• Characterisation of microvessel blood velocity and segment length in the brain using multi-diffusion-time diffusion-weighted MRI

      Scott, Lauren A; orcid: 0000-0002-5423-0042; email: lauren.scott-3@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Dickie, Ben R; Rawson, Shelley D; Coutts, Graham; Burnett, Timothy L; Allan, Stuart M; orcid: 0000-0001-9646-4456; Parker, Geoff JM; Parkes, Laura M; orcid: 0000-0001-6488-507X (SAGE Publications, 2020-12-16)
      Multi-diffusion-time diffusion-weighted MRI can probe tissue microstructure, but the method has not been widely applied to the microvasculature. At long diffusion-times, blood flow in capillaries is in the diffusive regime, and signal attenuation is dependent on blood velocity (v) and capillary segment length (l). It is described by the pseudo-diffusion coefficient (D*=vl/6) of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM). At shorter diffusion-times, blood flow is in the ballistic regime, and signal attenuation depends on v, and not l. In theory, l could be estimated using D* and v. In this study, we compare the accuracy and repeatability of three approaches to estimating v, and therefore l: the IVIM ballistic model, the velocity autocorrelation model, and the ballistic approximation to the velocity autocorrelation model. Twenty-nine rat datasets from two strains were acquired at 7 T, with b-values between 0 and 1000 smm−2 and diffusion times between 11.6 and 50 ms. Five rats were scanned twice to assess scan-rescan repeatability. Measurements of l were validated using corrosion casting and micro-CT imaging. The ballistic approximation of the velocity autocorrelation model had lowest bias relative to corrosion cast estimates of l, and had highest repeatability.
    • Characterisation of road-dust sediment in urban systems: a review of a global challenge

      Haynes, Haydn M.; Taylor, Kevin G.; email: kevin.taylor@manchester.ac.uk; Rothwell, James; Byrne, Patrick (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2020-10-21)
      Abstract: Purpose: The proportion of people living in urbanised areas is predicted to rise to > 65% by 2050, and therefore, more humans than ever will be exposed to urban environmental pollution. Accumulation of organic and inorganic substances on street and road surfaces is a major global challenge requiring scientifically robust methods of establishing risk that inform management strategies. This aim of this contribution is to critically review the global literature on urban road–deposited sediment contamination with a specific focus on variability in sampling and analytical methods. Materials and methods: In order to assess the concentration of contaminants in global road-deposited sediment (RDS), a comprehensive search of published RDS studies was completed. We review methodological approaches used in RDS studies to highlight the variability in datasets as a result of sampling technique, grain size fractionation, geochemical and mineralogical characterisation methods and establishing the influence of local geology on contaminant concentrations. We also consider emerging contaminants in RDS, and we provide a workflow diagram which promotes a standardised sampling and analysis regime that we believe can reduce data variability and promote collaboration when it comes to tackling the important issue of RDS contamination. Results and discussion: Across the literature, Asia (except China) and Africa are underrepresented in RDS studies despite these continents having the largest and fastest growing populations, respectively. The removal of tetraethyl lead from gasoline produced a noticeable decrease in lead concentrations in global RDS, and platinum group element (PGE) concentrations in RDS were consistent with catalytic converter usage. Research into the impact of electric vehicles on non-exhaust emissions suggests other contaminants such as zinc may become more prominent in the future. Most RDS studies consider grain size fractions larger than > 20 μm due to sampling constraints despite RDS < 20 μm being most relevant to human health. The use of chemical extraction methods to establish contaminant geochemistry is popular; however, most extraction procedures are not relevant or specific to minerals identified in RDS through microscopic and spectroscopic investigations. Conclusions: This review highlights considerable variability in sampling and analytical approach which makes it difficult to identify broad global patterns in RDS contamination. To remove this variability from future RDS research, this review suggests a workflow plan which attempts to improve the comparability between RDS studies. Such comparability is crucial in identifying more discrete RDS trends and informing future emission policy.
    • Characterisation of seizure induction methods in

      Mituzaite, Jurga; Petersen, Rasmus; Claridge-Chang, Adam; Baines, Richard A; orcid: 0000-0001-8571-4376; email: richard.baines@manchester.ac.uk (2021-07-30)
      Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders. Around one third of patients do not respond to current medications. This lack of treatment indicates a need for better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and, importantly, the identification of novel targets for drug manipulation. The fruitfly has a fast reproduction time, powerful genetics, and facilitates large sample sizes, making it a strong model of seizure mechanisms. To better understand behavioural and physiological phenotypes across major fly seizure genotypes we systematically measured seizure severity and secondary behavioral phenotypes at both the larval and adult stage. Comparison of several seizure-induction methods; specifically electrical, mechanical and heat-induction, show that larval electroshock is the most effective at inducing seizures across a wide range of seizure-prone mutants tested. Locomotion in adults and larvae was found to be non-predictive of seizure susceptibility. Recording activity in identified larval motor neurons revealed variations in action potential patterns, across different genotypes, but these patterns did not correlate with seizure susceptibility. To conclude, while there is wide variation in mechanical induction, heat induction, and secondary phenotypes, electroshock is the most consistent method of seizure induction across known major seizure genotypes in Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting 1 in 130 people globally, with a significant impact on patients, families, and society. Approximately one third of epileptics do not respond to currently available medication. Thus, better insights into underlying disease mechanisms and identification of new drugs are needed. Fruit flies ( ) are a powerful genetic model: a number of single gene mutant flies exhibit seizures, phenotypes that have been shown to respond to established antiepileptic drugs. We compare methods of seizure induction and their utility, to establish which induction method is the most consistent across a range of different seizure-inducing genetic backgrounds. Adopting a common method for seizure analysis in this model will, we predict, speed identification of novel anti-convulsive treatments. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Mituzaite et al.]
    • Characteristics of nano-plastics in bottled drinking water.

      Huang, Yihe; Wong, Ka Ki; Li, Wei; Zhao, Haoran; Wang, Tianming; Stanescu, Sorin; Boult, Stephen; van Dongen, Bart; Mativenga, Paul; email: p.mativenga@manchester.ac.uk; Li, Lin; email: lin.li@manchester.ac.uk (2021-09-30)
      Plastic pollution in water is threatening the environment and human health. Previous relevant studies mainly focus on macro and micro plastic pollutions and their characteristics. Little is known about the extent and characteristics of nano-scale plastics in our drinking water systems, mainly due to difficulties in their isolation and analysis. These nano-plastics may pose higher risk to human health than micro-plastics. Here we report the collection and analysis of organic nanoparticles from commercial bottled water of two brands. Novel nano-plastic particle imaging and molecular structure analysis techniques have been applied. The findings show the existence of organic nanoparticles, and a likely source has been identified to be the degradation of plastic water bottles. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.]
    • Characterization of microwave and terahertz dielectric properties of single crystal La2Ti2O7 along one single direction

      Zhang, Man; orcid: 0000-0002-1094-7279; Tang, Zhiyong; orcid: 0000-0002-1921-6034; Zhang, Hangfeng; Smith, Graham; orcid: 0000-0003-3273-7085; Jiang, Qinghui; Saunders, Theo; orcid: 0000-0003-4250-3071; Yang, Bin; Yan, Haixue; orcid: 0000-0002-4563-1100
      New generation wireless communication systems require characterisations of dielectric permittivity and loss tangent at microwave and terahertz bands. La2Ti2O7 is a candidate material for microwave application. However, all the reported microwave dielectric data are average value from different directions of a single crystal, which could not reflect its anisotropic nature due to the layered crystal structure. Its dielectric properties at the microwave and terahertz bands in a single crystallographic direction have rarely been reported. In this work, a single crystal ferroelectric La2Ti2O7 was prepared by floating zone method and its dielectric properties were characterized from 1 kHz to 1 THz along one single direction. The decrease in dielectric permittivity with increasing frequency is related to dielectric relaxation from radio frequency to microwave then to terahertz band. The capability of characterizing anisotropic dielectric properties of a single crystal in this work opens the feasibility for its microwave and terahertz applications.
    • Characterization of microwave and terahertz dielectric properties of single crystal La2Ti2O7 along one single direction

      Zhang, Man; orcid: 0000-0002-1094-7279; Tang, Zhiyong; orcid: 0000-0002-1921-6034; Zhang, Hangfeng; Smith, Graham; orcid: 0000-0003-3273-7085; Jiang, Qinghui; Saunders, Theo; orcid: 0000-0003-4250-3071; Yang, Bin; Yan, Haixue; orcid: 0000-0002-4563-1100 (Elsevier, 2021-08-27)
      New generation wireless communication systems require characterisations of dielectric permittivity and loss tangent at microwave and terahertz bands. La2Ti2O7 is a candidate material for microwave application. However, all the reported microwave dielectric data are average value from different directions of a single crystal, which could not reflect its anisotropic nature due to the layered crystal structure. Its dielectric properties at the microwave and terahertz bands in a single crystallographic direction have rarely been reported. In this work, a single crystal ferroelectric La2Ti2O7 was prepared by floating zone method and its dielectric properties were characterized from 1 kHz to 1 THz along one single direction. The decrease in dielectric permittivity with increasing frequency is related to dielectric relaxation from radio frequency to microwave then to terahertz band. The capability of characterizing anisotropic dielectric properties of a single crystal in this work opens the feasibility for its microwave and terahertz applications.
    • Characterization on microstructure of interface and failure analysis of SiC fiber reinforced Ti-17 composites under tension load

      Zhao, Wenxia; Ciuca, Octav.; email: octav.ciuca@manchester.ac.uk; Yang, Xiaoguang; Tao, Chunhu; Zhou, Xiaorong; Liu, Changkui (IOP Publishing, 2021-05)
      Abstract: In this study, the ultimate tensile strength of unidirectional SiC-fiber/Ti-17 composites was measured in the as-produced condition at room temperature. Fracture and interfacial reaction zone was characterized by using laser confocal microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy. Elemental distribution maps of the interfacial reaction layer and titanium matrix were quantitatively examined by electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA). Micromechanical properties of SiC fiber and titanium matrix was inspected by Nano-indentation. The Fracture failure mechanisms was show that the key microstructural parameters which dominate damage initiation, damage growth and fracture behavior of the composites were explained in detail.
    • Characterization on microstructure of interface and failure analysis of SiC fiber reinforced Ti-17 composites under tension load

      Zhao, Wenxia; Ciuca, Octav.; email: octav.ciuca@manchester.ac.uk; Yang, Xiaoguang; Tao, Chunhu; Zhou, Xiaorong; Liu, Changkui (IOP Publishing, 2021-05)
      Abstract: In this study, the ultimate tensile strength of unidirectional SiC-fiber/Ti-17 composites was measured in the as-produced condition at room temperature. Fracture and interfacial reaction zone was characterized by using laser confocal microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy. Elemental distribution maps of the interfacial reaction layer and titanium matrix were quantitatively examined by electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA). Micromechanical properties of SiC fiber and titanium matrix was inspected by Nano-indentation. The Fracture failure mechanisms was show that the key microstructural parameters which dominate damage initiation, damage growth and fracture behavior of the composites were explained in detail.
    • Charlotte Brontë’s Gothic Fragment: ‘The Story of Willie Ellin’

      Wynne, Deborah (Edinburgh University Press, 2021-03)
      Charlotte Brontë’s eighteen-page fragment, ‘The Story of Willie Ellin’, written shortly after the publication of Villette in 1853, combines the gothic and realism and uses multiple narrators to tell a disturbing story of cruelty towards a child. The generic instability and disordered temporal framework of this fragment make it unlike anything Brontë had previously written, yet it has attracted the attention of few scholars. Those who have discussed it have condemned it as a failure; the later fragment ‘Emma’, also left incomplete by the author's premature death, has been seen as the more likely beginning of a successor to Villette. ‘The Story of Willie Ellin’ reveals Brontë at her most experimental as she explores the use of different narrative voices, including that of an unnamed genderless ‘ghost’, to tell a story from different perspectives. It also shows Brontë representing a child's experience of extreme physical abuse which goes far beyond the depictions of chastisement in Jane Eyre (1847). This essay argues that ‘The Story of Willie Ellin’ affords rich insights into Brontë’s ideas and working practices in her final years, suggesting that it should be more widely acknowledged as a unique aspect of Brontë’s oeuvre, revealing the new directions she may have taken had she lived to complete another novel.
    • Charter to establish clinical exercise physiology as a recognised allied health profession in the UK: a call to action.

      Jones, Helen; orcid: 0000-0001-8282-1459; George, Keith P; Scott, Andrew; Buckley, John P; Watson, Paula M; Oxborough, David L; Thijssen, Dick H; Graves, Lee E F; Whyte, Greg P; McGregor, Gordon; orcid: 0000-0001-8963-9107; et al. (2021-09-21)
      The UK population is growing, ageing and becoming increasingly inactive and unfit. Personalised and targeted exercise interventions are beneficial for ageing and the management of chronic and complex conditions. Increasing the uptake of effective exercise and physical activity (PA) interventions is vital to support a healthier society and decrease healthcare costs. Current strategies for exercise and PA at a population level mostly involve self-directed exercise pathways, delivered largely via the fitness industry. Even for those who opt-in and manage to achieve the current recommendations regarding minimum PA, this generic 'one-size-fits-all' approach often fails to demonstrate meaningful physiological and health benefits. Personalised exercise prescription and appropriate exercise testing, monitoring and progression of interventions for individuals with chronic disease should be provided by appropriately trained and recognised exercise healthcare professionals, educated in the cognate disciplines of exercise science (eg, physiology, biomechanics, motor control, psychology). This workforce has operated for >20 years in the Australian public and private healthcare systems. Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) are recognised allied health professionals, with demonstrable health and economic benefits. AEPs have knowledge of the risks and benefits of distinct forms of exercise, skills in the personalised prescription and optimal delivery of exercise, and competencies to support sustained PA behavioural change, based on the established scientific evidence. In this charter, we propose a road map for the training, accreditation and promotion of a clinical exercise physiology profession in the UK. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.]
    • Charter to establish clinical exercise physiology as a recognised allied health profession in the UK: a call to action.

      Jones, Helen; orcid: 0000-0001-8282-1459; George, Keith P; Scott, Andrew; Buckley, John P; Watson, Paula M; Oxborough, David L; Thijssen, Dick H; Graves, Lee E F; Whyte, Greg P; McGregor, Gordon; orcid: 0000-0001-8963-9107; et al. (2021-09-21)
      The UK population is growing, ageing and becoming increasingly inactive and unfit. Personalised and targeted exercise interventions are beneficial for ageing and the management of chronic and complex conditions. Increasing the uptake of effective exercise and physical activity (PA) interventions is vital to support a healthier society and decrease healthcare costs. Current strategies for exercise and PA at a population level mostly involve self-directed exercise pathways, delivered largely via the fitness industry. Even for those who opt-in and manage to achieve the current recommendations regarding minimum PA, this generic 'one-size-fits-all' approach often fails to demonstrate meaningful physiological and health benefits. Personalised exercise prescription and appropriate exercise testing, monitoring and progression of interventions for individuals with chronic disease should be provided by appropriately trained and recognised exercise healthcare professionals, educated in the cognate disciplines of exercise science (eg, physiology, biomechanics, motor control, psychology). This workforce has operated for >20 years in the Australian public and private healthcare systems. Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) are recognised allied health professionals, with demonstrable health and economic benefits. AEPs have knowledge of the risks and benefits of distinct forms of exercise, skills in the personalised prescription and optimal delivery of exercise, and competencies to support sustained PA behavioural change, based on the established scientific evidence. In this charter, we propose a road map for the training, accreditation and promotion of a clinical exercise physiology profession in the UK.
    • Chemical Characterisation of Silanised Zirconia Nanoparticles and Their Effects on the Properties of PMMA-Zirconia Nanocomposites

      Zidan, Saleh; email: sal.zidan@sebhau.edu.ly; Silikas, Nikolaos; orcid: 0000-0003-4576-4584; email: nikolaos.silikas@manchester.ac.uk; Al-Nasrawi, Suhad; orcid: 0000-0003-3045-7389; email: suhad.alnasrawi@uokufa.edu.iq; Haider, Julfikar; orcid: 0000-0001-7010-8285; email: j.haider@mmu.ac.uk; Alshabib, Abdulrahman; email: Abdalshabib@ksu.edu.sa; Alshame, Alshame; email: Als.alshame@sebhau.edu.ly; Yates, Julian; email: julian.yates@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-06-10)
      Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanical properties of high-impact (HI) heat-cured acrylic resin (PMMA) reinforced with silane-treated zirconia nanoparticles. Methods: Forty-five PMMA specimens reinforced with zirconia were fabricated and divided into three groups: Pure HI PMMA (control group), PMMA reinforced with 3 wt.% of non-silanised zirconia nanoparticles and PMMA reinforced with 3 wt.% of silanised zirconia nanoparticles. Silanised and non-silanised zirconia nanoparticles were analysed with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. For measuring the flexural modulus and strength, a Zwick universal tester was used, and for surface hardness, a Vickers hardness tester were used. Furthermore, raw materials and fractured surfaces were analysed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). A one-way ANOVA test followed by a post-hoc Bonferroni test was employed to analyse the data. Results: The results showed that the mean values for flexural strength (83.5 ± 6.2 MPa) and surface hardness (20.1 ± 2.3 kg/mm2) of the group containing 3 wt.% treated zirconia increased significantly (p 0.05) in comparison to the specimens in the group containing non-treated zirconia (59.9 ± 7.1 MPa; 15.0 ± 0.2 kg/mm2) and the control group (72.4 ± 8.6 MPa; 17.1 ± 0.9 kg/mm2). However, the group with silanised zirconia showed an increase in flexural modulus (2313 ± 161 MPa) but was not significantly different (p > 0.05) from the non-silanised group (2207 ± 252 MPa) and the control group (1971 ± 235 MPa). Conclusion: Silane-treated zirconia nano-filler improves the surface hardness and flexural strength of HI PMMA-zirconia nanocomposites, giving a potentially longer service life of the denture base.
    • Chemical engines: driving systems away from equilibrium through catalyst reaction cycles.

      Amano, Shuntaro; orcid: 0000-0001-6017-6823; Borsley, Stefan; orcid: 0000-0001-9637-4178; Leigh, David A; orcid: 0000-0002-1202-4507; email: david.leigh@manchester.ac.uk; Sun, Zhanhu; orcid: 0000-0002-1207-781X (2021-10-08)
      Biological systems exhibit a range of complex functions at the micro- and nanoscales under non-equilibrium conditions (for example, transportation and motility, temporal control, information processing and so on). Chemists also employ out-of-equilibrium systems, for example in kinetic selection during catalysis, self-replication, dissipative self-assembly and synthetic molecular machinery, and in the form of chemical oscillators. Key to non-equilibrium behaviour are the mechanisms through which systems are able to extract energy from the chemical reactants ('fuel') that drive such processes. In this Perspective we relate different examples of such powering mechanisms using a common conceptual framework. We discuss how reaction cycles can be coupled to other dynamic processes through positive (acceleration) or negative (inhibition) catalysis to provide the thermodynamic impetus for diverse non-equilibrium behaviour, in effect acting as a 'chemical engine'. We explore the way in which the energy released from reaction cycles is harnessed through kinetic selection in a series of what have sometimes been considered somewhat disparate fields (systems chemistry, molecular machinery, dissipative assembly and chemical oscillators), highlight common mechanistic principles and the potential for the synchronization of chemical reaction cycles, and identify future challenges for the invention and application of non-equilibrium systems. Explicit recognition of the use of fuelling reactions to power structural change in catalysts may stimulate the investigation of known catalytic cycles as potential elements for chemical engines, a currently unexplored area of catalysis research. [Abstract copyright: © 2021. Springer Nature Limited.]
    • Chemical Vapor Deposition of Graphene on Cu-Ni Alloys: The Impact of Carbon Solubility

      Al-Hilfi; email: 100119@uotechnology.edu.iq; Kinloch; email: Ian.Kinloch@manchester.ac.uk; Derby; email: Brian.Derby@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-07-26)
      Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) is the most promising graphene synthesis route for film and electronic applications but the growth mechanism is still not fully understood. Herein, we investigate the role of the solubility of carbon in the underlying growth substrate on the CVD growth of graphene. A range of Cu-Ni alloys compositions that cover the carbon (C) solubility range between low C solubility (pure Cu) and high C solubility (pure Ni) were used as the catalytic growth substrates. The CVD of graphene on Cu-Ni alloys showed a transition from bilayer graphene (BLG) to few-layer graphene (FLG) at a substrate Ni concentration of 45 wt.%, which was attributed to an increase in the bulk diffusion of C. The Cu-rich alloys had a high graphene coverage (BLG) at a fast-cooling rate (367 °C/min), while the Ni-rich alloys had a low coverage (FLG) under the same cooling condition. In contrast, at slow cooling rates (27 °C/min), the Cu-rich alloys had a low coverage of graphene (BLG) and the Ni-rich alloys had a high coverage of graphene (FLG). Glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GDOES) was used to profile the subsurface composition, particularly the C concentration, as a function of depth.
    • Children and young people’s experiences of completing mental health and wellbeing measures for research: learning from two school-based pilot projects

      Demkowicz, Ola; orcid: 0000-0001-9204-0912; email: ola.demkowicz@manchester.ac.uk; Ashworth, Emma; Mansfield, Rosie; Stapley, Emily; Miles, Helena; Hayes, Daniel; Burrell, Kim; Moore, Anna; Deighton, Jessica (BioMed Central, 2020-09-16)
      Abstract: Background: In recent years there has been growing interest in child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, alongside increasing emphasis on schools as a crucial site for research and intervention. This has coincided with an increased use of self-report mental health and wellbeing measures in research with this population, including in school-based research projects. We set out to explore the way that children and young people perceive and experience completing mental health and wellbeing measures, with a specific focus on completion in a school context, in order to inform future measure and research design. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 133 participants aged 8–16 years following their completion of mental health and wellbeing measures as part of school-based research programmes, using thematic analysis to identify patterns of experience. Findings: We identified six themes: Reflecting on emotions during completion; the importance of anonymity; understanding what is going to happen; ease of responding to items; level of demand; and interacting with the measure format. Conclusions: Our findings offer greater insight into children and young people’s perceptions and experiences in reporting on their mental health and wellbeing. Such understanding can be used to support more ethical and robust data collection procedures in child and adolescent mental health research, both for data quality and ethical purposes. We offer several practical recommendations for researchers, including facilitating this in a school context.
    • Children’s Narratives of Family Life in Ghana: A Cultural Lens via Story Stems

      Hosny, Nadine M.; Danquah, Adam; Berry, Katherine; Wan, Ming Wai; email: M.W.Wan@manchester.ac.uk (Springer US, 2020-10-12)
      Abstract: A Western worldview pervades the social and psychological study of children. The current study employed a story-stem method to qualitatively explore the daily and family life experiences of young Ghanaian primary school children in urban Ghana through their story narratives. The recorded narratives of 69 5- to 8-year-old children were elicited through presenting stems of common child-caregiver scenarios and thematically analysed. Five overarching themes were identified: daily routines and concerns, child-caregiver interactions, spirituality, death-related fears and depictions, and responses to injury. The narrative themes reveal the likely mental and physical occupations of these children, as characterized by household chores, financial concerns and school concerns, as well as underlying cultural values through their portrayals of parenting values, parental discipline and spiritual beliefs. Story stems depicting common childhood problems (e.g. knee injury) sometimes evoked death and hospitalization subthemes following an escalation of health problems. Possible interpretations for these findings are discussed, taking into account cultural, developmental and emotional factors. Story stems are a promising and developmentally appropriate tool for qualitative analysts to investigate the experiences and worldview of young children in non-Western cultures.
    • Children’s Views on Children’s Rights: A Systematic Literature Review

      Fairhall, Nicola; email: nicola.fairhall@btinternet.com; Woods, Kevin; email: kevin.a.woods@manchester.ac.uk (Brill, 2021-11-12)
      Abstract Children’s rights are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This systematic literature review aimed to investigate children’s views of children’s rights, at a broad level. Nine papers were included, from a range of countries and contexts. They all accessed the views of children and young people (aged up to 18 years). A content analysis was carried out using a recursive process of hybrid aggregative-configurative synthesis, and themes within children’s views and factors that may affect these were identified. These were ‘awareness of rights’, ‘value placed on (importance of) rights’, ‘impact of having/not having rights fulfilled’, ‘realisation and respect of rights’, ‘equality of rights’, ‘identifying and categorising of rights’, and ‘factors that may affect children’s views’. These were developed into a progression of rights realisation and implications for practice and further research were considered.
    • ChoiceNet: CNN learning through choice of multiple feature map representations

      Rayhan, Farshid; email: f.rayhan@manchester.ac.uk; Galata, Aphrodite; Cootes, Tim F. (Springer London, 2021-07-11)
      Abstract: We introduce a new architecture called ChoiceNet where each layer of the network is highly connected with skip connections and channelwise concatenations. This enables the network to alleviate the problem of vanishing gradients, reduces the number of parameters without sacrificing performance and encourages feature reuse. We evaluate our proposed architecture on three independent tasks: classification, segmentation and facial landmark localisation. For this, we use benchmark datasets such as ImageNet, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, SVHN CamVid and 300W.
    • Chronic and rare disease patients' access to healthcare services during a health crisis: The example of the COVID‐19 pandemic in Turkey

      Aktas, Puren; orcid: 0000-0003-0783-8044; email: puren.aktas@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk (2021-07-26)
      Abstract: Objective: The restructuring of healthcare provision for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic caused disruptions in access for patients with chronic or rare diseases. This study explores the experiences of patients with chronic or rare diseases in access to healthcare services in Turkey during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with representatives (n = 10) of patient organisations (n = 9) based in Istanbul. Thematic analysis with an inductive approach was conducted to analyse the responses obtained through the interviews. Results: The lack of clinical information at the beginning of the pandemic caused fear among patients with chronic or rare diseases. Patients experienced obstacles in access to healthcare services because of the overcrowding of hospitals with COVID‐19 patients. Some treatment procedures were cancelled or postponed by physicians. Of these procedures, some were medically vital for those patients, leading to or exacerbating further health problems. The most positive measures that patients identified were where the Social Security Institution introduced regulations to facilitate access to prescribed medicine for chronic patients. Information exchange between the doctors and their patients was important to alleviate the uncertainty and reduce the anxiety among patients. Discussion: Access problems experienced by patients during the COVID‐19 pandemic were a complex mix of factors including shortages and physical barriers, but also perceptions of barriers. The findings of this study show that patient organisations can provide insights on disease‐specific experiences and problems that are very valuable to improve access to healthcare services to achieve the universal health coverage target. Hence, this study emphasises the inclusion of patient organisations in decision‐making processes during times of health crises. Public Contribution: Representatives of patient organisations participated in the interviews.
    • Chronic anticoagulation is not associated with a reduced risk of acute kidney injury in hospitalised Covid-19 patients

      Parker, Kathrine; email: Kathrine.parker@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Hamilton, Patrick; Hanumapura, Prasanna; Castelino, Laveena; Murphy, Michelle; Challiner, Rachael; Thachil, Jecko; Ebah, Leonard (BioMed Central, 2021-06-16)
      Abstract: Background: Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Severe disease typically presents with respiratory failure but Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and a hypercoagulable state can also occur. Early reports suggest that thrombosis may be linked with AKI. We studied the development of AKI and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 taking chronic anticoagulation therapy. Methods: Electronic records were reviewed for all adult patients admitted to Manchester University Foundation Trust Hospitals between March 10 and April 302,020 with a diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients with end-stage kidney disease were excluded. AKI was classified as per KDIGO criteria. Results: Of the 1032 patients with COVID-19 studied,164 (15.9%) were taking anticoagulant therapy prior to admission. There were similar rates of AKI between those on anticoagulants and those not anticoagulated (23.8% versus 19.7%) with no difference in the severity of AKI or requirement of renal replacement therapy between groups (1.2% versus 3.5%). Risk factors for AKI included hypertension, pre-existing renal disease and male sex. There was a higher mortality in those taking anticoagulant therapy (40.2% versus 30%). Patients taking anticoagulants were less likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (8.5% versus 17.4%) and to receive mechanical ventilation (42.9% versus 78.1%). Conclusion: Patients on chronic anticoagulant therapy did not have a reduced incidence or severity of AKI suggesting that AKI is unlikely to be thrombotic in nature. Therapeutic anticoagulation is currently still under investigation in randomised controlled studies to determine whether it has a potential role in COVID-19 treatment.