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Lancaster University

Country: United Kingdom

Lancaster University

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1,718 Projects, page 1 of 344
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 1721602

    We stand at a historical conjuncture where new modes of living are required more than ever. It is increasingly argued, and publicly recognised, that three centuries of fossil fuel-based industrial expansion have pushed the climate to the very brink of irreversible ecological catastrophe (Klein, 2014). Over the past three decades especially, carbon emissions associated with the massive growth of neoliberal capitalism have 'exploded' (Malm, 2016) - with deleterious effects on the some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet (Xing-Yin, 2015). Considering the severity and scope of this threat, 'business as usual' constitutes a dangerous option (IPCC, 2014: vii). It is claimed that the 'imperial mode of living' is unsustainable (Brand and Wissen, 2013) and that our very survival depends on finding alternative ways of conducting daily life (Levitas, 2013). Fundamental change - economic, political, social and moral - is crucial. Despite the ever-increasing urgency of demands for major societal transformation, fossil fuel combustion remains central to the continued functioning of contemporary societies. We continue to rely upon this energy source for 'virtually every productive and reproductive process' (Harman, 2009) and the requirements of capital accumulation on this basis are prioritised regardless of ecological impact (Burkett, 1999). Given the multi-faceted aspects of the fossil-fuel complex and its centrality to accumulation, many mutually reinforcing constraints make it hard to envisage how urgent change can be achieved.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2145124

    As a result of a Lancaster-supervised PhD programme conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Carried out by R. Demmer[1], we have developed a physico-chemical understanding of the factors affecting the decontamination efficiency for the removal of tenacious (americium, cobalt) and non- tenacious (caesium, strontium) from commonly used mineral-based urban building materials such as concrete, granite, limestone and marble. This work involved development of representative non-active simulants for common radioactive contaminants and an extensive trialling of decontamination techniques on these simulants in order to identify the most efficient contamination removal method. Simulant results were then validated in real radioactive decontamination scenarios. For this CINDe (Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning) project, we aim to extend this work to the decontamination of radioactively contaminated bricks and especially plutonium contaminated Whitehaven bricks. Specifically we aim to do the following. To develop an understanding of the materials and mineralogical properties of relevant brick formulations - especially key constituent phases, surface pH, surface charge, permeability and cation exchange capacity. Based on this and a knowledge of plutonium hydrometallurgical / surface chemistry, we will develop an understanding of the mechanisms by which plutonium and other key contaminants contaminate relevant brick formulations - especially Whitehaven bricks as an exemplar system. Using this, and the understanding developed with INL of the design requirements for effective contaminant simulants, we will develop a representative non-active simulant system for Pucontaminated bricks. Finally, employing this simulant system, we will determine the efficiency of brick decontamination using a range of chemically based decontamination methods including those based on aqueous and non-aqueous solvents, redox reagents, chelants, acid/base treatments, gels and foams. This work will be based at the CINDe at NNL Workington and is a collaboration between several universities including Lancaster, NNL and Sellafield in the UK along with the Idaho National Laboratory in the USA.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2118868

    Bayesian inference on the parameters of dynamical infectious disease models is an established methodology for outbreak forecasting and decision support. These approaches propose a dynamical state-transition model for disease progression, in which an individual's infection hazard is a function of the number of infected individuals at any given time [e.g. Jewell et al. (2009)]. These models assume that all infected individuals are eventually detected, and that case detection is intrinsically linked to the development of clinical signs of disease. A common situation, however, is where samples of individuals from a population are subject to a regular disease screening programme which is independent of the infection process -- so-called 'panel data' -- with the aim of estimating disease transmission parameters to inform both further disease surveillance and also disease intervention policy. Though methods for state-transitions models given panel data are well-established for static models [e.g. Jackson (2011)], the time- inhomogeneous nature of transition rates for epidemic models presents a significant inferential challenge. Moreover, optimal design of a disease surveillance programme to inform epidemic models is currently under-developed [Herzog et al. (2017)]. This PhD project will focus on developing statistical methodology to fit epidemic models in a hidden-Markov framework, and develop principles to ensure that the spatiotemporal design of sample-based disease surveillance is optimal for both parameter inference and epidemic forecasting. * Jewell CP, Kypraios T, Neal P, Roberts GO (2009) Bayesian analysis for emerging infectious diseases. Bayesian Analysis. 4:465-496. * Jackson CH (2011) Multi-state models for panel data: The msm package for R. 38(8):1-28 * Herzog, SA, Blaizot S, Hens N (2017) Mathematical models used to inform study design or surveillance systems in infectious diseases: a systematic review. BMC Infectious Diseases. 17:775-785.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 283850
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2065445

    Electromagnetic fields affect a variety of tissues (e.g. cardiac, muscle, nerve and skin) and play important roles in a multitude of biological processes (e.g. angiogenesis, cell division, cell signaling, nerve sprouting, prenatal development, and wound healing), mediated by a variety of subcellular level changes, including protein distribution, gene expression, metal ion content, and action potential. This basic science has inspired further research into the development of electrically conducting devices for biomedical applications including bioactuators, biosensors, drug delivery devices, cardiac/neural electrodes, and tissue scaffolds. It is particularly noteworthy that there are already a number of FDA approved devices capable of electrical stimulation of the body, including: pacemakers (bladder, cardiac, diaphragmatic and gastric), electrodes for deep-brain stimulation (for the treatment of dystonia, essential tremor and Parkinson's disease), spinal cord stimulators for pain management, vagal nerve stimulators for seizure/hiccup management, devices to improve surgical outcomes for cervical fusion surgery for patients at a high risk of non-fusion, and non-invasive devices to stimulate bone growth. Polymer-based materials are ubiquitous in everyday life, and conducting polymers (CPs) are currently being investigated for a wide variety of biomedical applications (the most commonly employed CPs are derivatives of polyaniline, polypyrrole and polythiophene [e.g. poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene - PEDOT]). CPs are attractive for the preparation of biomaterials due to their simple synthesis and modification, which facilitates the tuning of their bulk and surface chemistry that governs their physicochemical properties. However, the preparation of clinically relevant CP-based tissue scaffolds with biomimetic chemical, mechanical and topological properties is still challenging, and this PhD project aims to address some of these aspects with a view to the development of organic electronic biomaterials for short term applications, for example: drug delivery systems capable of controlling the chronopharmacology of the drug in line with the chronobiology of the condition to be treated; and tissue scaffolds capable of stimulating cells for implantation in damaged tissues.

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