Now showing items 1-20 of 10273

    • A smart sound fingerprinting system for monitoring elderly people living alone

      Kara-Zaitri, Chakib; El Hassan, Salem (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2021)
      There is a sharp increase in the number of old people living alone throughout the world. More often than not, such people require continuous and immediate care and attention in their everyday lives, hence the need for round the clock monitoring, albeit in a respectful, dignified and non-intrusive way. For example, continuous care is required when they become frail and less active, and immediate attention is required when they fall or remain in the same position for a long time. To this extent, various monitoring technologies have been developed, yet there are major improvements still to be realised. Current technologies include indoor positioning systems (IPSs) and health monitoring systems. The former relies on defined configurations of various sensors to capture a person's position within a given space in real-time. The functionality of the sensors varies depending on receiving appropriate data using WiFi, radio frequency identification (RFIO), ultrawide band (UWB), dead reckoning (OR), infrared indoor (IR), Bluetooth (BLE), acoustic signal, visible light detection, and sound signal monitoring. The systems use various algorithms to capture proximity, location detection, time of arrival, time difference of arrival angle, and received signal strength data. Health monitoring technologies capture important health data using accelerometers and gyroscope sensors. In some studies, audio fingerprinting has been used to detect indoor environment sound variation and have largely been based on recognising TV sound and songs. This has been achieved using various staging methods, including pre-processing, framing, windowing, time/frequency domain feature extraction, and post-processing. Time/frequency domain feature extraction tools used include Fourier Transforms (FTs}, Modified Discrete Cosine Transform (MDCT}, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Mel-Frequency Cepstrum Coefficients (MFCCs), Constant Q Transform (CQT}, Local Energy centroid (LEC), and Wavelet transform. Artificial intelligence (Al) and probabilistic algorithms have also been used in IPSs to classify and predict different activities, with interesting applications in healthcare monitoring. Several tools have been applied in IPSs and audio fingerprinting. They include Radial Basis Kernel (RBF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Decision Trees (DTs), Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), Na'ive Bayes (NB), Gaussian Mixture Modelling (GMM), Clustering algorithms, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), and Deep Learning (DL). Despite all these attempts, there is still a major gap for a completely non-intrusive system capable of monitoring what an elderly person living alone is doing, where and for how long, and providing a quick traffic-like risk score prompting, therefore immediate action or otherwise. In this thesis, a cost-effective and completely non-intrusive indoor positioning and activity-monitoring system for elderly people living alone has been developed, tested and validated in a typical residential living space. The proposed system works based on five phases: (1)Set-up phase that defines the typical activities of daily living (TADLs). (2)Configuration phase that optimises the implementation of the required sensors in exemplar flat No.1. (3)Learning phase whereby sounds and position data of the TADLs are collected and stored in a fingerprint reference data set. (4)Listening phase whereby real-time data is collected and compared against the reference data set to provide information as to what a person is doing, when, and for how long. (5)Alert phase whereby a health frailty score varying between O unwell to 10 healthy is generated in real-time. Two typical but different residential flats (referred to here are Flats No.1 and 2) are used in the study. The system is implemented in the bathroom, living room, and bedroom of flat No.1, which includes various floor types (carpet, tiles, laminate) to distinguish between various sounds generated upon walking on such floors. The data captured during the Learning Phase yields the reference data set and includes position and sound fingerprints. The latter is generated from tests of recording a specific TADL, thus providing time and frequency-based extracted features, frequency peak magnitude (FPM), Zero Crossing Rate (ZCR), and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). The former is generated from distance measurement. The sampling rate of the recorded sound is 44.1kHz. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is applied on 0.1 seconds intervals of the recorded sound with minimisation of the spectral leakage using the Hamming window. The frequency peaks are detected from the spectrogram matrices to get the most appropriate FPM between the reference and sample data. The position detection of the monitored person is based on the distance between that captured from the learning and listening phases of the system in real-time. A typical furnished one-bedroom flat (flat No.2) is used to validate the system. The topologies and floorings of flats No.1 and No.2 are different. The validation is applied based on "happy" and "unusual" but typical behaviours. Happy ones include typical TADLs of a healthy elderly person living alone with a risk metric higher than 8. Unusual one's mimic acute or chronic activities (or lack thereof), for example, falling and remaining on the floor, or staying in bed for long periods, i.e., scenarios when an elderly person may be in a compromised situation which is detected by a sudden drop of the risk metric (lower than 4) in real-time. Machine learning classification algorithms are used to identify the location, activity, and time interval in real-time, with a promising early performance of 94% in detecting the right activity and the right room at the right time.
    • Digital Education Resource Mining for Decision Support

      Not named; AL Fanah, Muna M.S. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics. Department of Computer Science, 2021)
      Nowadays education becomes a competitive and challenging domain, both na­tionally and internationally in terms of quality, visibility, experience of aca­demic delivery affecting institutions, applicants, regulatory bodies. Currently data becomes more available for the general and public use, and plays also an increasingly significant role in decision support for education topics. For example, world university rankings (WUR) such as Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Central World University Rankings (CWUR), Times Higher Education (Times) and national university rankings (e.g. the Guardian newspaper Best UK Universities and the Complete University Guide league tables) have published their data for many years now and are increasingly used in such decision making processes by institutions and general public.
    • Towards The Total Synthesis Of Withanolide E And Physachenolide C

      Afarinkia, Kamyar; Vinader, Victoria; Pors, Klaus; Anees, Muhammad (University of BradfordInstitute of Cancer Therapeutics. School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. Faculty of Life Sciences, 2020)
      Withanolides are a class of ergostane natural products found in plants of family Solanaceae. Plants of this family are used in traditional medicine in Asia and South America. Recently, a series of 17β-hydroxy withanolides were identified from high-throughput screens as inhibitors of androgen-induced changes in gene expression of prostate cancer cells. Therefore, these compounds may have important applications as new therapies against prostate cancer. We have devised a synthetic route to members of this family and their analogues which allows stereoselective introduction of C14, C17 and C20 hydroxyl groups in separate steps. This will allow preparation of differentially hydroxylated analogues so as to identify which contributes to the potency and thus gain a better understanding of the SAR of this class of bioactive molecules. As part of this we have shown that the stereochemical outcome of the epoxidation of Δ 14-15 cholestanes with m-CPBA is controlled by the steric bulk of a C17 substituent. When the C17 is in the β configuration, the epoxide is formed on the α face, whereas if the C17 is trigonal (flat) or the substituent is in the α configuration, the epoxide is formed on the β face. The presence of a hydroxyl substituent at C20 does not influence the stereochemical outcome of the epoxidation. We have successfully introduced aldehyde functionality to the lateral side chain 14 hydroxyl compound. This aldehyde compound is a key intermediate from which many of the withanolides can be made. We have also investigated the introduction of a hydroxyl at the C18 as an entry into the physachenolides. Finally, we have carried out an assessment of the potency of the synthesised compounds against hormone-insensitive prostate cancer cell line, PC-3.
    • Shia Political Islam in Iran. A political and economic approach

      Shahi, Afshin; Batonyi, Gabor; Mehrabinejad, Hossein (University of BradfordFaculty of Management. Law & Social Sciences, 2019)
      Although Islamism could be traced back to the seventh century when prophet Mohamad died and conflict between Shia and Sunni started, the recent growth of Islamism and emerging of new phenomena such as establishing Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1920s, Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979, and some other Islamists groups like Hezbollah, and Al-Qaida highlighted the importance of Islamism. Moreover, forming the new Islamists in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen after the Arab uprising in 2010 which intensified the conflict between Shia and Sunni increased the concerns over increase in sectarianism in the Middle East. Considering the significance of Shia groups in recent movements, it is important to have a deep and comprehensive understanding of the nature and function of Shia Political Islam. Despite internal and external concerns, Shia Political Islam has emerged and continued to have control over power in Iran for more than four decades. The post-revolutionary Islamic government has been able to keep its power through reviving the Shia Movement since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Therefore, this thesis asks ‘how has Shia political Islam managed to survive in Iran over the past four decades? The answer to this question relies specifically on understanding the nature of Shia ideology and how the Shia control entities’ access to petrodollars. The study aims to clarify the concept of Shiism and explain the mechanism of the survival and continuation of the Shia movement in Iran through the lens of Social Movement Theory. This thesis argues that the essential mobilisers of the Shia Movement like the IRGC, the Basij and mosques have succeeded in sustaining the survival of the Shia Political Islam. The durability of this political approach lies in actively reviving the origins of the Shia movement, utilising Shia values, religious symbols and holy events such as Ashura, and financially rewarding the Movement with petrodollars. The mobilisers, especially the IRGC, use these values as a steering fuel to run the Shia Movement and suppress any security threat to its survival. For instance, after the 2009 presidential elections, the Green Movement was a serious security threat to the Islamic Republic and the political approach Shia political Islam. However, the IRGC and the Basij employed Shia symbols to mobilise their social base in a counter-movement in 2019 to overcome the threat of the Green Movement. The thesis concludes that if the Shia mobiliser organisations keep supporting the Shia Movement by utilising Shia values, religious symbols, and available economic resources such as petrodollars, Shia political Islam will stay resilient and survive.
    • Adaptive and Robust Multi-Gigabit Techniques Based MmWave Massive MU-MIMO Beamforming For 5G Wireless and Mobile Communications Systems. A Road Map for Simple and Robust Beamforming Scheme and Algorithms Based Wideband MmWave Massive MU-MIMO for 5G Wireless and Mobile Communications Systems

      Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Alabdullah, Ali AbdulMohsin S. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2021)
      Over recent years, the research and studies have focused on innovative solutions in various aspects and phases related to the high demands on data rate and energy for fifth-generation and beyond (B5G). This thesis aims to improve the energy efficiency, error rates, low-resolution ADCs/DACs, antenna array structures and sum-rate performances of a single cell downlink broadband millimetre-wave (mmWave) systems with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation and deploying multi-user massive multiple inputs multiple outputs (MU mMIMO) by applying robust beamforming techniques and detection algorithms that support multiple streams per user (UE) in various environments and scenarios to achieve low complexity system design with reliable performance and significant improvement in users perceived quality of service (QoS). The performance of the four 5G candidate mmWave frequencies, 28 GHz, 39 GHz, 60 GHz, and 73 GHz, are investigated for indoor/outdoor propagation scenarios, including path loss models and multipath delay spread values. Results are compared to confirm that the received power and delay spread is decreased with increasing frequency. The results were also validated with the measurement findings for 60 GHz. Then several proposed design models of beamforming are studied and implemented modified algorithms of Hybrid Beamforming (HBF) approaches in indoor/outdoor scenarios over large scale fading wideband mmWave /Raleigh channels. Firstly, three beamforming based diagonalize the Equivalent Virtual Channel Matrix (EVCM) schemes with the optimal linear combining methods are presented to overcoming the self-interference problems in Quasi-Orthogonal-Space Time Block Code (QO-STBC) systems over narrowband mmWave Single-User mMIMO (SU mMIMO). The evaluated results show that the proposed beamforming based- Single Value Decomposition (SVD) outperforms the conventional beamforming and standard QO-STBC techniques in terms of BER and spectrum efficiency. Next, the proposed HBF algorithm approaches with the fully/ partially connected structures are developed and applied for sum-rate and symbol error rate (SER) performance maximization MU mMIMO-OFDM system, including HBF based on block diagonalization (BD) method Constraint/Unconstraint RF Power, Codebook, Kalman schemes. In addition, the modified near optimal linear HBF-Zero Forcing (HBF-ZF) and HBF-Minimum Mean Square Error (HBF MMSE) schemes, considering both fully-connected and partially-connected structures. Finally, Simulation results using MATLAB platform, demonstrate that the proposed HBF based codebook and most likely HBF based-unconstraint RF power algorithms achieve significant performance gains in terms SER and sum-rate efficiency as well as show high immunity against the deformities and disturbances in the system compared with other HBF algorithm schemes.
    • Optimizing Remote Sensing Methodology for Burial Mounds in the United States and United Kingdom

      Gaffney, Christopher F.; Batt, Catherine M.; Corkum II, Alexander C. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences. School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, 2019)
      Within the archaeological record ‘mounds’ are often ubiquitous. They are common in many ancient cultures, and they vary in size, construction techniques and use. This research is focused upon optimizing the use of remote sensing for the non-invasive study of mounds both in the United States and the United Kingdom. This thesis presents three representative earthen mound sites and proposes a comprehensive and modular survey methodology to guide the planning and execution of a mound survey tailored to the unique requirements presented by the cultural resource at a particular location. In doing so, the research has provided optimized approaches to high resolution three-dimensional topographic models using a variety of digital methods. These models have been shown to accurately capture the variability of the modern ground surface, which is of vital importance to the management of the mounds. Furthermore, these models have proved vital for integrating geophysical methods into the holistic workspace, thereby providing a better archaeological understanding of the below ground remains. Every mound surveyed presented different challenges, and therefore had to be approached in a slightly different way. However, the general methodology was highly effective for both characterizing below-ground archaeological and natural anomalies, and for assessing the state of preservation of all mounds surveyed. As a result, a flowchart has been generated for non-invasive assessment of mounds in general. If followed, this will allow the production of a “snapshot” of the mound or mound group at a fixed point in time with the resolution necessary to produce useful and insightful interpretation. While this research focuses on the application of geophysical and topographic survey in the United Kingdom and United States to a mound or mound group, this methodology and the associated outcomes can be valuable more globally not only for archaeology, but also heritage management.
    • Microstructural response and wear behaviour of Ti-6Al-4V impregnated with Ni/Al2O3 + TiO2 nanostructured coating using an electric arc

      Cooke, Kavian O.; Alhubaida, A. (Natyre, 2022-12)
      Titanium alloys are known for their excellent corrosion resistance; however, low surface hardness results in poor wear resistance, which limits its potential application. This study employs a novel two-step process to embed a hard Ni coating containing a mixture of nanosized particles (Al2O3 and TiO2) into the surface of the Ti-6Al-4V alloy using an electric arc produced during the inert tungsten gas welding process. The surface of the sample was evaluated using Vickers Microhardness, Scanning electron microscopy, Energy dispersive spectroscopy and pin-on-plate wear testing. Microstructural analysis showed that impregnating the titanium surface with Ni/(Al2O3 and TiO2) nanomaterials resulted in the formation of a hard martensitic structure to a depth of approximately 2 mm below the surface. The changes observed are driven by modification of the surface chemistry and the presence of nickel, causing grain size reduction, solid solution strengthening and dispersion strengthening of the treated layer by the nanoparticles. The hardness of the treated layer increased by more than 180% when 40 nm Al2O3 and 30 nm TiO2 particles were embedded into the surface. Similarly, the wear resistance of the treated surface improved by 100%.
    • A compact broadband Circularly Polarized wide-slot antenna with axial ratio bandwidth encompassing LTE 42 and LTE 43 standards of 5G mid-band

      Alnahwi, F.M.; Al-Yasir, Yasir I.A.; Ali, N.T.; Gharbia, Ibrahim; Abdullah, A.S.; Hu, Yim Fun; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A. (IEEE, 2023-01)
      This study presents a compact broadband wide-slot antenna with broadband left-hand circular polarization compatible with both LTE 42 and LTE 43 standards of 5G mid-band applications. The proposed antenna is fabricated on an FR4 dielectric substrate with overall dimensions of , where is the free space wavelength at the resonant frequency of the antenna. The antenna ground plane is etched to form a square radiating slot with a pair of rectangular ground stubs that are diagonally placed inside the slot. On the other side of the antenna, the feed line is loaded by horizontal and vertical stubs to improve the coupling between the feed line and the square slot. To generate a circular polarization, the feeding stubs cooperate with the pair of rectangular ground stubs to excite the radiating slot of the antenna at two different feeding points whose currents have approximately equal amplitude and 90o phase shift. The measured impedance bandwidth (BW) of the proposed wide-slot antenna is 16.2% (580 MHz along the band 3.3-3.88 GHz), while the observed axial ratio bandwidth (ARBW) is 12.2% (440 MHz in the 3.4-3.84 GHz band). The measured gain values are found to be larger than 2.5 dB along both standards of the 5G mid-band applications.
    • Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis for dietary reconstruction and carbon and nitrogen incremental dentine analysis

      Shane Delaney and Eileen Murphy with contributions by J Beaumont, L Cassidy, D Drain, N Gillig,; Delaney, s.; Murphy, E.; Beaumont, Julia; Cassidy, L.; Drain, D.; Gillig, N.; Gormley, S.; Halstead, L.; Jackson, I.; et al. (Transport Infrastructure Ireland, 2022-12)
      In 2015, a previously unknown enclosed settlement and burial ground was found near the summit of a low hill in Ranelagh townland, just north of Roscommon town. The site—officially designated Ranelagh 1, and hereafter referred to variously as ‘the Ranelagh site’, ‘the site at Ranelagh’ or simply ‘Ranelagh’—was excavated over a 54-week period by Excavation Director Shane Delaney for Irish Archaeological Consultancy (IAC) Ltd between October 2015 and October 20161 . Excavations revealed that the site was established during the fourth century AD; for over 1,000 years, until the final phase of burial activity proper concluded there shortly after AD 1400, the site would have been a prominent feature in both the geographical and psychological landscape of the time. Cillín (children’s) burials continued at the site until about AD 1650, further asserting this prominence.
    • A Firm’s Creation of Proprietary Knowledge Linked to the Knowledge Spilled Over from its Research Publications: The Case of Artificial Intelligence

      Jee, Su J.; Sohn, S.Y. (2023)
      This study investigates the mechanism by which knowledge spilled over from a firm’s research publication consequently spills into the focal firm as a form of proprietary knowledge when it is engaged in an emerging science-related technology. We define the knowledge spillover pool (KSP) as an evolving group of papers citing a paper published by a firm. Focusing on the recent development of artificial intelligence, on which firms have published actively, we compare the KSP conditions related to the increase in patents created by the focal firm with those created by external actors. Using a Cox regression and subsequent contrast test, we find that both an increasing KSP and an increasing similarity between the idea published by the focal firm and KSP are positively related to the proprietary knowledge creation of both the focal firm and external actors, with such relations being significantly stronger for the focal firm than for external actors. On the contrary, an increasing proportion of industry papers in the KSP is positively associated with the proprietary knowledge creation not only by the focal firm but also by external actors to a similar degree. We contribute to the literature on selective revealing and to the firms’ publishing strategies.
    • Interactions between human industry and woodland ecology in the South Pennines

      Thompson, Gill B.; Gaffney, Christopher F.; Lewis, Hywel (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences. School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, 2019)
      This research project used many disciplines to examine the impacts of industrialisation on the wooded landscape of the South Pennines. The woodlands of this upland region are characterised by their small size and steep topography. Nevertheless, they exhibit a rich archaeology of management from the medieval period onwards. Field survey of case study sites was combined with charcoal analysis from excavated burning platforms, palynology of soil cores, tree ring analysis and ecological survey. This was set within a historical context, particularly focusing on the regional industries of iron, leather and textiles, in order to understand the economic motivations for changes in woodland management. The woodlands examined showed a diverse range of histories. Some had a strong correlation with models of changing woodland management culture of neighbouring regions, particularly the evolution of systematic oak-dominated coppice in response to industrial demands. Woodland management in the South Pennines was more sensitive to industries which created dispersed demand from many actors than to bulk demand from centralised industries and responded to the changing economics of the fossil fuel era. The dominance of freehold tenure also contributed to many woodlands being managed in an unsystematic manner and the survival of private wood pasture alongside timber harvesting.
    • Analysis and pattern mapping of organic interfaces by means of seismic geophysical technologies to investigate archaeological palaeolandscapes beneath the Southern North Sea

      Gaffney, Vincent L.; Fitch, Simon; Fraser, Andrew I. (University of BradfordDepartment of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences. School of Life Sciences, 2021)
      Investigating the archaeology of submerged landscapes beneath many metres of sea and buried under modern sands requires an understanding of the terrestrial surface as it may have been prior to the inundation. To do this, environmental evidence is required from contextualised in-situ locations and the best material evidence for preservation of archaeology, organic remains, dating proxies, pollen, diatoms, microfossils, coleoptera etc. is peat. This research supports the search for peat in submarine environments by interpreting seismic surveys of the sub-sea floor and analysing reflective signals for distinctive organic responses. By means of sedimental analysis and ground observation, the research sets out to differentiate between organic signals, to allow for the identification and location of shallow peat beds within features of a palaeolandscape. Using these results should provide an opportunity to target such peat beds in an archaeologically focused coring programme. The research also examines ways in which organic responses may be mapped over larger areas in order to integrate the results into a wider scale landscape model identifying potential peatland, marsh, valley fen and lowland areas. Finally, the research introduces an artificial intelligence neural networking technology for the identification of organic interfaces in seismic surveys, examining three different ways in which this could be accomplished using specialist computer tools and software.
    • Implementing seating guidelines into clinical practice and policy: A critical reflection and novel theory

      Samuriwo, Ray; Stephens, M.; Bartley, C.; Stubbs, N. (2022-11)
      Introduction: A significant proportion of healthcare that is delivered is wasteful, harmful and not evidence based. There are many wound care related guidelines, but their implementation in practice is variable. The Society of Tissue Viability (SoTV) published updated seating guidelines in 2017, but there is a lack of theoretical and conceptual clarity about how these guidelines are being utilised to inform clinical practice. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to generate a theory that can be used to incorporate the SoTV seating guidelines into policy and clinical practice. Methods: We critically reflected on data from an evaluation study utilising systems-thinking approach, informed by implementation and safety science using wider literature as well as our expertise to generate a guideline implementation theory. Discussion: Factors that facilitate or hinder the incorporation of the SoTV guidelines into policy and practice were characterised. We conceptualised the implementation of these guidelines into policy and practice into a Translation or Implementation into Policy or Practice (TIPP) theory with distinct stages, that we called liminal spaces. Knowledge of the guidelines, and the agency or authority to effect change, are key factors in the translation of these guidelines into clinical practice. Conclusion: Our theory is that there are liminal spaces in the implementation trajectory of these guidelines into practice, which have their own characteristics. This theory provides a framework that can be used to underpin guidelines strategies to embed skin and wound care guidelines into policy and clinical practice in order to improve patient care.
    • Evaluation of the Effect of Critical Process and Formulation Parameters on the Attributes of Nanoparticles Produced by Microfluidics. Design of Experiments Approach for Optimisation of Process and Formulation Parameters Affecting the Fabrication of Nanocrystals of Poorly Water-Soluble Drug Using Anti-solvent Precipitation in Microfluidic

      Assi, Khaled H.; Isreb, Mohammad; Obeed, Muthana M. (University of BradfordSchool of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, 2021)
      Advanced drug delivery systems have shown immense success through nanotechnology which overcomes the challenges posed by large sized particles such as poor solubility, bioavailability, absorption, and target-specific delivery. This study focuses on nano sizing by application of microreactor technology and nanoparticles to obtain polymeric particulate with a selection of model drugs for inhalation drug delivery routes. The development of nanoparticles of two challenging compounds in terms of solubility and permeability, namely Ibuprofen (IBU) and Salmeterol (SAL), was conducted using a continuous, controlled, and scalable system offered by microfluidic reactor with the incorporation of anti-solvent approach. The research explores the potential of this technology to enhance absorption rate and hence bioavailability of IBU via oral route, and SAL via inhalation. IBU, an anti-inflammatory drug, is classified as BCS Class II drug with low solubility and high permeability. SAL is a selective long acting β2-agonist which is co-dispensed along with a short-acting β2-agonist for quick relief of acute bronchoconstriction due to its long onset of action. This lack of the ‘kick’ effect in SAL can be attributed to its relatively higher lipophilicity which causes a delay in the diffusion to the β2 receptors on the smooth muscles. It is therefore feasible to assume that increasing the dissolution and/or diffusion rate of SAL in the interstitial fluids would reduce the delay between administration and the onset of action of this drug which would be beneficial to patients. Process and formulation parameters were investigated to optimize the production and stability of nano particles of both drugs using Y shaped microfluidic reactors. IBU results show that the smaller the angle between the two inlets were the smaller the particle size achieved. Moreover, the particle size increased with increasing the concentration of IBU solution. The effect of the polymer mixture ratio (PVP/HPMC) on the initial particle size was not clear though. The smallest particle size (113 nm) was achieved using 10° Y shaped chip with IBU concentration of 1 mg/mL and a polymer mixture of 0.3% w/v PVP and 0.5% w/v HPMC. Using a polymer mixture of 0.5% w/v of each polymer though yielded a better PDI (140nm and PDI of 0.5). Same observations were noted when the syringe pumps were replaced with a non-pulsatile pressure pump. Particle size though dropped significantly to 33nm. Stability data showed that all systems were practically stable regardless of the process or formulation parameters. In addition, a considerable 2.5 fold increase in dissolution rate was observed in the first 20 minutes when compared to the raw material. The optimized parameters were applied to SAL to produce nanocrystals with best result (59 nm) were obtained using 50µg/mL Salmeterol with microfluidics inlet angle 10° with non-pulse syringe pump. The stabilizing mixture was PVP 0.8% w/v and Tween 80 at a concentration of 0.02%. This approach offered a basis for the generation of nano sized SAL particles with higher fine particle fraction and better deposition in NGI than currently marketed formulations, thus providing a more efficient drug dose delivery and lung deposition.
    • Synthesis and Characterisation of Dual CCR7/CXCR4 Antagonists

      Not named; Izidro, Mario C. (University of BradfordInstitute of Cancer Therapeutics. Faculty of Life Sciences, 2019)
      Metastasis is a major cause of death in cancer patients but currently there are no drugs available for its treatment. Hence there is an urgent clinical need for identifying and developing anti-metastatic drugs. The activation of CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) plays an important role in lymph node metastasis in a variety of cancers. Indeed, in patients with tumours which are positive for CCR7 and/or CXCR4 expression, prognosis and survival are poorer than those whose tumours are negative for these receptors. CCR7 and/or CXCR4 activation, in addition to being involved in inducing invasive phenotypes in cancer cells, promotes tumour cell growth and survival. Our group has previously identified a series of sulfonamides as CCR7 antagonists. This project aims to extend on those studies and to develop a dual CCR7 and CXCR4 antagonist to reduce metastasis in cancer. Novel potent biaryl sulfonamide CCR7 antagonists were synthesised and assessed by calcium flux assay. Several potential dual CCR7 and CXCR4 biaryl sulfonamide antagonists have been synthesised, these are hybrid compounds incorporating features from CCR7 antagonists of this project, and from known sulfonamide CXCR4 antagonists. The most potent of such compound was able to inhibit CCR7 activation in calcium flux assay (95% inhibition at 1 µM), however, the relative potency of these compounds as CXCR4 antagonists was low. Molecular docking was used to investigate the binding mode of the synthesised compounds in CCR7 and CXCR4. The generated docking poses were able to rationalise some of the calcium flux assay results.
    • Targeting the formyl peptide receptor 1 for treatment of glioblastoma

      Afarinkia, Kamyar; Shnyder, Steven D.; Ahmet, Djevdet S. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2021)
      Background and Aims Gliomas account for over half of all primary brain tumours and have a very poor prognosis, with a median survival of less than two years. There is an urgent and unmet clinical need to develop new therapies against glioma. Recent reports have indicated the overexpression of FPR1 in gliomas particularly in high grade gliomas. The aim of this project was to identify and synthesise small molecule FPR1 antagonists, and to demonstrate a proof of principle in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models that small molecule FPR1 antagonism can retard expansion of glioma. Methods A number of small molecule FPR1 antagonists were identified by in silico design, or from the literature and then were prepared using chemical synthesis. FPR1 antagonists were evaluated in vitro for their ability to abrogate FPR1-induced cellular responses in a range of models including calcium mobilisation, cell migration, and invasion. The efficacy of FPR1 antagonist ICT12035 in vivo was assessed in a U-87 MG subcutaneous xenograft model. Results Virtual high throughput screening using a homology model of FPR1 led to the identification of two small molecule FPR1 antagonists. At the same time chemical synthesis of two other antagonists, ICT5100 and ICT12035 as well as their analogues were carried out. The FPR1 antagonists were assessed in calcium flux assay which gave an insight into their structure-activity relationship. Further investigation of both ICT5100 and ICT12035 demonstrated that both small molecule FPR1 antagonists were effective at abrogating FPR1-induced calcium mobilisation, migration, and invasion in U- 87 MG in vitro models in a dose-dependent manner. ICT12035 is a particularly selective and potent inhibitor of FPR1 with an IC50 of 37.7 nM in calcium flux assay. Additionally, it was shown that the FPR1 antagonist ICT12035 was able to arrest the growth rate of U-87 MG xenografted tumours in mice. Conclusion The results demonstrate that targeting FPR1 by a small molecule antagonist such as ICT12035, could provide a potential new therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma.
    • The significance of ECOWAS Norms and Mechanisms in Conflict Prevention and Security-Building in West Africa since 2000

      Greene, owen J.; Pankhurst, Donna T.; Onyekwere, Ignatius E. (University of BradfordPeace Studies and International Development. Faculty of Management Law and Social Sciences, 2020)
      This thesis examines the roles and significance of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) in conflict prevention, crisis response and security-building processes in West Africa, particularly since 2000. The importance of developing regional institutions and capacities for peace and security-building in Sub-Saharan Africa has been widely recognised since at least the mid-1990s. Not only has the African Union developed important peace and security building aims and roles, but so too have several of the sub-regional organisations in Africa, including ECOWAS in West Africa. In the late 1990s, ECOWAS Member States achieved a number of noteworthy sub-regional agreements on ECOWAS norms and mechanisms for conflict prevention, crisis response, and peace and security –building in West Africa. These agreements and mechanisms have subsequently been further developed since 2000, in a dynamic process that was informed by experience with efforts to respond to a range of crises and conflicts in the region. This thesis critically examines this process, focussing particularly on the extent to which, and how, ECOWAS norms, institutions and mechanism have continued not only to develop but also to be influential in practice. Our research demonstrates that the ECOWAS agreements and norms established by 2000 have continued subsequently to be dynamically developed and used by ECOWAS member states and West African networks, in close interaction with several international partners. It argues that these norms and mechanisms have played significant roles in influencing actual policies, practices and missions. They have therefore proved to be more than shallow symbolic or paper agreements, despite the political fragility and divisions of the region and most of its states. We argue that this cannot be adequately understood using single explanatory frameworks, such as Nigeria’s hegemonic influence or instrumental influence of external Actors such as UN, EU or USA, as has often been suggested. Adequate explanations need to combine these factors with others, including relatively consistent investment in regional norms and institutions by coalitions of some West African states (including Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria) together with civil society and parliamentary networks. Our research then examines in detail the extent to which, and how, ECOWAS norms and mechanisms on conflict prevention, crisis response and security sector reform were significant and influential in ECOWAS’ responses to the crises and conflicts in Cote D’Ivoire, Mali and to a lesser extent in Gambia since 2003; and also how these crises were in turn influential in the further development of ECOWAS norms in these areas. We demonstrate numerous weaknesses in the implementation and effectiveness in these norms; and limitations in their diffusion and influence. However, we argue that such weaknesses and limitations are typical of regional peace and security norms everywhere, including much more stable and developed regions. Equally significant is that substantial coalitions exist between ECOWAS member states and stakeholders. Despite obvious tensions, ECOWAS, AU, UN and other countries such as France continue to work to address inherent tensions and develop mutually beneficial collaborations that enhance effective conflict prevention in the sub-region. The study draws on the knowledge created within this this thesis to propose a framework for conflict intervention.
    • The kihara potential function parameters of methane, ethane, propane, and i-butane: The effects on clathrate hydrate structure determination

      Avaji, S.; Javanmardi, J.; Mohammadi, A.H.; Rahmanian, Nejat; De-Gald, Vladislav (2023-04)
      Gas hydrates, or clathrate hydrates, are solid crystalline compounds, which are formed by combination of water and gas and/or some volatile liquid molecules. Prediction of hydrate stability/dissociation/equilibrium conditions of natural gases is important in separation processes, gas storage, and in preventing blockage of gas transmission pipelines. In this study, initially, the different sets of the Kihara Potential Function Parameters, KPFP, reported in the literature were used to predict the experimental hydrate dissociation conditions of methane, ethane, propane and i-butane and mixtures of these four compounds. In most cases, however, based on these sets of KPFP, the hydrate structure cannot be predicted correctly. Consequently due to incorrect estimation of the hydrate structure, especially for natural gas mixture, the predicted hydrate dissociation conditions are found inaccurate. For overcoming this fault and by using a genetic algorithm, a new set of KPFP were optimized based on the new definition of the objective function considering hydrate structure. The results show good agreement with experimental data, both in the prediction of hydrate dissociation conditions and hydrate structure.
    • Data-driven subjective performance evaluation: An attentive deep neural networks model based on a call centre case

      Ahmed, Abdelrahman M.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Irani, Zahir; Mahroof, Kamran; Vincent, Charles (2022-10)
      Every contact centre engages in some form of Call Quality Monitoring in order to improve agent performance and customer satisfaction. Call centres have traditionally used a manual process to sort, select, and analyse a representative sample of interactions for evaluation purposes. Unfortunately, such a process is characterised by subjectivity, which in turn creates a skewed picture of agent performance. Detecting and eliminating subjectivity is the study challenge that requires empirical research to address. In this paper, we introduce an evidence-based machine learning-driven framework for the automatic detection of subjective calls. We analyse a corpus of seven hours of recorded calls from a real-estate call centre using a Deep Neural Network (DNN) for a multi-classification problem. The study draws the first baseline for subjectivity detection, achieving an accuracy of 75%, which is close to relevant speech studies in emotional recognition and performance classification. Among other findings, we conclude that in order to achieve the best performance evaluation, subjective calls should be removed from the evaluation process, or subjective scores should be deducted from the overall results.
    • What is the Role of a Pharmacist in a Parkinson’s Disease Interdisciplinary Team?

      Morgan, Julie D.; Breen, Liz; Powell, Catherine; Dhap, Jaswinder L. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2021)
      The care of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) involves input from different healthcare professionals (HCPs). A literature search identified that the HCPs involved in PD multidisciplinary (MDT) clinics, including interdisciplinary team (IDT), varied both in the number and type of HCPs. None of the studies identified involved pharmacists. Pharmacists have shown benefits when working in MDTs for other long-term conditions (LTCs); however, their role in PD MDTs was identified as a gap in the literature. The aim of the study was to determine the role of pharmacists in a PD IDT. Patients attended a PD IDT clinic comprising PD nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and pharmacist. A mixed methods convergent design was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative focus group and interview data were analysed using The Framework Method. Quantitative data analysis involved counts of HCP interventions. Pharmacists can support PD IDTs as they have in other LTC MDTs by conducting holistic medication reviews. Three new roles were identified for pharmacists in PD IDTs as: 1) independent prescribing, 2) supporting HCPS in their roles by supporting staff knowledge, and 3) leading the PD IDT clinics. Quantitative data showed the pharmacist made a medication review intervention for all patients. HCPs and patients identified the roles and value of involving pharmacists in PD IDTs. The PD IDT clinics offer a holistic approach to patient care and a greater opportunity for patients to be involved. The findings identified a ‘review-shared care template’ for PD IDTs and recommends development of a ‘pharmacist’s PD competency framework’.