Recent Submissions

  • An insight into the impact of thermal process on dissolution profile and physical characteristics of theophylline tablets made through 3D printing compared to conventional methods

    Nashed, Nour; Lam, Matthew; Ghafourian, Taravat; Pausas, Lluis; Jiri, Memory; Majumder, Mridul; Nokhodchi, Ali; University of Sussex; University of Bedfordshire; M2M Pharmaceuticals Ltd (MDPI, 2022-06-06)
    The dissolution profile is of great importance in drug delivery and is affected by the manufacturing method. Thus, it is important to study the influence of the thermal process on drug release in emerging technologies such as 3D printing-fused deposition modeling (FDM). For this purpose, the characteristics of 3D printed tablets were compared to those of tablets prepared by other thermal methods such as hot-melt extrusion (HME) and non-thermal methods such as physical mixture (PM). Theophylline was used as a drug model and blends of ethyl cellulose (EC) and hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) were used as a matrix former. The solid state of the drug in all formulations was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray powder diffraction, and Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy. All studied tablets had the same weight and surface area/volume (SA/V). Dissolution data showed that, for some formulations, printed tablets interestingly had a faster release profile despite having the highest hardness values (>550 N) compared to HME and PM tablets. Porosity investigations showed that 100% infill printed tablets had the highest porosity (~20%) compared to HME (<10%) and PM tablets (≤11%). True density records were the lowest in printed tablets (~1.22 g/m3) compared to tablets made from both HME and PM methods (~1.26 g/m3), reflecting the possible increase in polymer specific volume while printing. This increase in the volume of polymer network may accelerate water and drug diffusion from/within the matrix. Thus, it is a misconception that the 3D printing process will always retard drug release based on increased tablet hardness. Hardness, porosity, density, solid-state of the drug, SA/V, weight, and formulation components are all factors contributing to the release profile where the total balance can either slow down or accelerate the release profile.
  • Sustainability opportunities and challenges in the UK HE sector

    Saeudy, Mohamed (2022-06-17)
    This presentation aims to provide some insightful thoughts on how sustainability research is integrated into developing the HE sector. It explores the main challenges and opportunities of sustainable teaching and learning research. It illustrates teaching and research resources from leading sustainable business organizations in the UK. These organizations represent a new sustainable business model. This model focuses on commercializing social and environmental projects. Furthermore, this business model involves a new form of accountability that could be used for the HE services for the future generation. The main research objectives of this research paper are: 1. Explain how sustainability could offer more opportunities in the HE sector. 2. Explore the dilemmas of developing sustainable resources 3. Provide some examples (teaching resources and research impact case studies) to help institutions to grow and provide a more significant impact. The new sustainable business models (Cases) This presentation illustrates teaching and research resources from leading sustainable business organizations in the UK. A number of academic attempts developed to address the main themes of sustainable business models in some HE institutions. The main focus of these attempts was centered on examining the levels of social and environmental involvement within the HE sector. So, it seems more relevant for HE institutions to consider social and environmental issues (including sustainability practices) as a core component to create a more coherent sustainable business model. In addition, this presentation provides educational resources to analyze a number of different conceptual sustainability issues. These conceptual issues involve the need to answer some of the main challenges of sustainable business model in business organizations: - Sustainability for what? - Sustainability for whom? - Sustainability in what way? - Sustainability for how long? - Sustainability at what level of resolution?
  • The role of universities in the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals

    Saeudy, Mohamed (2022-06-23)
    This poster aims to illustrate some approaches that could be used to manage the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals in higher education institutions. More importantly, it suggests some institutional tools to manage the achievements of these goals and help business organizations to explore more profitable business opportunities from achieving these goals.
  • Behavior-neutral smart charging of plugin electric vehicles: reinforcement learning approach

    Dyo, Vladimir; University of Bedfordshire (IEEE, 2022-06-16)
    High-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging can significantly increase charging costs due to peak-demand charges. This paper proposes a novel charging algorithm which exploits typically long plugin sessions for domestic chargers and reduces the overall charging power by boost charging the EV for a short duration, followed by low-power charging for the rest of the plugin session. The optimal parameters for boost and low-power charging phases are obtained using reinforcement learning by training on EV’s past charging sessions. Compared to some prior work, the proposed algorithm does not attempt to predict the plugin session duration, which can be difficult to accurately predict in practice due to the nature of human behavior, as shown in the analysis. Instead, the charging parameters are controlled directly and are adapted transparently to the user’s charging behavior over time. The performance evaluation on a UK dataset of 3.1 million charging sessions from 22,731 domestic charge stations, demonstrates that the proposed algorithm results in 31% of aggregate peak reduction. The experiments also demonstrate the impact of history size on learning behavior and conclude with a case study by applying the algorithm to a specific charge point.
  • Psycho-behavioral responses of Nigerian health workers to an initial human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus disease

    Onu, Justus; Onyeka, Tonia; Unaogu, Ngozichukwu Nneka; Mohammed, Alhassan Datti; Okunade, Kehinde; Oriji, Sunday; Agom, David; Edewuba, Dorothy; Alumona, Cajetan Okwudili; Echieh, Chidiebere Peter; et al. (PAGEPress, 2022-05-24)
    Previous pandemics have had significant impact on psychological well-being of front-line health care workers. Issues such as fear of contracting the disease, high workload as a result of high numbers of infected cases, increased job stress and unavailability of personal protective equipment have been implicated in development of psychological distress in this subset of individuals. The aim of the present paper is to describe psychobehavioral responses of health care workers and potential predictors of emotional response at onset of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria. Cross-sectional web-based survey and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7) were administered anonymously to 444 respondents comprising various categories of frontline healthcare workers. Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to determine predictors of anxiety scores. Participants were mostly young adults (mean age 38 years), females (57%), living with a partner (78.2%) and medical doctors (56.8%). Restrictions in clinical activities and use of hand sanitizers were commonest precautionary behaviors. Commonest emotional responses were anger and despair (27.0% and 25.7%), respectively. About 42.8% had clinically significant anxiety symptoms with highest burden among nurses. Perception of likelihood of 2nd wave (p=0.03), self-preparedness (p=0.04), gender (p=0.01) and cadre (p=0.02) were significant predictors of emotional response of anxiety. Study findings highlighted diverse psychological reactions of health care workers with a large proportion screening positive for significant anxiety symptoms. This has implications for planning a comprehensive psychosocial response to COVID-19 pandemic and for future pandemics among frontline health care workers in lowresource settings.
  • Middle eastern extinctions: building a religious motivation for species protection

    Almontaser, Tariq; Atkins, Jill; Elfadli, Ali; Eskandrany, Abdullah; Hassan, Abeer; Mowafi, Omar; Norton, Simon; Saeudy, Mohamed (Routledge, 2022-05-30)
    The extinction and biodiversity accounting literature focused initially on developed economies including the UK and Europe, spreading recently to research on Africa, especially South Africa, China and other countries in the Far East. This chapter addresses species extinctions in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Libya to provide insights into the situation in these countries, problems and issues arising, as well as potential solutions. It presents the causes of species extinctions in the Middle East and provides information on some of the initiatives underway to prevent extinctions. The chapter builds a religious rationale, indeed imperative, for species protection and biodiversity conservation. It discusses the status of threatened species in Saudi Arabia, providing an understanding of the importance of religion as a rationale for species protection.
  • Statistical learning-based spatial downscaling models for precipitation distribution

    Wu, Yichen; Zhang, Zhihua; Crabbe, M. James C.; Das, Lipon Chandra (Hindawi, 2022-06-07)
    The downscaling technique produces high spatial resolution precipitation distribution in order to analyze impacts of climate change in data-scarce regions or local scales. In this study, based on three statistical learning algorithms, such as support vector machine (SVM), random forest regression (RF), and gradient boosting regressor (GBR), we proposed an effcient downscaling approach to produce high spatial resolution precipitation. In order to demonstrate effciency and accuracy of our models over traditional multilinear regression (MLR) downscaling models, we did a downscaling analysis for daily observed precipitation data from 34 monitoring sites in Bangladesh. Validation revealed that R2 of GBR could reach 0.98, compared with RF (0.94), SVM (0.88), and multilinear regression (MLR) (0.69) models, so the GBR-based downscaling model had the best performance among all four downscaling models. We suggest that the GBR-based downscaling models should be used to replace traditional MLR downscaling models to produce a more accurate map of high-resolution precipitation for flood disaster management, drought forecasting, and long-term planning of land and water resources.
  • Book review: The essential guide to forest school and nature pedagogy

    Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor and Francis, 2022-05-30)
    review of The essential guide to forest school and nature pedagogy by Jon Cree and Marina Robb, 2021, Abington, Routledge, 392 pp., £26.00 (paperback), ISBN: 978-0-367-42561-6
  • “Sometimes I pose, but sometimes I pose as posing”: Stella Benson’s early fiction

    Darwood, Nicola (Routledge, 2022-07-28)
    Stella Benson’s first three novels, I Pose (1915), This is the End (1917) and Living Alone (1919) can all be read as experimental texts, ones which utilize elements of realist fiction, fin de siècle proto-feminism, and responses to impending modernity. Benson’s novels offer an alternative, although arguably utopian, view of the future for women, proposing a world of equality where women can, without hindrance or social castigation, live independent lives and, if they so desire, seek their ‘soul’s remotest / And stillest place’ (I Pose xi). This chapter argues that, in her experimentation and subversions of those older forms, genres, and tropes, Benson writes texts which explore the issues of war, gender, and sexuality in a time which is filled with the horror of hearing “news that tortures in the telling” (Living Alone xi).
  • Barriers toward deceased organ donation among Indians living globally: An integrative systematic review using narrative synthesis

    Vincent, Britzer Paul; Randhawa, Gurch; Cook, Erica Jane; ; University of Bedfordshire (British Medical Journal Open, 2022-05-27)
    Objectives: To understand the barriers towards deceased organ donation among Indians living globally. Design: Integrative systematic review using narrative synthesis. Data sources: CINAHL, Medline full-text, PsycInfo, Scopus, Global Health, Web of Science, and PubMed Central, Indian Journal of Transplantation and Google Scholar. Time period: 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2021. Participants: Individuals of Indian origin living globally. Results: Eighty-nine studies were included with more than 29 000 participants and quality of the studies were assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tool. Though majority of the participants had knowledge toward organ donation with a positive influence on willingness, the gap between knowledge and willingness was huge, with minimal registration influenced by the complex sociocultural constructs. Various sociocultural constructs such as family, fear and mistrust, religion, and bodily issues play a vital role. Differences were identified in willingness to donate and register between southern and other regions of India. Indian's organ donation behaviour in other geographical locations differed based on the socioreligious background of the country they lived in such as in Malaysia, Canada and the UK. However, they were collective in decision-making and had complex sociocultural interference irrespective of the country the individual lived which differed only in their next generations. Conclusion: Though this study showed the complex relationship, and its influences on organ donation behaviour, lacunae were identified to further understand how such complex interactions determine or inform the behaviour. Also, methodological issues were identified, where this particular population outside India were collectively studied with their neighbouring population which are not homogenous. Studies in India majorly addressed a similar aim using similar methods which produced repetition of studies leading to lack of diversified, wider and in-depth research. Therefore, while this systematic review addressed the barriers toward organ donation among Indians living globally, it also informs various gaps in research and also methodological issues.
  • Exploring the notion of literacy within physical literacy: a discussion paper

    Durden-Myers, Elizabeth Jayne; Bartle, Gillian; Whitehead, Margaret; Dhillon, Karamjeet K.; ; Bath Spa University; University of Gloucestershire; University of Dundee; University of Stirling; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Frontiers, 2022-05-03)
    The concept of physical literacy is continuing to gain traction internationally. This increasing interest has also given rise to concerns about the use, interpretation and meaning of the term "literacy" within the context of physical literacy. This paper explores the development of the terms literate, illiterate, literacy, and illiteracy identifying their historical origin and contemporary meaning. This provides the backdrop to explore the use of the term literacy within the context of physical literacy. In the final part of this introductory section the recent popularity of the literacies movement is explored. Our discussion identifies key intersections and areas of tension associated with the use, interpretation and meaning of literacy in the context of physical literacy. We adopt Whitehead's philosophy of physical literacy and discussion is informed further by Derrida's notion of differance, and Barad's challenge to singular representations of concepts. Once harnessing these concepts, we reach a juncture of an in-between space; entry points of nonidentity (sameness) and points where multiple effects of difference are created. Key discussion topics include: discourse, language and interpretations of literacy; in/tangibility of literacy; capturing literacy; literacy as a process or a product; connotations of the terms literate and illiterate; neoliberalism and literacy and finally literacy as learning. We believe that when understood as the productive and meaningful interaction with/in/through the world, literacy is still the appropriate term within the context of physical literacy. Our discussion leads us to conclude that as embodied individuals, physical literacy is often the literacy through which other literacies have to pass. Through physical activity individuals can not only nurture their own physical literacy but also contribute toward a global or holistic literacy that helps us navigate, connect and make sense of ourselves, others and the world around us. However, the paper acknowledges that this meaning is not always grasped with the historical understanding of literacy as well as it's translations into other languages presenting challenges in articulating the intended use, meaning and connotations of the contemporary understanding of physical literacy.
  • The Sign 4 Big Feelings intervention to improve early years outcomes in preschool children: outcome evaluation

    Davidson, Rosemary; Randhawa, Gurch; ; University of Bedfordshire (JMIR Publications, 2022-05-20)
    Any delays in language development may affect learning, profoundly influencing personal, social, and professional trajectories. The effectiveness of the Sign 4 Big Feelings (S4BF) intervention was investigated by measuring changes in early years outcomes (EYOs) after a 3-month period. This study aims to determine whether children's well-being and EYOs significantly improve (beyond typical, expected development) after the S4BF intervention period and whether there are differences between boys and girls in progress achieved. An evaluation of the S4BF intervention was conducted with 111 preschool-age children in early years settings in Luton, United Kingdom. Listening, speaking, understanding, and managing feelings and behavior, in addition to the Leuven well-being scale, were assessed in a quasi-experimental study design to measure pre- and postintervention outcomes. Statistically and clinically significant differences were found for each of the 7 pre- and postmeasures evaluated: words understood and spoken, well-being scores, and the 4 EYO domains. Gender differences were negligible in all analyses. Children of all abilities may benefit considerably from S4BF, but a language-based intervention of this nature may be transformational for children who are behind developmentally, with English as an additional language, or of lower socioeconomic status. ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN42025531; https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN42025531.
  • Interventions to promote physical distancing behaviour during infectious disease pandemics or epidemics: a systematic review

    Epton, Tracy; Ghio, Daniela; Ballard, Lisa M.; Allen, Sarah F.; Kassianos, Angelos P.; Hewitt, Rachael; Swainston, Katherine; Fynn, Wendy Irene; Rowland, Vickie; Westbrook, Juliette; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-03-26)
    Physical distancing, defined as keeping 1-2m apart when co-located, can prevent cases of droplet or aerosol transmitted infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, distancing was a recommendation or a requirement in many countries. This systematic review aimed to determine which interventions and behavior change techniques (BCTs) are effective in promoting adherence to distancing and through which potential mechanisms of action (MOAs). Six databases were searched. The review included studies that were (a) conducted on humans, (b) reported physical distancing interventions, (c) included any comparator (e.g., pre-intervention versus post-intervention; randomized controlled trial), and (d) reported actual distancing or predictors of distancing behavior. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. BCTs and potential MoAs were identified in each intervention. Six articles (with seven studies and 19 comparisons) indicated that distancing interventions could successfully change MoAs and behavior. Successful BCTs (MoAs) included feedback on behavior (e.g., motivation); information about health consequences, salience of health consequences (e.g., beliefs about consequences), demonstration (e.g., beliefs about capabilities), and restructuring the physical environment (e.g., environmental context and resources). The most promising interventions were proximity buzzers, directional systems, and posters with loss-framed messages that demonstrated the behaviors. The evidence indicates several BCTs and potential MoAs that should be targeted in interventions and highlights gaps that should be the focus of future research.
  • Afterword: ‘Oho, what next?…’ ~ Stella Benson: editor

    Darwood, Nicola; University of Bedfordshire (Boiler House Press, 2022-05-31)
    Pull Devil, Pull Baker, first published in 1933, is one of a series of 'forgotten texts' which are being republished by Boiler House Press. It is a text which weaves together the stories of the fantastical Count de Toulouse Lautrec de Savine with Stella Benson's interpolations and her own stories. In the third chapter of Pull Devil, Pull Baker, Benson questions her role in this book: ‘Sometimes, I wonder whether I am editing the Count de Savine or he me. What seems to me the extreme remoteness of his point of view makes me quite giddy' (46). The afterword explores Benson’s wit and generosity, but also her ability to experiment with form and genre. Her thoughts on being an editor are illuminating as she occasionally edits, but often reproduces verbatim, Count de Toulouse Lautrec de Savine’s accounts of his extraordinary and often outrageous escapades, escapades which might lead a reader to question that such a man existed and so this afterword discusses the stories told by the Count, and Benson's own role in bringing his stories to public attention.
  • CCTC final report: care leavers' transitions to adulthood in the context of COVID-19

    Munro, Emily; Friel, Seana; Baker, Claire; Lynch, Amy; Walker, Kirsche; Williams, Jane; Cook, Erica Jane; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2022-05-24)
    The Care Leavers, COVID-19 and Transitions from Care (CCTC) study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 (ES/V016245/1). The research explored care leavers’ experience of the pandemic. Analysis of local authority management information system data on over 1300 young people from 10 local authorities and over 60 interviews with young people and professionals informed the study. As part of the study care experienced adults, leaving care workers and operational managers came together to form a Networked Learning Community (NLC). Over a series of sessions the NLC supported the research team to interpret the findings, develop recommendations and tools for practice
  • The consumer, the market and the universal aristocracy: the ideology of academisation in England

    Hoctor, Tom; (Sage, 2022-04-20)
    In 2018, academies accounted for 72% of all English secondary schools, compared to 6% in 2009 (National Audit Office, 2018). English academy schooling conforms to marketizing trends in international education reform, but Conservative politicians have also attempted to promote particular moral values. This article analyses the tensions between neoliberalism and neoconservatism and applies this analysis to a concrete debate taking place within the Conservative Party in the 2000s and 2010s. It uses arguments made by an illustrative group of Conservative politicians to explore and analyse the tension between these two reform trends. The aim of this article is twofold. Firstly, it will present the key arguments which were marshalled by a selection of thinkers affiliated with the Conservative Party in favour of educational reform. It will do this by analysing Conservative articulations of the failure of state education; the role of the consumer and the relationship between democracy and the market. Secondly, it will explore the degree to which marketizing and traditionalist impulses in education reform should be considered complimentary or contradictory. I will conclude by arguing that the parent-consumer functions as a vanishing mediator between neoliberal and neoconservative ideological positions.
  • How the signified went missing in twentieth-century economic theory: Mises, Hayek and Schumpeter and the abolition of value

    Hoctor, Tom (Taylor & Francis, 2022-04-29)
    This article contributes to a growing literature on economic epistemologies by arguing that so-called ‘neoliberal’ ways of thinking are characteristic of a trend in wider social theory to privilege epistemological problematics over ontological ones. It will approach the shared nature of these epistemological precepts through an interrogation of the formal approaches to economic value used in the work of Schumpeter, Mises and Hayek and compare this with Derrida and Saussure’s understanding of linguistic value. Using a Marxian understanding of use-value, it will be argued that the movement to abolish the transcendental signified in post-structural philosophy is homologous to the abolition of objective value in economics. It will be claimed that the impulse to abolish the Thing shared by economic theorists and post- structuralists follows from a shared, though necessarily differently constituted, anti- socialism. In both cases, undermining the Thing is seen as a means of undermining organised socialist politics. I will conclude by arguing that these similarities demonstrate the need for neoliberalism and critique of neoliberalism to be historicised as part of a wider account of the relationship between contemporary capitalism, politics and the production of knowledge.
  • Beveridge or Bismarck? choosing the Nordic model in British healthcare policy 1997-2015

    Hoctor, Tom (Routledge, 2021-10-20)
    Historical and social science literature has a long tradition of interest in the Nordic model and its permutations and developments. This chapter will make two straightforward and related claims. First, that ideas about the Nordic model circulated in British political circles in the period 1997 to 2010 in the field of healthcare, and second, that this Nordic model was a departure from the ‘traditional’ social democratic conception of Norden, instead of relying heavily on New Public Management ideas. It will substantiate this claim using a policy diffusion model to analyse think-tank reports, political speeches, and articles from the popular and business press. I will claim that a dual process of policy learning was taking place in the 2000s with a group of broadly social democratic think tanks and media figures engaging with Nordic countries on the one hand and a group of free-market think tanks, journalists and the Conservative Party looking to Central European examples, especially Germany, on the other hand. Labour’s use of the Nordic model should, therefore, be seen as a means to defend taxation-funded healthcare against policymakers arguing for the adoption of a social insurance system. What Labour policymakers created was, in historical terms, a distinctive and quite British conception of the Nordic model which emphasised marketising and privatising aspects of Nordic reform trajectories that were consistent with Labour’s policy platform for the NHS.
  • Artificial intelligence robot safety: a conceptual framework and research agenda based on new institutional economics and social media

    Li, Rita Yi Man; Crabbe, M. James C. (Springer, 2022-05-15)
    According to "Huang's law", Artificial intelligence (AI)-related hardware increases in power 4 to 10 times per year. AI can benefit various stages of real estate development, from planning and construction to occupation and demolition. However, Hong Kong's legal system is currently behind when it comes to technological abilities, while the field of AI safety in built environments is still in its infancy. Negligent design and production processes, irresponsible data management, questionable deployment, algorithm training, sensor design and/or manufacture, unforeseen consequences from multiple data inputs, and erroneous AI operation based on sensor or remote data can all lead to accidents. Yet, determining how legal rules should apply to liability for losses caused by AI systems takes time. Traditional product liability laws can apply for some systems, meaning that the manufacturer will bear responsibility for a malfunctioning part. That said, more complex cases will undoubtedly have to come before the courts to determine whether something unsafe should be the manufacturer's fault or the individual's fault, as well as who should receive the subsequent financial and/or non-financial compensation, etc. Since AI adoption has an inevitable relationship with safety concerns, this project intends to shed light on responsible AI development and usage, with a specific focus on AI safety laws, policies, and people's perceptions. We will conduct a systematic literature review via the PRISMA approach to study the academic perspectives of AI safety policies and laws and data-mining publicly available content on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit to study societal concerns about AI safety in built environments. We will then research court cases and laws related to AI safety in 61 jurisdictions, in addition to policies that have been implemented globally. Two case studies on AI suppliers that sell AI hardware and software to users of built environment will also be included. Another two case studies will be conducted on built environment companies (a contractor and Hong Kong International Airport) that use AI safety tools. The results obtained from social media, court cases, legislation, and policies will be discussed with local and international experts via a workshop, then released to the public to provide the international community and Hong Kong with unique policy and legal orientations.

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