University of Galway Research Repository

Recent Submissions

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    Titim na banríona: Léamh ar an ghearrscéal ‘Nábla agus Paidí’ le Seán ’Ac Fhionnlaoich
    (COMHAR Teoranta, 2020-10-30) Ó Laoire, Lillis
    I gcomhthéacs forléargais ghearr ar an litríocht réigiúnach, mionmhíniú é an t-alt seo ar ‘Nábla agus Paidí’, scéal le Seán ’Ac Fhionnlaoich (1910–1982). Léirítear gur scéal é a tharraingíonn as síshean chas an bhéaloidis agus as tuiscintí an ghearrscéil nua-aimseartha araon. Éiríonn leis an údar casadh nua a bhaint as an ábhar thraidisiúnta lena mhodh reacaireachta. Tig an plota cuid mhaith le finscéal sí faoin fhuadach. San insint agus i struchtúrú an scéil a fheictear tionchar na nualitríochta. Leagtar béim ar phearsantacht agus ar chumas oibre an phríomhcharachtair mná agus ar a cumann lena fear. Nochtar cumann bisiúil sona ach ceann a bhfuil beagán teannais ann a bhaineann lena ceird mar bhailitheoir cnuasaigh trá. Ní thugtar barraíocht sonraí áitiúla agus gluaiseann an insint ar aghaidh go gasta mar a bheadh saighead i dtreo na sprice. Faoina dheireadh, fágtar athrú buan doleigheasta ar na carachtair agus ar a gcumann lena chéile. Tá téamaí na hinscne agus na háite nasctha le tuiscintí an chreidimh sí, cé nach luaitear an focal féin oiread agus uair amháin. Maítear go gonta cosúlachtaí le gearrscéalta áirithe mara de chuid Liam Uí Fhlaithearta agus Mháirtín Uí Chadhain chomh maith, agus le dráma J.M. Synge, Riders to the Sea. Maítear gurbh fhiú a thuilleadh comparáide a dhéanamh eatarthu. Seoid bheag de scéal é seo nár tugadh faoi deara i gcanóin na critice cheana.
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    Mesenchymal stromal cells from people with osteoporosis are fewer, and defective in both osteogenic and adipogenic capacity
    (Open Exploration, 2024-06-03) Cassidy, Féaron C.; Shortiss, Ciara; Thompson, Kerry; Soriano Arroquia, Ana; Murphy, Colin G.; Kearns, Stephen R.; Curtin, William; Goljanek-Whysal, Katarzyna; O'Brien, Timothy; Coleman, Cynthia M.
    Introduction/Purpose: Osteoporosis is caused by imbalanced bone remodelling homeostasis. It is highly prevalent, especially in post-menopausal women, resulting in high risk of fracture and morbidity. MSCs are osteoblast progenitors, and orchestrate the function of surrounding cells including osteoblasts. Understanding MSC phenotype and function is therefore critical in discerning the aetiology of osteoporosis and developing superior therapies. Currently, adequate long-term therapeutic strategies are not available. Methods: Bioinformatic analysis of RNA-seq data revealed differential expression of genes primarily related to osteogenic differentiation and proliferation, followed by confirmatory in vitro analysis. Results: This study identified novel (P2RY6, AJAP1, ARHGAP32, EPHB6, TEP1, HAUS5, WAVE and Reelin) and previously proposed targets (PRKG1, EFNB2, c-Fos, OXTR, SMOC1, NPR3 and TEP1) for therapeutic intervention in osteoporosis. Functional assessment demonstrated reduced MSC number and osteogenic capacity associated with osteoporosis. Proliferation was not affected but osteoporosis was unexpectedly associated with a reduction in MSC adipogenic differentiation capacity, correlating with donor age. Conclusions: These data indicate specific targets for further studies of future treatments for osteoporosis, including the assessment of modified MSCs as therapeutics. Advances in this area may contribute to reducing fracture-associated morbidity and mortality, and improving quality of life for the 200 million people living with osteoporosis globally.
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    A biodesign process – Identifying an unmet need in the recurrence of aspiration pneumonia in people with late-stage Parkinson’s disease
    (University of Galway, 2024-06-14) Donegan, Breege; Kraśny, Marcin Jan
    This thesis discusses some of the challenges of recurring aspiration pneumonias in people with conditions like late-stage Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neuron Disease. A description of the experience of needs-finding in the clinical area of Respiratory & Anaesthesia during clinical immersion, filtering, needs refinement, market analysis, and solution ideation during the BioInnovate program is presented. A thorough literature review revealed that aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death for people with Parkinson’s disease, and stakeholders want a solution. Some suggestions for the future work and challenges of this project are discusses further. While this thesis contributes to the understanding of unmet needs in the recurrence of aspiration pneumonias, it also highlights the value of using the Biodesign process in addressing these unmet clinical needs. The Identify, Invent, Implement stages of the Biodesign process are discussed throughout this thesis, regarding the innovative potential solution direction.
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    The potential for in-situ mineral carbonation in Ireland
    (University of Galway, 2024-06-14) Alexander, Jonathan; Henry, Tiernan; McNamara, David; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
    Industrial decarbonisation, involving hard-to-abate sectors and key carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, necessitates geological CO2 disposal/storage. Geological storage can be performed via solubility and hydrodynamic trapping in sedimentary basins, or alternatively via the novel approach of CO2 mineral trapping in mafic/ultramafic lithologies, known as in-situ mineral carbonation. Ireland currently lacks specific targets for the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS), or CDR technologies. By characterising the geological storage potential of CO2, government targets for CCS deployment will be more easily implemented. Therefore, this thesis involves mapping, screening, ranking, and characterising igneous lithologies in Ireland for CO2 storage via in-situ mineral carbonation. Mapping of the lithologies highlighted 29 groups of geological formations across Ireland, considered as candidate CO2 reservoirs for in-situ mineral carbonation. These geological formations were screened using several criteria covering mineralogical, structural, socioeconomic, and environmental conditions. The ranking process identified the Antrim Lava Group (ALG) flood basalts as the most suitable for mineral carbonation, given their proximity to major power plants in Northern Ireland and sufficient thickness for CO2 injection. The outcropping metagabbro of the Connemara Metagabbro-Gneiss Complex (MGC) emerged as the most promising candidate reservoir in the Republic of Ireland, potentially extending up to 10 km offshore and having high secondary permeability from Connemara metamorphism. The Dawros Peridotite intrusion, despite its small size, was also identified for further study due to its ultramafic composition. Petrology and energy dispersive X-Ray spectrometry (EDS) characterisation were performed for the geochemical characterisation of these three reservoirs. The ALG comprises large glomeroporphyritic forsterite within coarse-crystalline ophitic/sub-ophitic groundmass labradorite and augite, with secondary mineralisation of mostly Ca-rich zeolites. However, forsterite is often altered to iddingsite and variably to clay minerals. The MGC contains highly anorthic plagioclase and magnesiohornblende but shows variable phyllic and propylitic alteration to quartz-sericite-pyrite and epidote-chlorite-albite assemblages, respectively. Lastly, the Dawros Peridotite is altered from its ultramafic protolith to amphibole-serpentine-talc-carbonate facies, indicating serpentinisation and natural carbonation have occurred. Therefore, the methodologies applied to the three formations identify the appropriate mineralogy for mineral carbonation, but secondary alteration products, particularly phyllosilicates and zeolites, will also be incorporated into carbonation reactions where present.
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    Secondary exposure to aerosol emitted during respiratory therapy: An experimental and modelling study for exposure evaluation and control
    (University of Galway, 2024-06-13) O'Toole, Ciarraí; Byrne, Miriam
    Background: Fugitive emissions are defined as medical aerosol released from a nebuliser during respiratory therapy, and include exhaled medicinal aerosol. Fugitive emissions occur during nebulisation of medical drugs used for the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis. However, while the rise in anti-microbial resistance, solely due to exposure of nebulised antibiotics, is a global concern, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding exposure to other aerosolised medication that is used for the treatment of a range of respiratory illnesses. The research conducted in this body of work aims to address this knowledge gap. Methods: In vitro testing of simulated adult and paediatric patients during respiratory therapy was conducted for a variety of clinical and home healthcare scenarios. Firstly, for treatment of non-spontaneously breathing adult patients using a mechanical ventilator, two tidal volumes of 820 and 270 ml, were assessed regarding their effect on fugitive aerosol mass emitted and dispersed. Aerosol mass concentrations were measured at distances of 0.8 m and 2.0 m from the nebuliser, using an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS). The use of exhalation filters to reduce fugitive emissions was also tested. For spontaneously breathing adult and paediatric patients, four nebuliser types, were tested, with a range of interfaces e.g. mouthpieces and facemasks. Over 180 experimental runs, comprising over 36 combinations of patient, nebuliser and interface types, were carried out. Aerosol mass concentrations were measured at 0.8 and 2.0 m. The inhaled dose of the patient was also quantified via UV spectrophotometry. The extent of fugitive emissions was investigated during high flow therapy for spontaneously breathing adult and paediatric patients during high flow nasal cannula usage, and for non-spontaneously breathing patients via tracheostomy. The effect of patient type, interface, additional supplemental gas flow rate and distance (0.8 m and 2.2 m) from the nebuliser on fugitive aerosol emitted was evaluated by mass concentration measurement. Finally, aerosol mass concentrations were analysed and used to calculate emission and removal rates during standard nebulisation procedures. A mass balance model for a single-zone environment was employed, and from this, the potential inhalation exposure was calculated for health care workers (HCWs) and bystanders, depending on distance from the nebuliser, patient type treated, nebuliser and interface used, occupancy level and natural ventilation status of the treatment room. Results: It was confirmed that fugitive emissions are present when a patient uses a nebuliser for respiratory treatment. The tidal volume setting on a mechanical ventilator was found to directly influence fugitive aerosol, with higher tidal volumes (Vt) leading to higher emissions, reported as median (IQR1, IQR3) (0.077 (0.073, 0.091) mg m-3 for Vt =820 ml vs. 0.062 (0.056, 0.065) mg m-3 for Vt = 270 ml), when an exhalation filter was not used. When a filter was employed, fugitive emissions reflect ambient aerosol concentrations. Nebuliser type affects the inhaled dose to the patient, and also the fugitive aerosols available for secondary inhalation by HCWs and bystanders. Vibrating mesh nebulisers (VMN) usage resulted in higher inhaled doses to patients, and lower fugitive emissions, compared to other jet nebulisers tested (e.g. 45.1 (42.6, 45.6)% for VMN vs. 11.0 (10.1, 11.9)% for a small volume nebuliser for an adult patient). Patient type influenced fugitive aerosol concentrations with greater fugitive aerosol evolving from adults than from paediatric patients. Interface selection impacted upon inhaled dose and fugitive emissions, with a mouthpiece delivering higher inhaled dose to the patient and lower fugitive aerosols to the local environment, compared to a facemask (45.1 (42.6, 45.6)% vs 27.5 (26.3, 29.6)%). The practice of filter usage in interface and nebuliser combinations was found to be beneficial, as aerosol emissions were reduced to local ambient aerosol concentrations. During high-flow therapy, interface type, patient type and gas flow rate were all influencing factors on fugitive emissions and it was generally observed that as flow rate increased, the percentage of nominal dose inhaled and fugitive emissions decreased e.g. 5.35 ± 2.81% and 0.302 ± 0.027 mg m-3 for 10 L/min vs 1.01 ± 0.26% and 0.050 ± 0.003 mg m-3 for 60 L/min for an adult patient. Computational simulations predicted that reducing patient occupancy levels and increasing natural ventilation could have a positive impact in reducing potential secondary aerosol exposure to HCWs and bystanders in naturally-ventilated care settings. A maximum reduction of 91% in inhalation exposure to a bystander was seen when increasing the air change rate to 5 hr-1. Conclusion: In conclusion, this work confirms the presence of fugitive aerosol emissions during respiratory therapy of patients using nebulisers. In the most comprehensive study to date, the influencing factors upon fugitive emissions are investigated and inter-compared, and these include nebuliser, patient and interface type, as well as additional gas flow rate and mechanical ventilator parameters; the impact of these factors on potential secondary inhalation exposure of HCWs and bystanders is also evaluated in this research. Based on the experimental research, it is recommended to employ filtration to interfaces and nebulisers where possible, as this is a simple mitigation measure in reducing emissions in a wide range of environments. Careful consideration of nebuliser type and interface used should be made if filtering is not an option. The computational research indicates that decreasing patient occupancy levels within a single zone environment, and additionally, increasing natural ventilation, are also noteworthy mitigation strategies that should be considered in protecting HCWs and family members from inhalation exposure during respiratory therapy in the unregulated homecare environment.