothy D.; de Matas, Marcel; Benhadia, Abrehem M.A.
    Compression of coated pellets is a practical alternative to capsule filling. The current practice is to add cushioning agents to minimize the stress on the coated pellets. Cushioning agents however add bulkiness and reduce the overall drug loading capacity. In this study, we investigated the performance of compressed coated pellets with no cushioning agent to evaluate the feasibility of predicting the coat behaviour using thermo-mechanical and rheological analysis techniques. Different coating formulations were made of ethyl cellulose (EC) as a coating polymer and two different kinds of additives were incorporated into the polymeric coating solution. Triethyl Citrate (TEC) and Polyethylene glycol 400(PEG400) were used as plasticizers at different levels to the coating formulations (10%, 20%, 30%). Thermal, mechanical and rheological measurements of the coating film formulations were achieved to investigate the effect of plasticizers. Thermal gravimetric analysis results (TGA) showed higher residual moisture content in films plasticised with PEG 400 compared to their TEC counterparts. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) and Parallel Plate Shear Rheometer (PPSR) were used to study the influence of the level and type of plasticisers incorporated in coating film formulation on the performance of the coating film. In this study, both DSC and DMA were used to investigate the Tg for each film coating formulation in order to evaluate the effect of the additives. In general DMA results for the Tg value of the films were always higher by 10-20% than those measured by the DSC. Furthermore, clamp size and the frequency of the oscillation have an influence on the evaluation of Tg. Complex viscosity for different coating film formulations revealed that the shear hinning gradient changes with temperature and plasticiser type and concentration. The value of complex viscosity from DMA and PPSR exhibits power law behaviour. The rheological moduli were indirectly affected by the level of plasticiser. There was a discrepancy between the complex viscosity results obtained from both DMA and PPSR at similar temperature but they follow the same trend. The non plasticized polymer showed a 10 time higher complex viscosity values when measured by DMA over that measured by PPSR. The difference was smaller in plasticized films but it was not consistent. Therefore a consistent coefficient to correlate the DMA and PPSR couldn’t be accurately determined Coated pellets were compressed and key process parameters were evaluated. The obtained results revealed that the coating thickness has a significant effect on the release profile of the final products. It was found that by increasing the coating film thickness, the percentage released decreased. Also the compression force has lower influence on the drug release profile, while the dwell time has very low effect on the percentage release from the final products. Optimum release profile was obtained at a coating level of 5.5% w/w and a compression force of 4700N In conclusion, the elasticity of the plasticised EC films in this study meant that the internal stress is not dissipated during compression and the dwell time range that was used in this experiment. Increasing the thickness therefore was necessary to enhance the strength of the film and avoid cracking. The mechanical and rheological profiling was helpful therefore to understand the behaviour of the coated pellets and predict the film properties at various steps of the process of coating and compression (i.e., various shear rate regimes). Experimental design approach to studying the key process and formulation parameters helped identify the optimum values for the process.
  • Impact of material attributes & process parameters on critical quality attributes of the amorphous solid dispersion products obtained using hot melt extrusion

    Sabnis, Aniket D.
    The feasibility of hot melt extrusion (HME) was explored for development of amorphous solid dispersion systems. Controlled release formulations were developed using a cellulose based derivative, AffinisolTMHPMC 100cP and 4M grades. BCS class II drugs ibuprofen and posaconazole were selected due to their difference in glass transition temperature and lipophilicity. This study focused on investigation of the impact the material attributes and process parameters on the critical quality attributes in preparation of amorphous solid dispersions using hot melt extrusion. The critical quality attributes were sub divided into three main attributes of material, process and product. Rheology of ibuprofen-Affinisol 100cP from melt phase to extrudate phase was tracked. A partial factorial design was carried out to investigate the critical parameters affecting HME. For optimisation of 40%IBU-Affinisol 100cP blends, a feed rate of 0.6kg/hr, screw speed of 500rpm and screw configuration with two mixing elements were found to be optimum for single phase extrudates. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy was found to be an indirect technique of choice in predicting the maximum ibuprofen drug load within extrudates. Prediction was based on the prepared extrudates without charging them to stability conditions. An alternative strategy of incorporation of di-carboxylic acids to increase the dissolution of posaconazole-Affinisol 4M blends was investigated. Succinic acid and L- malic acid incorporation was found to increase the dissolution of posaconazole. Although, the extrudates crystallised out quicker than the naïve posaconazole-Affinisol 4M, but free posaconazole formed eutectic and co-crystal with succinic and L-malic acid within extrudates. This lead to an increase in dissolution of the extrudates compared to day 0.

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