• Assessment of strength and power responses to resistance exercise in young and middle-aged trained males

      Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin; Fernandes, John (University of Chester, 31/08/2018)
      Little is known about the muscle function capabilities of trained middle-aged males and how they differ to younger counterparts. Accordingly, the overall aim of the research documented in this thesis was to compare the acute muscle function responses to resistance exercise in middle-aged and young resistance trained males. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the intra- and inter-day reliability of an ecologically valid device (FitroDyne rotary encoder) for measuring upper and lower-body muscle function during three popular multi-jointed resistance training exercises (bench press, squat, and bent-over-row), and confirmed that it was capable of detecting moderate changes in muscle function across a range of submaximal loads. In the second study (Chapter 4) the load-velocity and load-power relationships were investigated during the same exercises among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 y) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 y) resistance trained males, and it emerged that, despite their regular training, the middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and peak powers at all external loads as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Study three (Chapter 5) proceeded to compare the internal (heart rate (HR), OMNI-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and sRPE) and external (peak velocity and power and volume load) loads experienced during high volume squatting exercise, and the fatigue responses among nine young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine middle-aged (age 39.9 ± 6.2 years) resistance trained males. The findings highlighted that internal, but not certain markers of external (peak power and volume load), load responses can be monitored during exercise in a like manner between these age groups. Moreover, compared to young resistance trained males, middle-aged males can expect greater decrements in peak power after lower-limb resistance exercise. In the final study (Chapter 6), the time-course of recovery in nine trained young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine trained (39.9 ± 6.2 years) and nine untrained (44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males after high volume lower-body resistance (muscle damaging) exercise was investigated. Of practical importance, it emerged that compared to the young males, the trained middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile, the implication of which is the need for trained middle-aged males to adopt strategies to enhance their recovery. Furthermore, both middle-aged groups experienced similar symptoms of muscle-damage, albeit the untrained group demonstrated greater losses in peak power at low and high external loads. For the first time, the current research has determined that middle-aged males, despite regular resistance training, are subject to losses in peak velocity and power output across a range external loads, compared to young males. When undergoing lower-body resistance training to ameliorate these decrements, applied practitioners can use internal load markers and peak velocity, but not peak power or volume load, to monitor trained young and middle-aged males alike. Furthermore, the muscle damage response (24 to 72 h), and losses in peak power (0 to 72 h), after lower-body resistance exercise are greater in trained middle-aged than young males. Consequently, future research should seek to corroborate these observations in upper-body exercise and determine the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. nutritional intake) to enhance recovery in middle-aged males.
    • Vitamin D and cardiometabolic disease risk: A RCT and cross-sectional study

      Mushtaq, Sohail; Hughes, Stephen F.; Agbalalah, Tari (University of Chester, 30/01/2017)
      Given the strong evidence for a beneficial role of vitamin D in diabetes and CVD pathogenesis, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation has been advocated for the prevention of cardiometabolic disease. To provide information on the effects of 5,000IU (125µg) vitamin D3 on cardiometabolic risk, a double blind, RCT in a cohort of overweight and obese UK adult males with plasma 25(OH)D concentration < 75nmol/L for a duration of 8 weeks was conducted. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first RCT to investigate the effect of 5,000IU (125µg) vitamin D3 on cardiometabolic markers in vitamin D insufficient, non-hypertensive and non-diabetic overweight and obese adult males.
    • A Geoconservation perspective on the trace fossil record associated with the end – Ordovician mass extinction and glaciation in the Welsh Basin

      Burek, Cynthia; Hosie, Lottie; Nicholls, Keith H. (University of Chester, 24/03/2019)
      In this thesis I have illustrated the value of our geological heritage and geodiversity by focussing on a particular detailed aspect of the geological and palaeontological record, i.e. the trace fossil record associated with the end Ordovician (Hirnantian) global glaciation and extinction episode. The major elements of this work that are new are: • a significantly improved understanding of the nature of the soft sediment deformation, and in particular the role of “debrites” as basal landslide decollements in the Lower Palaozic Llangrannog rock succession of West Wales, • a much more detailed description of the trace fossil ichnocoenose present in the Llangrannog succession than has previously been published • an improved understanding of the nature of the ecological perturbation associated with the Hirnantian (Late Ordovician) Glacial “ice-house”, and the apparent role of an opportunistic soft body fauna in filling ecological niches vacated as a consequence of the associated extinction. • Considerable thought has been given to the question of how to value abiotic nature, and it is argued that the methods of conservation valuation associated with “Geosystem services” and in particular “Natural Capital” hold considerable potential for the Geoconservation community to engage with the public and with policy makers. • As a direct result of this research, two formal proposals have been put forward for new RIGS sites, together with a new geological SSSI.
    • A sociological analysis of the monetisation of social relations within the working lives of professional footballers

      Bloyce, Daniel; Law, Graeme C. (University of Chester, 22/11/2018)
      In recent years one of the most commonly discussed issues in professional sport, and in particular Association Football, has been the pay of professional athletes. However, much of this literature is largely based on assumptions, speculation or broad financial reports, with little, if any, focus on the potential impact on the athletes’ lives. Therefore, the aim of this research was to examine the role money plays in the relationships within the working lives of professional footballers. Using professional football as a case study, this project examined a number of key areas: the consumption of products by footballers as a demonstration of economic power and wealth in an environment where wages are a taboo subject, the complex nature of contract negotiations and the impact this can have on relationships within their working lives. In addition to these areas, the thesis examined how money is used as punishment for players to try to encourage them to conform to the expected codes of behaviour set by club managers and officials, and ways in which players attempt to break their highly routinised daily life. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 male professional footballers and analysed using concepts from the sociology of money. It is argued that image has become an important factor for many professional footballers. Displaying wealth through ‘conspicuous consumption’ was also important in an environment where wages are a secretive subject, as it is suggested that the ‘more you have, the better you are’ and therefore some players even felt that this would impact on the way in which they were valued by the club hierarchy (as well as their teammates within the club). Value was also important through contract negotiations, as the more a player was valued by a club, the greater balance of power they had within the negotiation process. It is argued the negotiation process has become more complex since the introduction of the Premier League, as more people are typically involved. It was also evident that money was a major factor for players when deciding on contracts or having to relocate, which led to feelings of loneliness for some players and their families. Players are heavily regulated and constrained within their lives, one-way players are constrained, by the club officials, is through financial punishment. Players discussed several methods of trying to break the routinisation that such constraints introduce. One of those was gambling. It is argued that some players, due to the technological advances, were able to gamble in a covert manner and keep their gambling losses private, which can impact on the performance, health and wellbeing of the players. Overall the results of this study highlight the increasing monetisation of social relationships within professional football and that such trends are significantly impacting on the relationships within the working lives of professional footballers.
    • The interaction between the physical and mental loads associated with actual and simulated rugby league performance

      Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; Mullen, Thomas (University of Chester, 2019-09)
      The aim of the current thesis was to develop knowledge of the ‘loads’ associated with rugby league match-play, with a particular focus on the effects of altered mental loads before and during exercise indicative of a rugby league match. Chapter 3 examined the test-retest reliability of movement, physiological and perceptual measures during and after a novel rugby match simulation, where movement commands were more random than those typical of match simulations. The most reliable measure of external load during bouts of the simulation was relative distance (typical error [TE] and coefficient of variation [CV%] = 1.5-1.6 m.min-1 and 1.4-1.5%, respectively), with all other movement characteristics possessing a CV% <5%. The most reliable measure of internal load, neuromuscular function and perceptual measures were for %HRmax during bout 1 (TE and CV% = 1.4-1.7% and 1-4-2.1%, respectively), MVC before (TE and CV% = 10.8-14.8 N·m and 3.8-4.6%, respectively), and average RPE (TE and CV% = 0.5-0.8 AU and 3.6-5.5%, respectively). The conclusion of this chapter was that randomisation of the movements during simulated activity to better reflect intermittent team sports has no detrimental effect on its reliability. Studies can therefore confidently examine alterations in several perceptual, neuromuscular, physiological and movement load measures related to rugby activity using stochastic movements. Chapter 4 examined the responses to a simulated rugby league protocol that was designed to include more random commands, and therefore require greater vigilance, than traditional team sport simulation protocols. The randomised simulation (RDM) was matched for the number and types of activity performed every 5.45 min in a control trial (CON), but included no repeated cycles of activity. The RDM trial was more mentally demanding than CON (Effect size (ES) = 0.56; ±0.57). Self-paced mean sprint performance increased in RDM (22.5 ± 1.4 vs. 21.6 ± 1.6 km∙h-1; ES = 0.50; ±0.45), which was accompanied by a higher RPE (14.3 ± 1.0 vs. 13.0 ± 1.4; ES = 0.87; ±0.54) and a greater number of errors in the Stroop Test (10.3 ± 2.5 vs. 9.3 ± 1.4 errors; ES = 0.65; ±0.67). MVC peak torque (CON = -48.4 ± 31.6 N.m, RDM = -39.6 ± 36.6 N.m) and voluntary activation (CON = -8.3 ± 4.8%, RDM = -6.0 ± 4.1%) was similarly reduced in both trials. Providing more random commands, requiring greater vigilance, can therefore alter performance and associated physiological, perceptual and cognitive responses to team sport simulations. Chapter 5 describes the subjective task load of elite rugby league match play using the NASA-TLX and examines their association with several contextual match factors, technical ii performance and external movement demands. Linear mixed modelling revealed that various combinations of contextual factors, technical performance and movement demands were associated with subjective task load (NASA-TLX). Greater number of tackles (η2 = 0.18), errors (η2 = 0.15) decelerations (η2 = 0.12), increased sprint distance (η2 = 0.13), losing matches (η2 = 0.36) and increased perception of effort (η2 = 0.27) lead to most likely – very likely increases in subjective total workload. These data provide a greater understanding of the internal load and their association with several contextual factors, technical performance and external movement demands during rugby league competition. The purpose of the final empirical chapter (Chapter 6) was to describe the effects of mental fatigue on simulated rugby league performance and to determine the effects of caffeine supplementation on simulated rugby league performance in the presence of mental fatigue. Completing a mentally demanding task increases participants’ subjective rating of mental fatigue (pre = 29 ± 25 AU; post = 55 ± 20 AU) immediately before completing a simulation protocol. Impairments in sprint speed (ES = -0.18; ±0.19), sprint to contact speed (ES = -0.20; ±0.27), high-intensity running (ES = -0.30; ±0.24), high metabolic power > 20 W·kg-1 (ES =-0.50; ±0.51) and time to complete a passing accuracy task (ES = 0.54; ±0.63) were observed after mental fatigue. Caffeine supplementation (5 mg.kg-1) attenuated several adverse effects of mental fatigue before exercise replicating the demands of rugby league match play, with increased sprint speed (ES = 0.40; ±0.18), high-intensity running (ES = 0.50; ±0.53), high metabolic power > 20 W·kg-1 (ES = 0.33; ±0.38) and decreased time to complete a passing accuracy test (ES =-0.70; ±0.45). Mental fatigue affected internal loads, external loads and skill performance during simulated rugby league match play that appear to be centrally regulated by a decreased motivation and increased perception of effort. However, a single dose of caffeine taken 60 min before performance can attenuate several of these negative effects. In summary, the current thesis highlights several interactions between the physical and mental loads associated with actual and simulated rugby league performance.
    • Development, Digestibility and Oxidation Properties of LC3PUFA Nanoemulsion and Its Effects on Sensory Profile of Food

      Zhou, QiQian (University of Chester, 2019-02)
      The long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC3PUFA) in human diets are mainly derived from oily fish and fish oil based supplements. Currently, the consumption of oily fish in the UK is far below the recommended level. LC3PUFA's non-fish sources such as algal oil with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are particularly important for vegetarians, non-fish eaters, and pregnant women. In previous work, high DHA vegetative algal oil load 50% w/w was successfully used to develop an oil-in-water nanoemulsion system suitable for functional food enrichment. The aims of this study included to investigate the effect of selected emulsifiers on oil-in-water nanoemulsions of algal oil prepared using ultrasonic technology. To improve the stability and digestibility of nanoemulsions within an In vitro digestion model. To examine the oxidation stability of nanoemulsions of algal oil and bulk algal oil with composition and droplet size changes during a 5 weeks storage trial at a temperature of 4 °C, 20 °C and 40 °C respectively. To evaluate sensory properties and consumer acceptability of food products with the incorporation of resulted nanoemulsion and find out possible relationship between the sensory profile of foods and the characteristics of added nanoemulsion. Nanoemulsion of LC3PUFA algal oil was developed with selected 6% w/w emulsifiers, including Lecithin (LN), Tween 40 (TN), Tween 60, equal ratio of Tween 40 and lecithin (LTN), 50% w/w Algal oil and 44%w/w water using a homogenizer and ultrasound processor. The results show that the nanoemulsion has been stabilised with selected emulsifiers (LN, TN & LTN) and the smallest droplet size of nanoemulsion was obtained using the combination of lecithin and Tween 40 at ratio 50:50. The In vitro digestion experiments were conducted with a model of fed state gastric and duodenal digestion using method of Lin et al (2014). The results show that the omega-3 oil nanoemulsion (LE/TW 50:50) were stable over 60 min in the gastric phase, in contrast omega-3 nanoemulsion (LE 100%) was destabilised at the gastric phase in 60 min, in which the droplet size diameter was significantly larger than at the beginning of gastric phase (P ≤ 0.05). The droplet size, fatty composition and oxidised compounds were measured to compare bulk algal oil and nanoemulsions stabilised with lecithin (LN) and Tween 40 (TN) solely and in combination (LTN) over a storage period of 5 weeks at temperatures of 4, 20 and 40°C. The results show the droplet size of nanoemulsions had no significant changes for samples stored at tested temperatures over 5 weeks storage. There were no significant differences in DHA composition within the weeks and temperatures used. For the GCHS analysed results, the increase in temperature to 40 ºC and storage time had a significant effect on the development of propanal for all samples (P≤0.05). Nanoemulsions prepared with lecithin alone had significantly higher development of propanal in week 1 at both 40 ºC and 20 ºC (P≤0.05). Lecithin (sole and combination with Tween 40) had more significant increases in oxidised volatiles at 40°C, which may be due to the instability of linoleic acid found in lecithin molecules which located in the outer layer of the oil droplets. There were no significant increase in oxidised compounds from the beginning to the end of storage for all tested samples stored at 4 °C. The sensory testing was also conducted on white sauce incorporated with omega-3 nanoemulsions with selected emulsifiers and bulk algal oil. The results show that the sensory attributes and overall acceptability of foods enriched with omega-3 nanoemulsion were statistically significantly lower than that of control sample (P≤ 0.05). Overall, the smallest droplet size of nanoemulsion was achieved with combination of lecithin and Tween 40 at a ratio of 50:50 by using ultrasonic processor. The stability and digestibility of nanoemulsion with the combination of lecithin and Tween 40 was improved in an In vitro digestion approach. A storage period of 5 weeks and temperature have no significant effect on the droplet size of tested nanoemulsion samples. However, there is a significant increase of the oxidised volatiles at 40 °C for all samples. Sensory testing show the white sauce with nanoemulsion has a stronger fishy taste and less overall liking than with bulk oil, indicating the smaller drop size is more ready to spread and reach the sensors of the mouth.
    • Quality Control Systems of Gum Arabic in Sudan

      Al-Assaf, Saphwan; Eldigair, Hashim, Y. (University of Chester, 2018-11)
      Gum arabic is the oldest tree gum exudate, and has been in use since 4000 BC. Currently, it is used as an emulsifier (E414) in a number of processes, such as producing sweets and soft drinks. This study examines local practices such as tapping, collecting, transporting, sorting, and storing in various production areas in Sudan. Furthermore, it also investigates statistical differences in the key variables such as moisture content, optical rotation, ash content, viscosity, pH, colour Gardner index, colour Lovibond and tannin content in various production regions in Sudan during four seasons, namely 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. This study offers originality as the first investigation to combine labour practices related to quality control systems in a Sudanese context, using both primary and secondary data. Primary data were obtained from survey questionnaires (n=413 out of 800) distributed, giving a response rate of 52%, using chain-referral sampling among gum arabic farmers, managers, supervisors, and stakeholders. In addition to the questionnaires, open-ended (interview) questions were distributed to stakeholders and experts, by employing maximum variation sampling (n=15 out of 20 questions distributed, providing a response rate of 75%). Other primary data, namely, analytical and experimental data, were obtained from Nopec Quality Control Laboratory in Khartoum, and from the Hydrocolloids Research Centre at the University of Chester. Secondary data (national production) was obtained from the Sudan Customs Corporation via the Gum Arabic Board in Sudan. The findings of the survey questionnaires generally reveal that most workers tend to (i) work for relatively long time in the gum arabic industry, (ii) are knowledgeable about quality control systems, and (iii) aware about the best methods for maintaining product quality, collecting and storing gum arabic (r=-0.821). Specifically, the strongest correlation coefficient (p=0.001) were found between the worker’s age and the duration of working in the gum arabic industry (r=0.655). That is, the older respondents tend to be male while younger respondents tend to be female (r=-0.623). In addition, the majority of respondents (r=0.476) were knowledgeable about the production areas of gum arabic in Sudan as well as the location of the main auction market in Al Obeid. The findings from expert interviews indicate that there are both facilitative and hindrance factors that affect gum arabic development; these are related to infrastructure, technology, socio-economy, and relevant institution. The hindrance factors are, inter alia, the existence of relatively higher taxes, inefficient transportation, outdated technology and inconsistent quality control systems used by various gum arabic processing companies. Conversely, there are also facilitative factors such as financial assistance (the sheilla system) for farmers from banks, regular training, and methodical improvement of tapping through the use of modernised tools. The most significant factor is the agreement by all interviewees that better quality control systems should be a key to the development of this product therefore, allowing the suppliers to offer a quality product rather than a commodity. The results of secondary data reveal an increase in export trends from 2012 to 2018, indicating continuous growth in the industry and in particular for Acacia seyal compared to the previously held standard of Acacia Senegal. Finally, the findings of the analytical data reveal that key variables while differ across the various production season, the quality of the material from a given production area does not differ significantly. This is the major finding of this study whereby using reliable supply chain, traceability system and quality control measurements it would be possible to supply gum arabic with certain characteristics suitable for a given application. In conclusion, the findings are useful addition to our knowledge and potentially of commercial impact.
    • The genetics and evolution of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan Pipile pipile, synonym Aburria pipile.

      McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Grass, Amelia (University of Chester, 2018-02)
      The Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile synonym Aburria pipile (Jaquin, 1784) is the only endemic Cracid on the island of Trinidad. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered and is considered to be in ‘on-going decline’ by the IUCN, BirdLife International and Cracid Specialist Group. This study aims to examine aspects of genetic variation and the evolution of the mitochondrial genome in the Trinidad Piping Guan utilising, for the first time, samples collected from individuals in the wild and reference specimens of the genus Pipile sourced from museum collections. In this study the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan was sequenced for the first time. Analysis of intra-specific variation of wild Trinidad Piping Guan individuals using single nucleotide polymorphisms demonstrates extremely limited variation within the genes of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear gene intron sequences. Limited variation within this population is consistent with both historical and contemporary contractions of populations within a restricted island system, which may have serious implications for the future of this species in terms of both genetic diversity and conservation management. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan enabled placement of the genus Pipile within the Galliforme evolutionary tree for the first time, and subsequently places the genus within the broader context of the Aves class. Mito-genomic analysis confirms that the Cracids are one of the basal Galliforme clades, and sister taxa to the Megapodidae. Phylogenetic placement of the Pipile genus is basal to that of the Crax species within the Cracidae family, indicative of an earlier evolutionary origin of the Piping Guans. The inclusion of the Trinidad Piping Guan, in the avian evolutionary tree using the whole mitochondrial genomes expands the current genetic phylogeny of the Cracid family, yielding a better understanding of evolutionary relationships among the Galliforme order and the diversification of modern avian lineages. This study has established novel molecular techniques for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA in historical specimens of the genus Pipile from museum reference collections. The analysis of inter-specific relationships within the genus Pipile has clarified the evolutionary and biogeographic relationships between the Piping Guan species. Additionally, the Trinidad Piping Guan is genetically defined for the first time as an evolutionarily significant unit, which represents a unique evolutionary pathway within this important genus in a closed island system on the island of Trinidad.
    • Exploring hygiene compliance in the small independent restaurant sector in Abu Dhabi

      Fallows, Stephen; Bonwick, Graham A.; Idriss, Johaina (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Introduction: Food safety is widely recognised as one of the problems in the fight for improving public health. Many governments are trying to improve public health through reducing foodborne illnesses and setting the climate for implementing HACCP-based food safety management systems (FSMS). Following the global trend, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) launched the HACCP for Catering Project (2010 – 2014), which aimed at helping foodservice businesses, licensed in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in implementing HACCP-based FSMS. Purpose: The project team recognised the limited resources and the diversity in education levels, ethnic backgrounds, and number of languages spoken among managers/supervisors and food handlers, as points of concern in the small independent restaurant (SIR) subsector. Thus, the Salamt Zadna (SZ) initiative, a simplified FSMS, was developed to train SIRs on implementing a set of safe operating procedures to improve compliance with food safety laws and regulations. Previous studies in the GCC region have mainly focused on governments’ attempts to enhance public health by developing laws, regulations, and policies, and recounting the barriers to implementing food safety controls. Methodology: This thesis took a different approach to food safety issues in the GCC region. It is comprised of two studies, which were conducted in two groups of SIRs – seven SZ participants and five non-participants – licensed in Al Ain, a major city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The first explored awareness and understanding of food safety, related laws, regulations, and policies, and attitudes towards ADFCA services and inspectors, among managers/supervisors, by interviewing them. The second examined the efficacy of SZ in improving food handlers’ food-safety behaviours by observing their conduct, and comparing between the two SIR groups. Results: The study indicated low levels of awareness and understanding of food safety, related laws, regulations, and policies, in both groups of managers/supervisors; regardless of whether or not they were SZ Cparticipants. Both groups of interviewees expressed both negative and positive attitudes towards ADFCA’s services and inspectors; sometimes by the same interviewees, within the same, or between the two groups. However, SZ participating SIRs were slightly more positive than their counterparts. Key results highlighted the low impact of SZ on changing food handlers’ behaviours, except in two areas; namely, the food handlers working in SZ-participating SIRs scored higher than the other group in handwashing and changing gloves between handling raw meats and other foods. Implications: This research adds a new dimension to the food safety profile of the UAE, since it is the first of its kind in the UAE and the region as a whole. Its originality opens the door for other researchers to increase the volume of research in this field, which would help in understanding and tackling the barriers to improving the food safety status in the country, as well as the region.
    • Investigating the role of heatshock on diabetic wound healing

      Contractor, Taha (University of Chester, 2017-05)
      The increasing occurrence of diabetes in the general population as a result of over nutrition and increasingly inactive lifestyle has led to an obesity epidemic which is set to grow over time. With an ever increasing obese population type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications are set to become the major causes of human mortality. Chronic non healing wounds are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes. They are predominantly caused by macrophage dysfunction and a lack of migration of fibroblasts into the wound. This study aimed to investigate diabetic wound healing through development of an artificial scratch assay. An in vitro scratch assay developed in WS1 cells. The effect of heat shock treatments from 39°C to 45° was tested to determine if cell migration increased; however, no significant difference was seen. Mitomycin C was used to determine if wound closure occurred as a result of cell proliferation and migration or migration alone. 10μg/ml of mitomycin C inhibited cell division by 79.9% without exhibiting cytotoxicity over a 12h period. The effect of hyperglycaemia and heat shock was also tested and showed no significant difference when compared to control conditions, suggesting that fibroblast migration in vivo is hindered through other factors such as debridement or macrophage dysfunction in the wound. GLUT4 is present in insulin sensitive organs (liver, adipose and muscle) and is the major glucose transporter responsible for the clearance of glucose from the blood after a meal, thus playing a central role in glucose homeostasis. Monocytes are precursors to macrophages and can easily be isolated from whole blood. They have also been shown to express GLUT4 in response to insulin and could be used as model to assess inflammation in diabetes. A glucose uptake assay was developed in U937 cells using a fluorescent glucose analogue, 2NBDG. 2NBDG fluorescence was shown to be competitively inhibited by increasing concentrations of glucose suggesting that 2NBDG enters the cell through glucose transporters. 2NBDG uptake was also assessed at different pH and in presence of membrane fluidizers (DMSO, benzyl alcohol and phenethyl alcohol). Extremes of pH significantly reduced cell viability and only at pH 4 was 2NBDG fluorescence significantly reduced. Treatment with DMSO showed that at high concentrations (≤ 1.56%) cell viability was reduced with a concurrent reduction in 2NBDG fluorescence. The effect of benzyl alcohol and phenethyl alcohol was foundto be insignificant at the concentrations and time points tested. The presence of GLUT4 was also determined by flow cytometry and Western blotting and found to be situated in the cytoplasmic region of the cell. This study indicates that monocytes and macrophages could be a potential therapeutic target to improve diabetic wound healing as they are a source of growth factors and cytokines that can bring about resolution of inflammation and it is their dysfunction in diabetic wounds that causes poor clinical outcomes.
    • Factors affecting the quality of Acacia senegal gums

      Al-Assaf, Saphwan; Hamouda, Yasir (University of Chester, 2017-04)
      Gum arabic is a natural gummy exudate from acacia trees and exhibits natural built-in variations commonly associated with hydrocolloids. This study is concerned with the determination of factors which could influence its properties and functionality. These factors include origin (location, soil type, rainfall), different collections, age of the trees and storage condition. Previous studies acknowledged the influence of some of these factors but somehow lack providing definitive answers to questions being asked by the end user and required for the development of Gum arabic industry in Sudan. Local knowledge as well as the various stages of gum collection and processing were reviewed in order to provide a clear background and the justification for the experimental design. In this study samples were collected from six plantations located in the west and east regions in Sudan. Samples were collected from trees of different age (5, 10, 15 and 20 years old) and also from different picking interval (1-4). Each sample was divided into three portions (UK, Khartoum and Port Sudan) and stored for 5 years in order to determine the effect of the respective location. Various analytical parameters (% loss on drying, Optical rotation, % protein, intrinsic viscosity, molecular weight and molecular weight distribution) were measured to fully characterise the gum samples and to determine their functionality (emulsification). The results obtained for all samples were consistent with those previously reported in the literature (see Chapter 4). The only exception, identified in a number of samples from the western region, is the high proportion (~30%) of high molecular weight fraction termed arabinogalactan-protein complex (AGP). The results clearly demonstrated significant variations between plantations located in western region compared with the eastern region. However, the variations between the plantations within the same region are statistically not significant. High values of % protein, viscosity, Mw and % AGP were obtained from the 1st pick, from both regions, and then significantly decreased thereafter to the fourth pick. Samples from west region in Sudan, from 1st and 2nd pick and from tree age (15) years gave the highest viscosity, molecular weight, % AGP and superior emulsification performance compared to other samples from different tree ages. The regression statistical analysis for the physiochemical properties correlation with emulsification performance demonstrated the role of % AGP to be the most influential factor followed by viscosity. The major finding of this study is the effect of storage condition on the properties and functionality of Acacia senegal. An increase in the molecular weight for all stored samples (for 5 years) irrespective of region was evident and statically significant. However, this increase was more prominent for samples from the western region compared to the eastern region. The AGP fraction was increased by the storage treatment up to 40% in Port-Sudan, 20% in Khartoum-Sudan and 15% in UK. The result clearly demonstrated that the temperature and humidity are the crucial factors to induce the natural maturation process in acacia gums. Statistical analysis (linear regression) suggested statistically significant models and equations to predict and explain the variations in the physiochemical and functional properties based on the environmental factors, picking set and age of the tree.
    • A retrospective analysis of talent selection and progression within England’s Rugby Football Union Elite Player Performance Pathway

      Worsfold, Paul R.; Green, Ken; Velentza, Elisavet (University of Chester, 2017-02)
      The England Rugby Football Union (RFU) Elite Player Performance Pathway (EPPP) is a player development system, structured into five playing squads (Under 18 [U18], Under 20 [U20], National academy [NA, age: 18-23 years], Saxons [Saxon, age: 18+ years] and Senior National Squad [SNS, age: 18+ years]), which attempts to develop players to play within the SNS. Despite its importance however, there is yet to be any scientific appraisal of its efficacy in successfully producing SNS players. Appraising the performances of 396 players enrolled on to the EPPP between 2008 and 2014, the purpose of this programme of research was therefore to investigate the nature of player transition and determine the key features associated with match performance between respective squads of the EPPP. To achieve this, the progression rates to subsequent squads, and the anthropometrical and position-specific technical performance data was quantified in conjunction with individual player progression within the EPPP system. Of the 396 players assessed within the thesis, 121 reached the SNS. Involvement in the EPPP was defined by high rates of de-selection during progression to subsequent squads and this was most apparent within the U18, U20 and NA squads. Analyses revealed the proportion of selected players for higher squads was 48.70%, 37%, 57.10% and 61% for U18-U20, U20-NA, NA-Saxon and Saxon-SNS squads, respectively. Within the SNS (n = 121), only 5.80% experienced a linear development (U18-U20-NA-Saxons-SNS) whereas all other players displayed variability with respect to squad pathway trajectories (NA-SNS 0.82%, Saxon-SNS: 50.4%, U20-Saxon-SNS 4.95%, NA-Saxon-SNS 12.39%, U18-U20-NA SNS:2.57%, U18-U20-Saxon-SNS 3.30%, U20-NA-Saxon-SNS 2.47%, side entries [selection from outside the EPPP system] 17.35%) within the EPPP. Thus, progression within the talent development (TDE) system was typified by variable patterns of sequential selection and de-selection processes throughout U18 to senior squads. The prerequisite level of technical performance indicators (TPI), related to generic and position-specific performance characteristics, and anthropometrical features (body mass and stature) specific to six predefined positional groups (front row [FR], second row [SR], Back row [BR], scrumhalf [SH], inside backs [IB], outside backs [OB]), were examined. The SNS revealed similar TPIs to the Saxon squad in all positional groups, only SNS FR were heavier (p ≤ 0.01; r = 0.18) and taller (p ≤ 0.001; r = 0.25) than Saxons FR. Likewise, the results demonstrate that anthropometrical characteristics consistently differentiated respective squads though, on occasion, there were aspects of TPIs that discriminated youth (U18) adult (U20, NA) and senior (Saxons, SNS) age international squads for the six positional groups within the EPPP. Used in isolation therefore, TPIs might offer benchmarks across the respective squads, however the extent of the observed differences between younger (U18 and U20) and older (NA, Saxons & SNS) squads suggests they could be used in conjunction with coach intuition to improve the objectivity of player selection to future squads. Where the performances of progressed and non-progressed players were considered results revealed that taller and heavier players, competing within a higher number of matches, for an increased period of time, were the most important variables influencing progression or deselection from the programme. Where the match TPIs were considered, there were stochastic differences between groups though it appeared as though selected players typically outperformed the non-selected group albeit by small margins and there were fewer differences between progressed and non-progressed in older age squads. Finally, in players selected to progress and those deselected, there was notable within-group variation in the technical demands. Such variation was typified by overlapping IQRs when groups were compared meaning selected players could perform more, or less, effectively than deselected players in any given match. Clearly, such an issue suggests that the technical performance during competition cannot be used to determine talent in such instances. Collectively, the results provide insight to the key requirements of the EPPP, which could be used to develop future coaching, scouting methods, player TDE systems by providing normative levels of attainment for aspiring players, both enrolled or not, within the elite player developmental system.
    • The effect of dietary components on non-haem iron absorption in healthy and iron-deficient women

      Mushtaq, Sohail; Ahmad Fuzi, Salma F. (University of Chester, 2017-02)
      Two clinical trials investigating the effect of modulating two dietary components, tea containing polyphenols and vitamin D aimed at improving non-haem iron absorption and iron status recovery, were carried out in a cohort of healthy and iron deficient UK women, respectively. Tea has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of non-haem iron absorption but it remains unclear whether the timing of tea consumption relative to a meal influences iron bioavailability, with limited published evidence, especially in human trials. The aim of the first study was to investigate the effect of tea consumption on non-haem iron absorption and to assess the effect of time interval of tea consumption on non-haem iron absorption relative to an iron-containing meal, in a cohort of healthy female participants using a stable iron isotope (57Fe).
    • Learning to Play: How working-class lads negotiate working-class physical education

      Green, Ken; Scattergood, Andrew J. (University of Chester, 2017)
      Adults from the middle-classes are up to three times more likely to be regularly involved in sport than those from the working-class. The reason for this participation anomaly has been consistently linked to the differing lifestyles and opportunities to which young people from working and middle-class backgrounds are exposed. More specifically, working-class children are more likely to develop narrow, class-related leisure profiles and sporting repertoires during their childhood that serve to limit the likelihood of them remaining physically active in adulthood. In relation to this, one of the key aims of physical education (PE) in mainstream schools is to develop the range of skills and knowledge for all pupils and widen their sporting repertoires in an attempt to promote long-term participation throughout their lives. However, not only has PE provision in British mainstream schools been shown to be unsuccessful in promoting working-class pupils’ sporting/ability development, some suggest that the subject may even be perpetuating the social difference that has been shown to exist in relation to sports participation between social class groups. In order to address these issues the study set out to examine the extent to which the wider social background of white, working-class ‘lads’ and the actions and attitudes of their PE teachers came to impact on the way the lads influenced and experienced their PE curriculum/lessons. It also aimed to examine the impact that school PE then had on their sporting repertoires and participation in sport/active leisure outside of school. A total of 24 days were spent in Ayrefield Community School (ACS), a purposively selected, working-class state secondary school as part of a case study design. Over 60 practical PE lessons were observed that led to differing roles being adopted and guided conversations being conducted before, during, and after these lessons. Eight focus group interviews were also conducted with specifically chosen lads as well as one with the four members of male PE staff. Additional observations were also carried out during off-site trips, external visits, and in a range of classroom-based lessons. The findings were then considered and examined in relation to the work of the sociologists Norbert Elias and Pierre Bourdieu. The findings revealed that the pressures related to the modern education system and the social expectations linked to their working-class backgrounds caused a split between the lads at ACS in to three broad groups, namely: Problematics, Participants and Performers. These groupings came to impact on the ways that these lads engaged and achieved in school as well as the ways in which they came to negotiate and experience PE. The ‘Problematic’ group held largely negative views of education, but valued PE, especially when playing football, the ‘Participants’ were relatively successful at school yet apathetic regarding the content and delivery of their PE lessons, and a Performer group of lads emerged who engaged and achieved highly at school and participated in a range of activities in PE, but showed little intention of participating outside of school due to their pragmatic attitude to ‘learning’ in PE. Despite these differing school and PE experiences between the lads’ groups, the potential and actual impact of school PE on their sporting repertoires, skills, and interests was ultimately constrained by a range of issues. In the first instance the lads’ narrow, class-related leisure profiles and sporting repertoires linked closely to recreational participation with friends, alongside a lack of proactive parenting were significant limiting factors. In addition, the ability of some lads to constrain the actions of PE staff and peers to get what they wanted in PE rather than what they needed, and the negative views of most lads to skill development and structured PE lessons meant that PE at ACS was never likely to have a positive impact on the sporting repertoires and participation types/levels of its male pupils either currently or in their future lives.
    • Exploring the London 2012 Olympic legacy experiences of a non-host city: a policy based case study of those delivering sport in Birmingham before and after the Games

      Bloyce, Daniel; Lovett, Emily L. (University of Chester, 2016-11)
      In bidding to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London bid committee promised a range of ambitious legacies. Planning for legacy pre-Games was a relatively new aspect of event planning (Leopkey & Parent, 2009). For the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the sporting legacy from London 2012 was intended to be experienced across Britain. As such, a significant impact was expected on the sporting lives of people in non-host areas. To this extent it seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to examine the attempts to establish a ‘legacy’ in a city outside of London. Birmingham, one of the most populated cities in the UK, is therefore the focus of this study. The aim of this project was to investigate the legacy experiences of those delivering sport in Birmingham prior to, and soon after, the Games. This research was conducted from a figurational approach. A case study design was used to provide a detailed insight into a complex network of people and their perceptions that influence sport policy and development. The methods employed within this case study include documentary analysis of national policy documents and semi-structured interviews with key personnel in Birmingham. Interviews were conducted in the months prior to the Games and follow-up telephone interviews several months after the Games.
    • The Role of Anaerobic Digestion in Achieving Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture for Sustainable Development in the UK

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; Duruiheoma, Franklin I. (University of Chester, 2015-12)
      The subjection of soils to degradation directly and indirectly from rising world food demand and resultant intensified agricultural production, population growth, and climate change, demand that soils are better protected. The role of AD in addressing this challenge is examined using a pragmatic research paradigm and the questions: How can we raise awareness of AD in the UK? What factors motivate and hinder farmers towards adopting improved technology and sustainable agricultural practises? What is the perception of farmers about soils? To what extent does sustainable agriculture incorporate soil conservation in theory and practice? What role can legislation and policies play in AD adoption in the UK? The research was in two phases; qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative phase involved interviews with 21 AD stakeholder in the UK using electronic mail. The stakeholders who were divided into groups according to their expertise, were interviewed to explore their views on the areas of focus in the UK strategy and action plan regarding raising awareness of the technology, soil conservation, sustainable agriculture and sustainable development. Thematic analysis of interview data was carried out using MAXQDA 11 statistical software. The quantitative phase involved an online survey of 283 UK farmers aided by Yellow Pages directory for UK, Natural England directory, Twitter and electronic mail. Using SPSS 22.0 statistical software, the Chi square test was used to check for relationships between the variables measured at 95% confidence level (p<.05). Relationship strength was measured by means of Cramer’s V and Phi values. Answers to the 1st research question showed that: aligning AD with sustainable development goals, community AD and localism, small AD plants, provision of an available market for AD products, building UK skills and diversifying biogas use from AD are positive options for raising awareness of AD. Response to 2nd research question revealed: significant relationships between interests in agricultural technology and gender, level of education, and farm size; between knowledge of what AD is and gender, level of education and farm size; between interest in AD and age; between willingness to invest in AD if it improved soil properties and farm ownership; and between organic farming practice and age, farm type and farm size. Responding to the third research question, farmers’ describe soils in abstract, scientific, physical attribute and functional terms; awareness of soil benefits other than crop production was significantly related to age, and farm ownership; educational level was significantly related to familiarity with soil conservation, and opinion on whether soil should be protected like other natural resources. Findings regarding the 4th and 5th research questions showed: limited understanding of soil matters as a key challenge that has restricted the priority given to soil conservation, while level of education, knowledge of soil conservation and sustainable development and understanding of sustainable agriculture were also identified as influencing factors; digestate from AD is the main benefit viewed to contribute to soil conservation; finance, policy and legislation, low awareness and understanding, lack of feedstock and market, land use conflict and inefficiency of AD plants were identified as barriers to AD in the UK; promoting AD, providing finance, minimizing bureaucracy and simplification of AD systems are options for promoting AD adoption. This thesis also documents the implications of these findings for knowledge, policy and practice, and based on these recommendations are made, some of which are: better engagement of farmers in policy development for AD and soil management; use of small AD plants, demonstration, networking and training for AD adoption; promote soil conservation in theory and practice; and provision of enhanced support for owners, potential investors and farmers through incentives, simplified planning approval process, and available market for AD product.
    • Assessing efficacy of cardiac rehabilitation exercise therapy in heart failure patients

      Leslie, Rosalind (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      Background: Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is considered routine practice for patients following an acute cardiac event or surgical intervention. Although there is a seemingly strong evidence base supporting it for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), provision in the UK remains poor for this patient group. In addition, data for CHF patients reported in key CR reviews and meta-analyses are not a true representation of the UKs CHF population. The transferability of current evidence into actual practice settings in the UK therefore remains incongruous. Rationale and aims: Study outcomes have typically included an increase in VO2 peak/ VO2 max, a decrease in natriuretic peptides, improved left ventricular function and improved health related quality of life (QoL). Access to facilities and equipment, such as cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment is limited in the UK for the majority of CR services thus an alternative means of assessment and exercise prescription is required. The recommended alternative for testing CHF patients is the six-minute walk test (6MWT); this requires a given space and a full practice test, the latter which adds to valuable clinical and staff time available. Methods: The first set of studies of this thesis therefore investigated two adapted assessment procedures for use with CHF patients: i. the use of a shorter practice walk test of two minutes vs six minutes prior to a 6MWT and ii. the use of the space saving Chester step test with an adapted lower step height protocol to accommodate the anticipated lower fitness in CHF (4-inch vs 6-inch). Having determined a more practical and efficient means of assessing exercise capacity in CHF patients, this thesis then used the 6MWT to evaluate the efficacy of a typically recommended 12-week programme (for the UK) of exercise-based rehabilitation. It was the aim of this PhD to also combine the use of the Chester step test with cardiopulmonary measures as a corresponding physiological outcome in a sub-sample of participants; however due to resource problems, only validation of the low-step protocol was possible. In the main intervention study, the efficacy of a 12-week course of supervised moderate intensity exercise in CHF patients (ejection fraction <44%, NYHA class II to III) was then evaluated. For purposes of evaluating safety and recovery of any acute myocardial stress induced by exercise in CHF, a sub-group study was performed to evaluate the influence of an acute exercise session on two-day post-exercise levels of circulating NT-proBNP. Results: In this current suite of studies, participants were more representative of the UK CHF population than typically reported in the current evidence. Their profile involved a median age of 76 ± 16 years (mean: 67 years and range: 30 to 84 years). 98% of whom were prescribed beta-blockers, 66% were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and 98% had two or more co-morbidities. Study 1 (Chapter 3a) verified the efficacy of a two-minute practice walk in comparison to the recommended six-minute practice walk prior to performing a baseline 6MWT in patients with CHF. Study 2 (Chapter 3b) demonstrated that a 4-inch Chester step test is a reliable assessment when space is an issue, but the criterion validity of the actual oxygen costs at each stage compared with those estimated in healthy populations were significantly lower than recommended estimations from healthy populations. Study 3 (Chapter 4) revealed individual variability in the acute response of NT-proBNP release to exercise that is worthy of further study. However the NT-proBNP data overall did not suggest a need for ‘rest days’ between exercise training sessions. The main intervention study (Study 4, Chapter 5) demonstrated a significant improvement in 6MWT performance responses, compared with control, where an increased walking distance of 25 m (p < .0001) was coupled with a reduction in heart-rate-walking speed index (T1 16.3 ± 7.3 vs T2 15.3 ± 8.7 beats per 10 walked; p < .0001). Perceptually, patients were walking faster for the same rating of perceived exertion (RPE 12 to 13). This improved aerobic functioning coincided with an improved NYHA class (T1 2.3 ± .5 vs T2 1.8 ± .6; p < .0001); however there was no change in resting NT-proBNP levels after 12 weeks. Patients in the “control group” who then went on to be offered the same 12-week intervention achieved similar outcomes, but delaying their commencement of an exercise programme by 12 weeks negatively impacted on participation uptake. Key findings and conclusions: These results have demonstrated that exercise training in CHF can lead to an improvement in both physical and perceived functioning (NYHA class). In light of some previous studies showing decreases in BNP following an exercise programme and others like this one showing no change, further questions are raised about the effect of different types and doses of activity being offered to CHF patients and the responsiveness to training of different types of patients (disease severity and demographics). The nature of the cross-over design of this study revealed that delayed commencement of exercise negatively affects participation uptake by patients, which supports current UK standards in aiming for early referral to CR.
    • Investigating morphometrics, movement and oviposition in the Lissotriton and Triturus newts

      Johnson, Lisa (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      This thesis focuses on the UK pond newts, the smaller bodied species known as Lissotriton newts and the larger Triturus. The primary aims were to identify and address gaps in the current Tritus/Lissotriton literature; to provide a more complete understanding of this group as many assumptions about morphology and physiology exist untested, for example that larger/fatter females will lay more eggs. Specifically for Lissotriton helveticus, many assumptions are based on the similarly sized Lissotriton vulgaris, potentially missing any species specific differences. A further focus of the work was to provide a clearer view over the whole breeding season; using measures of condition over a season and egg-laying.
    • The nature and practice of primary physical education: A study of the perceptions of subject leaders

      Green, Ken; Jones, Luke (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      Much of the existing research on primary physical education (PE) has focused on the supposed importance and potential of the subject at this age range, rather than on its actual nature and practice. It is repeatedly claimed within the literature that the development of movement skills during early learning experiences is significant as it lays the foundation for continuing participation in health enhancing physical activity. While much of the existing research has focused on the supposed importance of primary PE, further study in this area expresses concerns about the deficiencies in the preparation of primary generalists to teach the subject; over the quality of learning and teaching within the subject; and over a perceived lack of investment (in the long term) in the primary age phase. In the light of the comparatively limited research relating to primary PE, the reported issues which surround the provision of the subject and the current emphasis on its promotion through the PE and Sport Premium, the study aimed to examine change alongside continuity in what has been identified, rhetorically at least, as an important area of PE. Drawing upon data gathered from one-to-one interviews with 36 subject leaders (SLs), this study sought to describe and explain the nature and practice of primary PE and develop a more adequate understanding of what is actually happening in the name of the subject. The analysis of primary PE was undertaken through the use of a case study of one School Sport Partnership (SSP) in the north-west of England, with the theoretical framework for this study being formed by the figurational sociological perspective. The findings revealed that the most common model for the delivery of PE involved responsibility being shared between the generalist class teacher and either a sports coach or specialist PE teacher. The SLs recognised strengths and weaknesses in all of the three main approaches used. However, while they favoured the use of specialist teachers because of their subject knowledge and expertise, the more prosaic constraints of cost and flexibility meant that the use of coaches had become increasingly popular. Whether or not, the growth of coaches is de-professionalizing the delivery of PE, it certainly appears to be exacerbating any existing tendency to turn primary PE into a pale imitation of the sport-biased curricular of secondary schools. Ironically, the apparent ‘threat’ to the status of PE in the primary curriculum (as well as the status of PE specialists) posed by the growth of coaches in curricular PE in primary schools may well be exaggerated by the primary PE and Sport Premium which appears to have added momentum to a change of direction regarding staffing the subject – towards sports coaches and away from generalist classroom teachers and PE specialists. The data also showed that while the pedagogical approaches adopted in primary PE lessons did include some inclusive and developmentally appropriate methods, the overriding focus was on didactic teaching approaches being used to achieve narrow skills based outcomes. The historical dominance of games, the inclusion of primary teachers in lengthening chains of interdependence with sporting groups and individuals, and the conflation of sport with PE were all thought to have influenced the adoption of a teaching model that is unduly influenced by sport. It was also clear from SLs responses, that the prevalence of teaching methods that bind didactic and skill based pedagogy are unlikely to be challenged by the greater inclusion of sports coaches within primary PE. Finally, the contents of primary PE lessons were shown, by the data, to be dominated by sport and traditional team games; and to be organised around the timings of the major inter-school competitions and tournaments. Overall it was argued that the portents of a future with sports coaches as the main deliverers of primary ‘sport’ lessons are there for all to see, and that this apparent change is best understood by locating the subject leaders of PE in the networks of interdependent relationships that they have with others.
    • HSPC1 inhibitors and their use in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia

      Smith, Carly M. (University of Chester, 2015-08)
      HSPC1 (Hsp90), a member of the anti-apoptotic Heat Shock Protein (HSP) family appears to play a pivotal role in the development and maintenance of several tumour cell characteristics and as a result has become a target for novel anti-cancer therapies. HSPC1 inhibitors have been tested in clinical trials on a wide variety of cancer types with moderate success. However, despite recent advantages in HSPC1 inhibitor development, the effects of these drugs are not consistent. A number of factors may play a role in determining cell sensitivity to these inhibitors. As Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) is such a heterogeneous disease with great variation in baseline HSP levels and other proteins amongst the patient cohort, it would not be unreasonable to assume that HSPC1 inhibitors may have varying success as a treatment strategy for this disease. The present study examined the effects of four HSPC1 inhibitors on primary CLL cells, as well as cells from healthy control subjects, and analysed a number of HSPC1 client proteins to assess the efficacy of these inhibitors. Great variation in cellular response to these drugs was observed in both CLL and healthy control subjects. Analysis of HSPC1 client proteins in these cells including ZAP-70, Akt, NF-kB and HSPA1A, revealed that HSPC1 inhibitors do not effect client protein levels in all samples. The results suggest that these inhibitors should not be considered as a universal treatment strategy for CLL and provide a basis for further study into elucidating the mechanisms behind HSPC1 inhibitor resistance. The final aim of this work was to investigate the role of the microenvironment in CLL progression, where a co-culture system was used as an in-vitro tool. Whilst consistent data was obtained using cell lines, and showed that microenvironmental factors promoted resistance to HSPC1 inhibitors, use of primary CLL cells in this model produced inconsistent data, again highlighting the heterogeneity of the disease.