27,747 results for ResearchSpace@Auckland

  • It???s not them, it???s us! Why computer science fails to impress many first years

    Hoda, Rashina; Andreae, P (2014)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    High attrition and failure in first year computer science and software engineering courses has often been linked to the personal traits and skills of students -- dividing the world into those that "get it" and those "that don't". We present several concrete strategies based on the recently developed Learning Edge Momentum (LEM) theory, which when applied together, were found useful in reducing failure rates. Based on the our experiences, we challenge our current understanding of attrition and failure in first year courses and dare to claim that maybe it's not them, it's us that is the problem.

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  • Math Tutor: An interactive android-based numeracy application for primary education

    Masood, Zainab; Hoda, Rashina (2014)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    With growing exposure of children to handheld and mobile devices, there is an increasing interest in exploring the use of mobile technology for educational purposes. In particular, touch-based devices seem to promise great potential in this domain. In this paper, we present Math Tutor -- an Android-based application designed to help children learn and practice early numeracy addition and subtraction (take away) as well as help teachers monitor and review children's progress, with support for English and M??ori languages. We describe the design and development process, features of the application, and the results of a usability evaluation. This project takes a step towards creating interactive platforms required for educating the upcoming generation of digital natives.

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  • Engineering Musculoskeletal Tissue: In vitro and in vivo evaluation of novel scaffolds and growth factors for bone regeneration

    Gao, Y (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Introduction: The management of bony non-unions and large bone defects due to congenital deformities, trauma, degenerative disease, and oncological resection remains a complex challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. Currently, autologous bone grafting is the ???gold standard??? treatment for non-unions and large bone defects because it is the only material that is osteoconductive, osteoinductive and osteogenic. Whilst effective, autologous bone grafting is limited by the finite amount of bone that can be safely harvested and by the unacceptably high complication rates. Aim: The aim of my research was to evaluate a number of growth factors and scaffolds that have the potential to be used as clinically applicable bone graft substitutes. Methods: A systematic method was adopted in the evaluation of bone graft substitutes. Novel materials were first tested using in vitro methods to assess cytocompatibility, proliferative effects and osteoinductive potential on osteoblasts. Bone graft substitutes demonstrating potential were then tested in vivo using our rat critical-sized calvarial defect model. Findings: In total, we evaluated five bone graft substitutes, including bone dust (autologous material), lactoferrin (growth factor), MHC-Cal??? (xenograft), PHB-HV and Gellan gum/hydroxyapatite (scaffolds). Bone dust showed promise as a proliferative agent and osteoinductive material. Lactoferrin demonstrated potent bone regenerative effects in our rat critical-sized calvarial defect model. Whilst the scaffolds (MHC-Cal???, PHB-HV and Gellan gum/HA) demonstrated anabolic effects in vitro, their therapeutic potential failed to translate into our rat critical-sized calvarial defect model. Conclusion: Our research lends further insight on the therapeutic potential for a range of bone graft substitutes for bone regeneration. The two materials with the most potential from our research are bone dust and lactoferrin. Further studies are required to translate any significant findings into the clinical setting. It is hoped that with advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine techniques, once formidable clinical entities ??? large bony defects and bony non-unions can be overcome.

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  • The evolution of global politics and the pacific settlement of international disputes, 1794???1907

    Barber, Christopher (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The nineteenth century witnessed a major effort amongst key historical actors at applying international arbitration to settle a range of questions between states. An increasingly globalized public sphere took great interest in arbitration and how it might be used to supplant war in what they called the ???civilized??? world. At the fin de si??cle, these two elements came together at the peace conferences at The Hague in 1899 and 1907 when diplomats institutionalized arbitration through the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This thesis examines the various contexts in which the great powers employed arbitral mechanisms in order to highlight the pivotal role arbitration played as a tool of diplomacy in this globalizing age. Moreover, it investigates the political motivations behind the eventual systematization and institutionalization of arbitration. Chapter 1 explores both the pre???nineteenth???century history of pacific settlement as well as the early development of arbitration in the opening stages of the nineteenth century. Chapter 2 analyses the ways that arbitration played a confidence???building role in the increased complexities of nineteenth???century great power politics. Chapter 3 explains how imperial powers employed arbitration to regulate their relations with non???Western governments, particularly in terms of demarcating and delimiting the boundaries of their colonies in Africa and Asia. Following on, chapter 4 examines private claims arbitration, particularly in the developing capital markets of Latin America. Chapter 5 considers how internationalist and peace movements in the west co???opted the idea of arbitration in the latter half of the nineteenth century, providing an impetus to institutionalize and systematize pacific settlement. Finally, chapter 6 considers the motivating factors as well as the impediments behind the negotiations at the two Hague conferences for the advancement of pacific settlement. The following six chapters demonstrate how the enhanced use of legal mechanisms in the nineteenth century were part of the changing vision of modern diplomatic and legal practice. At the same time, the expansion of pacific settlement represented the primary vehicle for states to implement greater structural changes in the international system for the sake of peace and progress.

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  • The Development of Novel Biocomposites from Waste Derived Biochar

    Das, Oisik (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Sustainability and safety along with acceptable mechanical properties are the cornerstones for the development of contemporary industrial products. Due to this, polymer composites are manufactured with bio-based materials instead of synthetics. However, these 'biocomposites' often lack the required mechanical properties and are also very susceptible to fire. This necessitates the application of new bio-based materials which are inherently robust, resistant to fire and promote utilisation of wastes. Besides, the amount of organic wastes in New Zealand would be about 7 million metric tonnes by 2020 and if not managed effectively, these wastes would contaminate the air, land, and water. Therefore, it is critical to reduce, reuse, and recycle these wastes to curb pollution, save energy, and conserve resources. These organic wastes could be converted into a carbon-based porous solid material called 'biochar' through the process of pyrolysis (i.e. heating at high temperatures without oxygen). Conventionally the distinct properties of biochar are mostly used for filtration, contaminant removal, and soil amendment. Hence, to simultaneously impart versatility in biochar's application and create a new product, this research attempted to manufacture biochar based biocomposites. It was envisaged that the addition of biochar in composites would enhance certain properties while reducing the synthetic polymer content, concurrently. Initially, suitable manufacturing conditions (both process and material) were attempted to be identified. Polypropylene (PP) based composites were manufactured through the processes of compounding and compression moulding with numerous loading amounts of biochar. A loading amount of 24 wt% was found to be the most desirable for enhanced mechanical properties. After that, the material properties of six diverse waste-derived biochars were analysed using the technique of nanoindentation among others. The hardness and modulus of the high temperature biochar (made at 900??C) were determined to be 4.3 and 25 GPa, respectively, which also produced composites with desirable mechanical properties. In addition, it was observed that nanoindentation of individual constituents could be used to predict the bulk mechanical properties of the composites. Following this, an attempt was made to find suitable bio-based reinforcements (for biochar based composites) and measure the fire performance (also mechanical) of the resulting composites. The wood based composite was found to possess the best balance between mechanical and fire properties among the other biomasses. Two different fire retardants (ammonium polyphosphate and magnesium hydroxide) were applied to composites made from the most suitable type and loading amount of biochar (made at 900??C and 24 wt%, respectively) and biomass (wood). The amounts of biochar and the wood were varied to accommodate each of the fire retardants. As expected it was seen that having more biochar than wood was beneficial for fire properties (e.g. peak heat release rates, limiting oxygen indices). However, the higher proportion of biochar (than wood) compromised the mechanical properties of the composites albeit not significantly. The production costs were reduced by a significant 18 % when biochar was added to the composites. This is because the amount of costly coupling agent (here maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene) in the composite could be reduced from usual 3 wt% to 1wt %, in conjunction with biochar, without compromising the performance properties (both mechanical and fire). Finally, the pure effect of just biochar on PP was investigated wherein it was observed that that increasing amount of biochar enhanced the tensile/flexural moduli and flexural strengths of the resulting composites. Furthermore, the peak heat release rates were decreased and the amount of thermal residues increased as a result of biochar application in the composites. This PhD research has demonstrated that wastes can be converted into a value-added product of biochar whose application in polymeric composites makes them stronger, more fire resistant, cheaper, and can simultaneously promote sustainability. Therefore, biochar being inexpensive, renewable, and having attractive physical properties aptly fits into the paradigm for new industrial, economic, and social development where it can be used to both mitigate wastes and create novel and improved composite products.

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  • Power Management for Multiple Pickup IPT Systems

    Chen, Liang (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis presents the development of power management strategies for a multiple pickup IPT system such that the power supply capacity can be safely reduced without compromising system integrity. Currently multiple pickup IPT systems usually use power supplies with capacities at or above the sum of all pickups??? rated power such that the system is never overloaded. However this approach is expensive in itself and the work presented in this thesis helps reduce the overall system costs. In order to safely reduce the power supply capacity, an understanding of its impact on the pickups is required. This thesis presents a statistical analysis to describe the aggregate power profile in a multiple slow-switching pickup IPT system. Analytical expressions for two parameters have been derived to describe the characteristics of the overloading. Using this knowledge, the optimal power supply capacity can then be chosen ??? to maximize cost saving and minimize any impact on the pickups for the intended applications. Two novel power management controls have been proposed for the two popular load regulation methods used in materials handling applications, namely: fast-switching and slow-switching. The proposed controls can temporarily stop power transfer to some pickups during an overloading instance such that the power supply capacity can be safely reduced. The IPT frequency is used as the communication channel, removing the need for an extra communication system and therefore requiring minimal adjustments to normal system configurations. It can easily be implemented on existing systems. Experimental results show that both proposed controls are valid under various loading conditions. A new roadway IPT system using a ???double-coupled system??? (DCS) has been proposed to resolve many of the limitations faced by other currently proposed roadway IPT systems. The proposed system introduces an ???intermediary coupler circuit??? (ICC) with frequency changing capability between the primary track and each ground transmitter pad such that individual charging sections on the roadway can be controlled independently and only turned on when required to minimize unwanted magnetic leakage fields. The proposed system provides isolation between the power supply and all of the ground transmitter pads, and allows the power supply to run at a lower frequency and feed power to a large number of pads, while the power transfer takes place locally (directly under the vehicle) at a higher frequency. The system can also potentially reduce the impact of dynamic EV powering on the electrical grid at times of traffic congestion. A laboratory scale prototype system has been constructed and tested. The intermediary coupler achieved an efficiency of 92.5% at an output power of 5kW with full system operability. Based on the proposed DCS, potential power management strategies have also been investigated for this dynamic EV powering application. A suitable strategy is proposed which uses a large energy storage capacitor in the ICC to help provide peak power transfer to the EVs while at the same time only requiring a much lower average power transfer from the power supply, therefore allowing cost saving in the power supply and the primary track. By selecting appropriate ICC capacitor values and input power ratings, the proposed strategy requires no active control during normal operation and completely prevents overloading of the power supply, by design.

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  • Queer Assemblage Thinking: Governing Sexual Others in Contemporary Turkey

    Kramer, Paul (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    In this thesis, I argue that queer identity is an assemblage. I demonstrate that heterogeneous actors, institutions, and productions are responsible for making queers knowable, tangible, and governable. Yet these processes are uneven, affecting different queers differently, are resisted, and change all the time. It is not simply that institutions (for example, the state) control queer lives and that they resist. Rather, everyday life, public encounters, banal objects, and subjective and physical experiences result in unique power relationships between queers and institutions. I support these claims by developing lines of governmentality theory, assemblage thinking, and queer theory. I apply these ideas to the case study of queer and trans people in contemporary Turkey. I draw upon archival and interview data to explore the ways the queers are materialized and the political consequences of these constructions. The first part of the thesis explores the genealogy of heteropatriarchal state-making, historically situating the embeddedness of the disavowal of queer others across Turkish institutions. The next two chapters explore the processes and components which give rise to the idea of queer and trans bodies, focusing on how institutions interact to define and marginalize queer others. I consider how the family, the state, Turkish Islam, and media establish negative understandings of queer bodies. I also explore how queer resistance emerges from this assembled experience of marginalization. This is demonstrated in my final chapter, wherein I consider the Gezi Park uprisings of 2013 as a kind of ???queer common,??? or a renegotiation of the queer assemblage. The queer common exemplifies the possibilities for resistance created alongside institutional acts of power. As an assemblage itself, this thesis foregrounds the fluctuating relationships between queer others and local, national, and global processes.

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  • Songs in blue for the damned of the earth

    Fala, Tony (1999)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis aims to situate four of Amiri Baraka's poetry collections--Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, The Dead Lecturer, Black Magic, and Hard Facts--alongside Frantz Fanon's model of development of the colonised intellectual. This development study of Baraka' s life and work adopts a broader geographical and political framework than much of the previous commentaries to see what insights Baraka's poetry may offer to other communities forced to deal with racist and other forms of oppression. This thesis will argue Fanon' s paradigm offers a useful means to understand Baraka as outsider, who in times of social upheaval struggles to 'decolonise' himself, then return to, and decolonise, his people. This can be seen as a type of quest for personal, cultural and national identity. The concept of identity formed around W. E. B. Dubois's 'veil' of split consciousness will be central to the work, as it provides a dynamic for understanding the poet's continuous battles to find a meaningful place for himself and his people??-- analogous issues for all colonised peoples. Assuming Fanon' s polemical and dialectical stance, the thesis proposes to chart Baraka' s career as a poet as it moves through assimilation, transition, nationalism, and Marxism, in relation to the 'mother culture' in which he develops as a person and a poet. Larger political conflicts form a counterpoint to the development of what Fanon calls 'the native intellectual', who is inspired by, and inspires in return, his people.

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  • Colin George Vucetich (1918???2007)???pioneering New Zealand tephrochronologist

    Lowe, DJ; Tonkin, PJ; Neall, VE; Palmer, AS; Alloway, Brent; Froggatt, PC (2008-02)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Tephrochronology

    Lowe, DJ; Alloway, Brent (2014)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Antipsychotic prescribing and rehospitalisation in schizophrenia: A New Zealand study

    Dey, Sangeeta (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Aims Schizophrenia is a chronic illness, with approximately two-thirds of patients experiencing relapses, often with rehospitalisation. Treatment with antipsychotic medications reduces the relapse rate. Despite half a century of antipsychotic drug availability, doubts remain regarding the translation of research findings into day-to-day practice or into clinical practice guidelines. This study therefore aimed to explore this efficacy???effectiveness debate by examining prescribing correlates of rehospitalisation in a large cohort of treated patients. Method Four hundred and fifty-one inpatients discharged with diagnoses of schizophrenia or related disorders in three distinct New Zealand districts between July 2009 and December 2011 were tracked until December 2013. Utilising a national mental health database, rehospitalisation rates and duration were thus obtained for two years following discharge. Discharge variables including treatment history were obtained from clinical records and individual clinicians. Results In contrast to treatment guidelines, relatively many (34%) were prescribed multiple antipsychotics and fewer (20%) than expected received clozapine. M??ori were prescribed clozapine more frequently (24%) than non-M??ori (13%). Compulsory treatment was associated with the use of more long-acting injectable medications than in voluntary patients. Clinician characteristics did not predict prescribing patterns. Nearly half (44%) of the cohort were rehospitalised within two years. Those with a longer (> 3 weeks) index admission (HR = 0.53, p = 0.001) were less likely to be rehospitalised, as were older patients (> 50 years) (HR = 0.58, p = 0.04). Those subject to compulsory treatment appeared more likely to be rehospitalised (HR = 1.3, p = 0.06) and spent more time rehospitalised (p = 0.05). Antipsychotic types, routes and dosages were not significantly associated with rehospitalisation, except in the case of clozapine (HR = 0.61, p = 0.01). Conclusion Observed prescribing practice aligned with existing guidelines, except for antipsychotic polypharmacy and clozapine underutilisation. Only the latter appeared to be ethnically influenced. Rehospitalisation rates were higher for patients under the age of 50 and for those with shorter index admissions. Other than the beneficial effect of clozapine, the type and route of prescribed antipsychotics did not significantly affect rehospitalisation rates. This study does not support any claimed advantages of second-generation over first-generation antipsychotics.

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  • Peptide-Assisted Intracellular Drug Delivery for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

    Kang, Weirong (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain tumour. The current treatment for glioblastoma is particularly challenging since the tumour is highly infiltrative and has a diffuse growth nature. Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a promising therapy to selectively damage glioblastoma tissues. The major hurdle for successful BNCT is the requirement for tumour-targeting intracellular delivery of 10B. Sodium borocaptate (BSH) is a clinically approved hydrophilic boron compound with high 10B content but low cellular permeability and tumour-specificity. Nano-sized PEGylated liposomes have been extensively investigated as an effective drug carrier to confer improved tumour targeting. Recently, peptide-functionalised delivery strategies, including conjugated drug molecules or liposomal carriers, have been highlighted for specific intracellular drug delivery. Aim: The overall aim of this thesis was to develop peptide-assisted strategies along with liposomal carriers to specifically deliver sufficient 10B to glioblastoma cells, and therefore enhance the efficacy of BNCT. A cell-penetrating peptide Xentry and a cell targeting peptide cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-tyrosine-cysteine (c(RGDyC)) were utilised as ligands which were conjugated on the PEGylated liposome surface. The intracellular delivery and tumour-targeting effects were systemically investigated. Methods: Xentry (leucine-cysteine-leucine-arginine-proline-valine-glycine) was first investigated as a carrier for BSH through chemical conjugation. Xentry was synthesised through Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis and functionalised with a maleimido group, prior to conjugation with BSH via a Michael Addition reaction. The structures of the products were identified using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF MS) and high resolution electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HRESIMS). An isocratic high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was developed for the simultaneous analysis of BSH and the BSH-Xentry conjugate, an ion-pairing reagent was used to confer a desirable retention time for the hydrophilic compound BSH. The composition of mobile phase was optimised using a multiple linear regression model. This HPLC method was validated for rapid analysis of BSH for the formulation development in this project. An optimised PEGylated liposome consisting of DPPG, cholesterol and DSPEPEG2000 at molar ratio of 6.5: 3: 0.5 was developed for BSH delivery. Two different preparation methods, microencapsulation vesicle and thin-film hydration (with freezethaw) methods, were explored to achieve optimal liposomes stability and encapsulation efficiency of BSH. Thereafter, Xentry was utilised as a vector on the surface of the resulting PEGylated liposomes with an aim to enhance the intracellular delivery of BSH. Xentry was conjugated to liposomes via either the side chain of cysteine (XS-LP) or N-terminus (XN-LP). The biocompatibility of the liposomes was assessed by haemolysis assay. Fluorescence intensity quantification and confocal microscopy using calcein (10 mM) loaded liposomes were employed to study the cellular uptake and the internalisation mechanism of XS-LP and XN-LP on a human glioblastoma cell line, U87. To address the limited glioblastoma-specific tissue accumulation as well as the poor cellular penetration of BSH, a novel approach to dual-target glioblastoma vasculature and tumour cells was hypothesised. Expression of integrins, ??v??3 in U87 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), representing tumour angiogenesis, was determined using Western Blotting with a human pancreatic carcinoma cell line (MIA PaCa-2), a human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and a mouse macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 as references. PEGylated liposomes were functionalised with a integrin ??v??3 ligand c(RGDyC) peptide (c(RGDyC)-LP) to exploit the overexpression of integrin ??v??3 in both tumour vasculature and tumour cells of glioblastoma. The cellular uptake of c(RGDyC)-LP on those cell models was investigated through fluorescence microscopy and intensity quantification. An in vitro BNCT study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of BSH containing c(RGDyC)-LP for glioblastoma treatment. Neutron irradiation to the liposome treated cells was conducted in the OPAL reactor in Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Cell viabilities were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay at multiple time point after the irradiation. Results and discussion: The BSH-Xentry conjugate was successfully synthesised with a yield of 54.5% and high purity (94%). An HPLC method for simultaneous analysis of BSH and BSH-Xentry conjugate was established with the use of the ionpairing reagent tetrabutylammonium hydrogensulfate. The retention times of the two analytes were found to be functions of mobile phase composition presented by a multiple linear regression model within the range of aqueous phase volume fraction from 43% to 52% and organic solvent ratios (methanol/acetonitrile) from 1.11 to 9.4. The HPLC method selected for BSH provided a rapid analysis (10 min) and was validated to be highly reproducible and reliable. PEGylated liposomes consisting of DPPG, cholesterol and DSPE-PEG2000 (6.5: 3: 0.5, molar ratio) with desirable size (100-130 nm) was developed for BSH delivery. This formulation was demonstrated to be suitable for BSH encapsulated liposomes as chemical interaction between BSH and the lipid membrane was found to be negligible. Compared with microencapsulation vesicle method, liposomes prepared by thin-film hydration method exhibited a higher encapsulation efficiency of BSH (reached the theoretical maximum, 6%) via passive loading, a slower drug release rate (75% within 8 h versus 91% within 3 h in microencapsulation vesicle method), and minimal drug leakage observed over 2 months (< 5%). Additionally, different freeze-thaw treatments showed similar effects on the liposome properties. The above PEGylated liposomes were successfully conjugated with Xentry in two different ways. XS-LP and XN-LP showed uniform size at 123.6 ?? 0.5 nm and 138.9 ?? 0.3 nm, respectively. Both liposomes induced negligible haemolysis (below 1.5%) at the lipid concentration up to 0.25 mg/ml, suggesting they had good biocompatibility. Xentry modification on the liposome surface did not significantly increase the cellular uptake as hypothesised. Nevertheless, the results of liposome cellular uptake on U87 cells suggested that peptide conjugation site could significantly affect the cargo internalisation with XN-LP achieving a two-fold increase in cellular uptake compared to XS-LP. Interestingly, a direct translocation, thiol-mediated pathway was found to be involved in the cellular uptake of XN-LP which has free thiols on liposome surface. The Western Blotting results showed that both U87 and HUVEC had stronger expression of integrin ??v??3 than other investigated cell types, MIA PaCa-2, MCF-7 and macrophage RAW 264.7, supporting our hypothesis of simultaneous dualtargeting of both tumour vasculature and tumour cells of glioblastoma through the design of c(RGDyC)-LP. The optimal condition for conjugation of c(RGDyC) to the liposome surface was found to be incubation for 24 h at 22 ??C; extending the incubation time or changing temperature did not lead to further increase of c(RGDyC) attachment. The degree of cellular uptake of c(RGDyC)-LP correlated with the ??v??3- expression levels of the cells. In contrast, control liposomes without c(RGDyC) showed comparable cellular uptake on different cell types. In the in vitro BNCT study, the c(RGDyC)-LP containing BSH generated more rapid and significant lethal effects to both U87 and HUVEC than the control liposomes or BSH solution. Interestingly, after exposure to neutron irradiation two different types of subsequent cell death, necrosis and apoptosis, was observed in U87 and HUVEC cells, respectively. Conclusion: The cell-penetrating peptide Xentry may not to be the ideal carrier for BSH considering the duration of synthesis, whilst it could be used as a vector by conjugating through its N-terminus to enable liposomal cargo internalisation via direct translocation. Integrin ??v??3 was demonstrated to have a high expression level on both glioblastoma and its vasculature cells, laying a foundation for a new dual-targeting strategy using this ligand c(RGDyC). The c(RGDyC) peptides functionalised liposomes developed in this thesis were demonstrated to have the potential to specifically deliver boron to glioblastoma and its vasculature cells, addressing the major limitation of poor tumour accumulation of 10B which is required in successful BNCT.

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  • Screening Composite Mediascapes: Materiality and Mediatised Space in Contemporary Cinema

    Kirby, Jennifer (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis examines the experience of inhabiting composite material/mediatised space through the lens of contemporary cinema. More specifically, it explores how films that parallel the increasing prominence of ubiquitous media and augmented reality technologies in real life offer fresh approaches to issues of embodiment, materiality and subjectivity that differ from those offered by a set of earlier and well-analysed science fiction narratives, exemplified by The Matrix (The Wachowski Siblings, 1999), which used cyberspace as their defining metaphor. While some of the films analysed here directly address technology, I contend that even those that do not explicitly allude to ubiquitous media explore composite, layered spaces through their usage of elements such as colour, symbolic graphics and music. These films offer a vision of a composite space characterised less by parallel levels of reality, associated with a binary dualism between body and mind, than by intertwined layers of embodied material and mediatised space; as such these more recent films require scholarly attention in order to revisit and update existing analysis of cinematic remediation of contemporary mediated experience. The films collectively demonstrate the characteristics required to inhabit and negotiate composite layered spaces successfully, such as the ability to distribute one???s subjectivity between several perceptual channels and to multiply one???s self across spaces and networks whilst maintaining a sense of cohesive bodily and subjective integrity. The thesis argues that these films approach the issue of how composite material/mediatised spaces may provide a liberating opportunity to extend one???s spatial agency and thus have more control over the mental negotiation of material/mediatised environments, but may conversely threaten agency as users??? proprioceptive/digital subjectivity becomes fragmented. In this way, composite space may subsume mental and bodily agency, even whilst offering the promise of complete customisation and personalisation of one???s environment. The films analysed offer diverse and contradictory perspectives on this issue. The thesis is made up of close textual analysis of a range of mostly twenty-first century films sourced from both science fiction and other diverse genres, which are unified by their focus upon the potential of composite space to extend and/or fragment bodily and subjective agency.

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  • Electroglottography based techniques in the analysis of age related changes in the adult male voice

    Bier, Stephen (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Ageing produces audible changes in voice quality. This thesis aims to describe the creation of new methodologies for measuring changes in voice quality and to develop them in the context of analysing how ageing affects voice quality. Electroglottography (EGG) is a method of examining vocal fold behaviour that uses the changing electrical resistance across the larynx during voiced speech to determine the extent of contact between the vocal folds. Electroglottographic recordings were made of 30 male speakers divided evenly into two age categories; young (20-26 years) and old (56-71 years). Each speaker was recorded reading the Rainbow Passage, producing sustained vowels at varying target pitch and loudness levels, and reading hVd word lists. In order to quantify differences in the dynamic behaviour of the vocal folds between the two age groups, algorithms were developed to find cycle by cycle values for both the fundamental frequency and contact quotient from the electroglottographic waveform. For the sustained vowels, this allowed calculation of the perturbation of both the fundamental frequency and contact quotient. For the Rainbow Passage and hVd words, the discrete cosine transform was used to model the transient changes in fundamental frequency and contact quotient. Age-related changes found in the measures derived from the electroglottographic waveform depended on the type of phonation. For all three types of elicitation, contact quotient was significantly lower for older speakers. The F0 was found to be higher for older speakers in the two reading tasks, but not significantly so in the case of sustained vowels. The perturbation of the contact quotient in the sustained vowels was significantly higher for the older speakers, and proved a stronger indicator of age-related voice quality changes than the perturbation of the F0. The discrete cosine transform analysis of the fundamental frequency and contact quotient contours in the hVd vowels showed age dependent and vowel dependent differences. Electroglottography proved to be a useful method of analysing vocal fold behaviour, and the results of this thesis have shown the perturbation of the contact quotient and contours of the contact quotient to each be effective for different types of voice elicitation.

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  • Electroplating of Black Nickel Composite Coatings

    Sharifi, Marzieh (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Black nickel coatings have specific properties which make them a suitable choice for different applications. Different processes are used to produce black nickel coatings which alter coating properties accordingly. These coatings are often electroplated over a sublayer like bright nickel to enhance their properties. Despite high industrial demand, not many works have been reported in improving black nickel coatings properties other than optical properties. Therefore, the electrodeposition of black nickel composite coatings with a main focus on mechanical properties improvement for jewellery and decorative applications has been systematically studied in this thesis. These articles need to keep good appearance in terms of blackness and shininess, and not degrade easily. The composite coating electrodeposition method was selected for mechanical properties enhancement as many studies on electroplating nano-composite coatings with both matrix and fine particle dispersion, have shown superior properties. The traditional method to obtain nano-composite coatings is direct addition of solid nanoparticles into the electroplating solution. However this method increases the tendency for particle agglomeration in the solution. To overcome this issue a sol technology has been applied to minimise agglomeration of nanoparticles. By adding transparent sol solution to the electrodeposition solution, sol solution can in-situ transform to solid nano-particles and immediately be surrounded by an ionic cloud. These ionic clouds transport particles to the cathode, resulting in deposition of a highly dispersive nano-composite coating. In this study, sol technology has been applied to black nickel electrolyte to produce black nickel composite coatings. This research is divided into two major phases. Phase (I) is a feasibility study of two novel sol-enhanced black nickel composite coatings by electroplating on nickel plated brass substrate. The electroplating was done from black nickel solutions after 12.5 ml/l TiO2 sol and ZrO2 sol were added individually. Their properties were compared with traditional black nickel coatings. Based on phase (I) results, TiO2 sol addition was chosen for a more detailed study in phase (II). In this part, process parameters were optimised for electroplating black nickel composite coatings with enhanced properties. Different concentrations of TiO2 sol were added to the electroplating solution at different pHs to evaluate the properties of the black nickel coatings. The solution pH was lowered to break down particles and to decrease agglomeration. Due to the lower deposition rate at low pH, black nickel coating thickness was low, and consequently the substrate interfered with the coating analysis. Therefore, thicker coatings were electroplated by prolonging the electroplating time in order to compare the coatings at a similar condition in terms of the substrate effect. Nickel plated brass substrate was also replaced by copper for phase (II) experiments as copper did not interfere with the coating analyses using XRD and EDS. Black nickel solutions and coatings characteristics were evaluated by different analysis instruments. Mechanical properties including hardness, scratch resistance and wear were studied using two different nanoindentation machines and a wear tester. Surface imaging was also performed using AFM and Hysitron nanoindentation instruments. Colour and shininess of the black nickel coatings were studied using Machine Vision. The EDS analysis revealed that nickel, zinc and sulphur are the main constituents of black nickel coatings. Substrate and metallic nickel in the coating are the main factors affecting the coating reflectance properties. Blackness is also affected by zinc and sulphur contents. In phase (I), all three coatings showed similar blackness and shininess visually. Later on a more detailed study of colour and reflectance confirmed that the black nickel coatings??? appearance did not change by TiO2 sol addition at pH = 5.5. Corrosion resistance evaluation by potentio-dynamic polarisation analysis showed a great improvement for both black nickel-TiO2 and black nickel-ZrO2 composite coatings by 12.5 ml/l sol additions. Black nickel coating electroplated from TiO2 sol added solution is a composite coating as ICP-MS results confirmed the consumption of titanium during electrodeposition of the black nickel coatings. Particle size measurement confirmed that TiO2 sol mainly contained ultra-fine particles (< 4 nm). TiO2 sol showed different interactions with different electroplating solutions based on bath chemistry and properties. TiO2 sol addition to the traditional black nickel solution and Watts nickel bath resulted in partial agglomeration of white TiO2 particles, which was more severe for the black nickel solution at the same sol concentration addition. Experiments revealed that zinc chloride is the main solution ingredient encouraging agglomeration. EDS analysis also supports the hypothesis that zinc ions are the preferred metal ions surrounding TiO2 particles. Nanohardness and scratch resistance results showed improved mechanical properties for both black nickel-TiO2 and black nickel-ZrO2 composite coatings. Black nickel-TiO2 showed better mechanical properties in comparison with traditional black nickel and black nickel-ZrO2 composite coatings. A large variation in mechanical property measurements was observed for the black nickel-ZrO2 composite coating. The pop-in events observed in the Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM) of the three coatings affirms a laminar structure in the black nickel coatings. Depending on the applications of the black nickel coatings, different combinations of mechanical/optical properties are achievable by changing process parameters. Best hardness improvement was obtained by 12.5 ml/l TiO2 sol addition, lowering pH to 4, and prolonging electroplating time to 20 minutes. At this condition, hardness was improved by 18% whereas wear resistance remained almost unchanged, but the blackness decreased and reflectance increased. To have both hardness and wear resistance improvement with no optical property changes in comparison with traditional black nickel coating, 12.5 ml/l TiO2 sol should be added to electroplating solution of pH = 5.5 for 10 minutes electroplating. At this condition hardness and wear resistance improved about 8% and 33% respectively, in comparison with the traditional black nickel coating. Different wear mechanisms have been observed for black nickel coatings, including abrasion wear, adhesive wear and delamination. The wear and scratch resistance tests showed similar results. By adding 12.5 ml/l TiO2 and ZrO2 particles to the coating, scratch resistance showed a great improvement of ~ 40%. Lowering pH to 4 decreased the deposition rate, consequently titanium incorporation was low. It is hypothesised that at lower concentrations of TiO2 sol addition at pH = 4, less agglomeration of particles compensated for lower zinc deposition. As the TiO2 sol concentration increased, TiO2 become more prone to agglomeration. Together with the lower zinc deposition rate, this caused less TiO2 incorporation into the coating. Morphology analysis of the black nickel coatings revealed a spherical nodular microstructure. Black nickel and black nickel-TiO2 composite coatings showed an ultra-fine microstructure and very smooth surface with nano-structured topography. TiO2 and ZrO2 sol-enhanced composite coatings showed more refined, uniform and compact microstructure and smoother surface in comparison with the traditional black nickel coating. The Black nickel-TiO2 composite coating had the finest microstructure in comparison with the black nickel-ZrO2 composite coating and the traditional black nickel coating. Solution pH change had a great influence on optical properties of the coatings. Increasing pH resulted in blacker and less shiny coatings.

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  • An Innovative Exploration of Engagement using Participant Observation in an Outdoor Adventure Youth Development Programme

    Burnett, Freya (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Previous research has demonstrated inconsistencies in Youth Development (YD) programme effectiveness, with some evaluations revealing null or even damaging effects. A number of scholars argue that as a critical change mechanism engagement can enhance positive outcomes for youth. Nevertheless, engagement is an elusive, emergent and multi-faceted concept which can be difficult to measure. Incorporating theory-driven direct observation methods, the current research uses Immersive Participant Observation (IPO) to explore the complexity of youth engagement in an Outdoor Adventure (OA) component of a New Zealand-based YD programme. The researcher lived alongside the programme participants for the full duration of a three-week OA component for two different deliveries of the multi-site YD programme. Observational data were recorded as field notes detailing the experiences of 24 youth participants (12 in each case) and their facilitators. Using thematic analysis, the field notes were examined and the factors that influence engagement and disengagement were identified at the group and the individual level. To ascertain an in-depth view of the unique experience of the participants??? engagement, narrative reports were developed depicting each participant???s trajectory of engagement and the factors that influenced each participant???s trajectory. Three trajectories of engagement were identified across the 24 participants. The thematic analysis revealed a number of similarities as well as contradictions between the current research and the literature. These similarities and contradictions provide support and additional insights regarding factors that influence youth engagement and disengagement, such as the observation that being given autonomy appeared to influence both concepts depending on the context. Furthermore, the findings provide evidence regarding the importance of measuring at engagement at both a group and an individual level. Finally, the novel IPO methodology highlights the importance of observational methods in gaining a deeper understanding of complex phenomena in YD programmes and in other settings. Overall, the knowledge generated from the research contributes importantly to our understanding of engagement from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Implications for YD theory, research and practice are discussed.

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  • Weight Regain Following Sleeve Gastrectomy

    Lauti, Melanie (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Aim To decrease weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy. Methods A mixed methods approach was used to address the study aim. All study populations were taken from Counties Manukau Health patients who had undergone sleeve gastrectomy. The following studies were conducted: 1. Systematic review of weight regain specifically following sleeve gastrectomy in relation to its definition, rate and aetiology 2. Retrospective review of the cohort of first sleeve gastrectomy patients to investigate the significance of weight regain 3. Focus group discussions with patients who had experienced weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy to understand the patients??? perspective 4. Randomised controlled clinical trial of an intervention to reduce weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy developed using the knowledge gained from the previous studies. Results Systematic review identified several definitions for weight regain employed in the literature. Rates of reported regain ranged from 6% at two years to 76% at six years and varied according to the definition used. Five causes for weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy were identified. These were technical factors contributing to sleeve size, sleeve dilatation, ghrelin levels, follow???up support and maladaptive lifestyle behaviours. Applying the range of identified definitions to the cohort of first sleeve gastrectomy patients demonstrated the significant effect non???standardised definitions have on reporting clinical outcomes. The rates of regain ranged from 9% to 91% when these different definitions were applied to this same group of patients. Focus group discussions with almost 40 weight regain patients who had undergone sleeve gastrectomy at least two years prior also identified a lack of follow???up support, maladaptive eating and exercise behaviours as important factors contributing to weight regain. In addition, patients described non???traditional methods of increased support, such as text messaging, as appropriate delivery methods for follow???up care. Based on these findings, a text message intervention was designed to reduce weight regain and implemented at the time of discharge from the bariatric service. Following one year of receiving a daily text message, patients tended to have less weight regain, though this did not reach statistical significance, and a significantly better Bariatric Analysis and Reporting Outcome System score than those randomised to standard care. Conclusion Weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy is an important and common, but not well understood, phenomenon. The lack of standardised reporting has significant effects not only on understanding weight regain but also on reporting patient outcomes. Despite this, both patients and clinicians have identified maladaptive behaviours and a lack of follow???up support as important contributors to weight regain. Targeting interventions to these factors appears to be promising for reducing weight regain and improving patient well???being.

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  • Low-damage gravity rocking connection for multi-storey moment frame buildings

    Jamil, Mamoon (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    A review of the literature showed the lack of a truly effective damage avoidance solution for timber or hybrid timber moment resisting frames (MRFs). Full system damage avoidance selfcentring behaviour is difficult to achieve with existing systems due to damage to the floor slab caused by beam-elongation. A novel gravity rocking, self-centring beam-column joint with inherent and supplemental friction energy dissipation is proposed for low-medium rise buildings in all seismic zones where earthquake actions are greater than wind. Steel columns and timber beams are used in the hybrid MRF such that both the beam and column are continuous thus avoiding beam-elongation altogether. Corbels on the columns support the beams and generate resistance and self-centring through rocking under the influence of gravity. Supplemental friction sliders at the top of the beams resist sliding of the floor whilst dissipating energy as the floor lifts on the corbels and returns. 1:20 scale tests of 3-storey one-by-two bay building based on an earlier iteration of the proposed concept served as proof-of-concept and highlighted areas for improvement. A 1:5 scale 3-storey one-by-one bay building was subsequently designed. Sub-assembly tests of the beam-top asymmetric friction sliders demonstrated repeatable hysteresis. Quasi-static tests of the full building demonstrated a ???flat bottomed??? flag-shaped hysteresis. Shake table tests to a suite of seven earthquakes scaled for Wellington with site soil type D to the serviceability limit state (SLS), ultimate limit state (ULS) and maximum credible event (MCE) intensity corresponding to an average return period of 25, 500 and 2500 years respectively were conducted. Additional earthquake records from the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquakes we included. A peak drift of 0.6%, 2.5% and 3.8% was reached for the worst SLS, ULS and MCE earthquake respectively whereas a peak drift of 4.5% was reached for the worst Christchurch record for tests in the plane of the MRF. Bi-directional tests were also conducted with the building oriented at 45 degrees on the shake table and the excitation factored by 1.41 to maintain the component in the direction of the MRF. Shear walls with friction slider hold-downs which reached similar drifts to the MRF were provided in the orthogonal direction. Similar peak drifts were reached by the MRF in the bi-directional tests, when the excitation was amplified as intended. The building self-centred with a maximum residual drift of 0.06% in the dynamic tests and demonstrated no significant damage. The member actions were magnified by up to 100% due to impact upon return of the floor after uplift when the peak drift reached 4.5%. Nonetheless, all of the members and connections remained essentially linearelastic. The shake table was able to produce a limited peak velocity of 0.275 m/s and this limited the severity of several of the ULS, MCE and Christchurch earthquakes, especially the near-field records with a large velocity pulse. The full earthquakes with uncapped velocity were simulated in a numerical model developed in SAP2000. The corbel supports were modelled with the friction isolator link element and the top sliders were modelled with a multi-linear plastic link element in parallel with a friction spring damper. The friction spring damper simulated the increase in resistance with increasing joint rotation and a near zero return stiffness, as exhibited by the 1:5 scale test building. A good match was achieved between the test quasi-static global force-displacement response and the numerical model, except a less flat unloading curve in the numerical model. The peak drift from the shake table tests also matched well. Simulations were also run for the full velocity earthquakes, including vertical ground acceleration and different floor imposed load scenarios. Excessive drift was predicted by the numerical model for the full velocity near-field earthquakes at the MCE intensity and a rubber stiffener for increasing the post joint-opening stiffness was found to limit the drift to 4.8%. Vertical ground acceleration had little effect on the global response. The system generates most of its lateral resistance from the floor weight, therefore increasing the floor imposed load increased the peak drift, but less than it would if the resistance of the system did not increase due to the additional floor load. A seismic design procedure was discussed under the framework of the existing direct displacement-based design method. An expression for calculating the area-based equivalent viscous damping (EVD) was derived and a conservative correction factor of 0.8 was suggested. A high EVD of up to about 15% can be achieved with the proposed system at high displacement ductility levels if the resistance of the top friction sliders is maximised without compromising reliable return of the floor after uplift. Uniform strength joints with an equal corbel length up the height of the building and similar inter-storey drifts result in minimal relative inter-floor uplift, except between the first floor and ground. Guidelines for detailing the joint for damage avoidance including bi-directional movement were also developed.

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  • Trust, Information-Sharing and the Doctor???Patient Relationship: A Multi-Method, Empirical-Ethics Study of New Zealand General Practice

    Fitch, SK (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Information-sharing in health care presents opportunities for efficient and effective patient care based on the exchange of high quality information, improved decision making, and increased collaboration and coordination of care across the system. However, it also presents concerns around the control of information and maintaining trust in the privacy, confidentiality and security of information. These concerns reflect the difficulty in balancing how to share information in ways that protect the interests of the individual and any overriding interests of the public. This thesis reports on research exploring trust and information-sharing between patients and General Practitioners (GPs) in New Zealand using a multi-method, empirical-ethics approach. This combines a critical realist theoretical perspective with critical applied ethics. The findings from two empirical studies outline expectations that GPs ensure patient privacy and confidentiality, only sharing information as necessary or appropriate. While levels of trust in health professionals and organisations are high, patient knowledge and awareness of the rules and practices around information-sharing are low. Further these matters are not often discussed between GPs and patients, and patients are not concerned by this. Patients showed little concern about information being shared within the health system or with health professionals, but had concerns about the potential implications of third-party sharing. While some actions may disrupt or breach trust there are ways that GPs can seek to rebuild trust with patients. The findings con rm the importance of trust for the GP{patient relationship and suggests that patients' trust GPs to use and share information when necessary and for their benefit. In an ethical analysis based on Beauchamp and Childress' four principles, this thesis suggests that trust is best conceived as a foundational aspect of what it is to interact with patients in a way that fulfils GPs' obligations. This thesis suggests that an orientation towards building and maintaining trusting GP{patient relationships provides a more robust and relationally focused way of balancing conflicting ethical obligations as exist around information-sharing.

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  • Bonds and Bond Trusts

    Liu, Benchao (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Most corporate bonds are issued under a trust structure. Under a bond trust, the issuer appoints a trustee to act on behalf of the bondholders. This thesis aims to provide a comparative overview of the law of bond trusts in a number of major jurisdictions, and offer some valuable insights into various aspects of the tripartite relationship involving the issuer, the bond trustee, and the bondholders. In particular, this thesis looks at four specific issues. First, this thesis looks into the bond trust regime under New Zealand law and argues that the monitoring duties imposed on bond trustees are too onerous and therefore unlikely to achieve their purposes. Secondly, this thesis analyses the legal nature of the bond trust, and argues that it is fundamentally different from other types of express trust. Accordingly, the trustee???s duties and liabilities should be analysed under a contractual framework in accordance with the presumed intention of the parties. The third issue discussed is the no-action clause contained in standard bond trust deeds. The no-action clause provides that bondholders may not proceed against an issuer unless certain conditions are met. The thesis compares two approaches in interpreting this clause, the expansive approach and the restrictive approach, and argues that the former should be preferred. Finally, this thesis turns to exit consents. The exit consent technique refers to an offer by a bond issuer to all the bondholders to exchange the existing bonds for new bonds or other types of securities, on the condition that the tendering bondholders must consent to a resolution which will amend the terms of the existing bonds so as to make the bonds less attractive. It is submitted that the exit consent does not violate s 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (US), nor the abuse principle under English law.

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