Conway Institute Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Boosting Polarization Switching-Induced Current Injection by Mechanical Force in Ferroelectric Thin Films
    When scaling the lateral size of a ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM) device down to the nanometer range, the polarization switching-induced displacement current becomes small and challenging to detect, which greatly limits the storage density of FeRAM. Here, we report the observation of significantly enhanced injection currents, much larger than typical switching currents, induced by polarization switching in BiFeO3 thin films via conductive atomic force microscopy. Interestingly, this injected current can be effectively modulated by applying mechanical force. As the loading force increases from ∼50 to ∼750 nN, the magnitude of the injected current increases and the critical voltage to trigger the current injection decreases. Notably, changing the loading force by an order of magnitude increases the peak current by 2-3 orders of magnitude. The mechanically boosted injected current could be useful for the development of high-density FeRAM devices. The mechanical modulation of the injected current may be attributed to the mechanical force-induced changes in the barrier height and interfacial layer width.
      15Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Identifying Sources of Faecal Contamination in a Small Urban Stream Catchment: A Multiparametric Approach
    Small urban streams discharging in the proximity of bathing waters may significantly contribute to the deterioration of water quality, yet their impact may be overlooked. This study focuses on the Elm Park stream in the city of Dublin that is subject to faecal contamination by unidentified sources. The aim of the study was to identify a minimum number of “sentinel” sampling stations in an urban catchment that would provide the maximum amount of information regarding faecal pollution in the catchment. Thus, high-resolution sampling within the catchment was carried out over the course of 1 year at 11 stations. Faecal indicator bacteria were enumerated and microbial source tracking (MST) was employed to evaluate human pollution. In addition, ammonium, total oxidised nitrogen, and phosphorus levels were monitored to determine if these correlated with faecal indicator and the HF183 MST marker. In addition, the effect of severe weather events on water quality was assessed using automated sampling at one of the identified “sentinel” stations during baseflow and high flow conditions over a 24-h period. Our results show that this urban stream is at times highly contaminated by point source faecal pollution and that human faecal pollution is pervasive in the catchment. Correlations between ammonium concentrations and faecal indicator bacteria (FIB) as well as the human MST marker were observed during the study. Cluster analysis identified four “sentinel” stations that provide sufficient information on faecal pollution in the stream, thus reducing the geographical complexity of the catchment. Furthermore, ammonium levels strongly correlated with FIB and the human HF183 MST marker under high flow conditions at key “sentinel” stations. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of pairing MST, faecal indicators, and ammonium monitoring to identify “sentinel” stations that could be more rapidly assessed using real-time ammonium readouts to assess remediation efforts.
      31Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    Cell-based therapy in prophylaxis and treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease
    Hematopoietic allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) is a curative option for patients with hematological malignancies. However, due to disparities in major and minor histocompatibility antigens between donor and recipient, severe inflammatory complications can occur, among which chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) can be life-threatening. A classical therapeutic approach to the prevention and treatment of cGVHD has been broad immunosuppression, but more recently adjuvant immunotherapies have been tested. This review summarizes and discusses immunomodulatory approaches with T cells, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and regulatory T cells, with natural killer (NK) cells and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), and finally with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and extracellular vesicles thereof. Clinical studies and pre-clinical research results are presented likewise.
    Scopus© Citations 4  17
  • Publication
    Methods and criteria for validating the multimodal functions of perinatal derivatives when used in oncological and antimicrobial applications
    Perinatal derivatives or PnDs refer to tissues, cells and secretomes from perinatal, or birth-associated tissues. In the past 2 decades PnDs have been highly investigated for their multimodal mechanisms of action that have been exploited in various disease settings, including in different cancers and infections. Indeed, there is growing evidence that PnDs possess anticancer and antimicrobial activities, but an urgent issue that needs to be addressed is the reproducible evaluation of efficacy, both in vitro and in vivo. Herein we present the most commonly used functional assays for the assessment of antitumor and antimicrobial properties of PnDs, and we discuss their advantages and disadvantages in assessing the functionality. This review is part of a quadrinomial series on functional assays for the validation of PnDs spanning biological functions such as immunomodulation, anticancer and antimicrobial, wound healing, and regeneration.
      14Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    General consensus on multimodal functions and validation analysis of perinatal derivatives for regenerative medicine applications
    Perinatal tissues, such as placenta and umbilical cord contain a variety of somatic stem cell types, spanning from the largely used hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to the most recently described broadly multipotent epithelial and stromal cells. As perinatal derivatives (PnD), several of these cell types and related products provide an interesting regenerative potential for a variety of diseases. Within COST SPRINT Action, we continue our review series, revising and summarizing the modalities of action and proposed medical approaches using PnD products: cells, secretome, extracellular vesicles, and decellularized tissues. Focusing on the brain, bone, skeletal muscle, heart, intestinal, liver, and lung pathologies, we discuss the importance of potency testing in validating PnD therapeutics, and critically evaluate the concept of PnD application in the field of tissue regeneration. Hereby we aim to shed light on the actual therapeutic properties of PnD, with an open eye for future clinical application. This review is part of a quadrinomial series on functional/potency assays for validation of PnD, spanning biological functions, such as immunomodulation, anti-microbial/anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, wound healing, angiogenesis, and regeneration.
      28Scopus© Citations 10