Category Archives: Education

2000 downloads – the wonders of open access!

I avoid publishing our research work in open access journals purely due the cost involved. I was wrong as the letter to my coauthor and top collaborator below demonstrates – open access could well be the future if you want your work read and cited.

What are the important factors when deciding where to publish? Here is a list of 5 factors to consider.

1. Open access or standard pay for access to download and read.
2. The reputation of the publisher. Is it well known, large and in international markets?
3. Impact factor of the journal.
4. The number of readers the journal has or circulation.
5. Does it have wide scope or limited to a small specialist audience

What else do you need to consider if you want your work to be read and cited?


On 18 Sep 2013, at 06:17, Mark Jackson wrote:

Dear Dr. Jackson,

We are pleased to inform you that your paper “Finite Element Analysis of Desktop Machine Tools for Micromachining Applications” has achieved impressive readership results.

The chapter you have published with InTech in the book “Finite Element Analysis – From Biomedical Applications to Industrial Developments” has so far been accessed 2000 times. Congratulations on the significant impact that your work has achieved to date.

The top downloads of your paper are from the following five countries:
USA, India, China, Brazil, Canada’s

More information and statistics regarding your paper can be found on your Author Panel:

If you are interested in additionally disseminating your work, there you will also find the necessary

The book containing your paper can be directly accessed at this link:

We congratulate you once again on your success.
InTech – open science, open minds
Phone: +385 (51) 770 447
Fax: +385 (51) 686 166
Janeza Trdine 9
51000 Rijeka, Croatia


‘No limits in what you can achieve- the significance of self-image’

Countless times I have wondered how we can be successful in every aspect in life, why some of us are and some aren’t. The truth is those who are; know the essentialness of self-image upgrade and update, as well as, that the power behind change of mind is formula for change of life. Bursting the boundaries of our mental limitations and emancipating ourselves of constricting conservative thoughts paves out the expansion of what we are destined to achieve.

Stop, Think, only for a moment, now, write a figure that you want to accumulate in precisely 12 months from now, no limits, no restrictions.

The exact amount will tell you how much value you attribute to yourself in one year, surprising? No? Ask yourself, why did you put that particular figure? Why not one pound, one dollar, or one penny more? (Remove every external factor that your mind is bound by) By this simple exercise which takes less than a few seconds we can astronomically shift the poles of our self-image and accomplish anything. There are no limits in what you can achieve… 

‘Character equals destiny’- Heraclitus, Greek philosopher


Inspired by- The Secret – Ask and Its Given- The Instat Millionaire

Life after a PhD

That momentum which has kept me going all these months has abruptly come to an end. Whilst most people in my situation would be filled with elation. The lack of mental stimulation and pressure has left me in a dazed haze. For I find myself at a loss as to what to do with my endless time. In many ways, I truly am a person who needs a ‘project’. Thus, my advice to anyone who is nearing the end of their tenure as a PhD student is to maintain their momentum have ‘projects’ and ideas set in motion as they finish. The burning desire to command and conquer will fizzle out in all certainty extremely quickly if not directed at something, this much I know now. Fortunately, I have found an outlet for my unused energy in the form of a new and exciting project which I will reveal in due course.

My Supervisor, my guide, Professor thank you for everything.
Myself and the distinguished Professor Waqar Ahmed

PhD opportunities

Bioactive Molecules Group


Range of oppotunities within the growing area of nano medicine 

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Great tips for interview success

This is a guest post by Mary Tait


To further your aims and get that all important starting letter through your door you must make a good impression at interview. Your personality as well as your abilities will undoubtedly be taken into account. Many employers will use the information gained from your Curriculum Vitae to ask questions and try and relate the tasks and experience as well as your achievements to their needs. So it is important that your talents are focused to fit with what the prospective employer seeks.

Employers can get as anxious at interview as prospective employees, so do keep this in mind and try not to let your nerves take over. To help you and them relax many employers may start their interview process on a friendly note generally beginning with such topics as the weather or your journey. From this he may be able to judge whether or not you chat too much or whether or not you are able to cut to the point of the interview without being unfriendly. Nerves can cause you too chat too much so do try and keep them under control. Try and talk directly to the point.

The company may have set guidelines regarding the questions that they ask at interview so if you have a close friend who is working there, there is no harm in asking them for advice.

Remember too that at interview people who make eye contact are seen as trustworthy. Don’t stare though as this will just alarm the interviewer.

Try and avoid asking the interviewer personal questions that are irrelevant to the position you are seeking, but remember too that interviewers like to feel important. 


To assess a candidate’s skill a recruiter may ask you how you organise things. Think about how you organise your daily workload, your filing system or a project and explain to him how it has maximised the potential of your time management. 

Problem Solving
Some employers may ask you how you solve problems. They may be interested in your
analytical or customer service skills. Have a think about how you have solved problems in the past and what the outcome has been. The recruiter may give you a hypothetical problem and ask you how you would solve it… be ready. 

Communication is key in all manner of positions. Before the interview has even begun the recruiter may be already assessing your communication skills. Be clear! The way you dress will communicate your appearance. The way you sit will communicate whether you are seen as tidy or slovenly. Communication skills can say all manner of things about you before you even open your mouth. However, once the interview has begun the recruiter may further assess your communication skills through the spoken word. Can you talk confidently on the phone? Many people can’t! He will be testing your efficiency in communicating and relating information clearly and confidently. He may also ask if about your writing skills and if you have written reports he may be
interested in seeing some of them. Remember too that listening is an all important part of communication. 

Team Work and Social Standing
The recruiter will need to assess whether or not you will get on with the rest of the taskforce. Superiors, colleagues and subordinates, internal and external agencies. Do you work better as part of a team or on your own initiative? Are you a team leader? How would you lead a team? How would you handle a problem with a colleague who wasn’t pulling his weight? 

Decision Making
Dependent on the position you are seeking this may be a make or break question. How well do you manage difficult decision? How quickly can you implement them? How do you reach a decision?

More help on interviews coming soon……
Phone: 0345 370 9940


What is the first step in getting your dream job?

This is a guest post by Mary J Tait

Job Applications 

By all means apply for a position or positions relevant to your job goals. Experience is just as important, if not more important than qualifications. After all what is a qualification but a measure of your knowledge in your specific area. The two things go hand in hand.

Applying for Jobs or Starting on your own? 

Communicate effectively, show enthusiasm, keep motivated. It can be a hard slog if you are up hundreds of other graduates. However do keep in mind that the guy with the highest score may not necessarily want the same position as you never mind apply for it.

Think seriously about where you want to be in 5 or 10 years time and work towards it. Some graduates do start up their own companies whilst in University, or soon after they leave. This is all well and good, however, a little experience in working for someone else first will help you overcome many problems you encounter when working for yourself.

If you are starting up on your own you may have difficulty in finding funding. Have a look on the internet at “Crowd Funding”. Although you may not be able to get the funding for the project you want setting up a community project via this source may well help raise your profile and acumen for setting up a business. It may give you valuable leads, however it will also give you invaluable experience.

Believing in yourself is have the battle. Believe you can get the position you desire and you will. Believe in yourself – act positively and pro-actively. If you cannot convince yourself you are ready for a position how can you convince an employer?

Some companies may allow you to shadow a specific role for a day or two and although this may not earn you the salary you had hoped for it will help boost your confidence and give you an insight into how a specific company does things. It is also something to add to your CV. As long as it is in the same field as you wish to work it shows that you are committed to achieving your goals and whose to say what will happen once you are on site. You may be asked for your opinion on something – use your integrity when answering and remember…

Employers like to be thought of as intelligent even if they don’t have a degree.
Perhaps some of them are not managing their workforce as productively as they could – be very, very tactful if you know better!

Writing your CV 
Consult a specialist like us. Honestly, it is the best thing you can do. After all we have been writing CVs since 1973 and have been acknowledged as specialists since 1996.

As CV writers we will be able to promote you to best effect; maximising your opportunities in winning through the interview selection process and giving you loads of help and tips on interview follow up processes.

Be a winner! Call Mary J Tait, Senior CV Specialist and Consultant today on 0845 370 9941 for a FREE no obligation quote! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

MSc in Nanomedicine


The Institute of Nanotechnology and Bioengineering, Postgraduate School of Medicine and Dental Education is offering a new MSc course in Nanomedicine designed to enhance your knowledge, understanding and experience of how nanotechnology is revolutionising the world of medicine. If you are in the medical field the MSc will boost your career prospects. It also provides an ideal platform for a higher degree such as PhD and MD.  For details on how to apply go to the link below

MSc in Nanomedicine at UCLAN

How will nanotechnology change your life, health and environment? Lancashire Teachers Science Conference

How is nanotechnology affecting your life now? How will your world change with the latest development in nanotechnology? Can you live to be 100 years old? Will nanotechnology allow you to have new heart, lungs and kidneys?

I am delighted to be invited as a keynote speakers at the Lancashire Science Teachers Conference. I will be talking about the innovative work being done in the UCLAN Institute of Nanotechnology and Bioengineering and the latest developments in the field of nanotechnology. Come and join me

Lancashire Science Teachers Conference

Do you want the toy or the bone? Research productivity

Are you fully focused on what you are doing? Are you using your innate ability to the maximum? How can you get the best out of yourself and your time?

Just a few days ago I was working with a student on a very tight deadline. He was obviously extremely stressed out about his progress and ability to complete the work on time. If he misses the deadline he will have to pay £3,000. The imminent  deadline and the prospect of the penalty should focus his mind like a laser and shut out all distractions. However, during our discussions he kept answering the phone, checking for text messages or quickly answering text. This was annoying and made me lose focus several times from important messages I was trying to convey. Despite my commitment to support my desire to help diminished every time there was an interruption.

This reminded me of a time earlier in the year when I visited my best friend Steven and his dog Slim. Steven offered Slim a bone. Slim was highly excited and desperately wanted the bone but did not want to drop the toy he had in his mouth to get the bone.

“Slim you can’t have both the bone and the toy at the same time” Steven said.

We are also like Slim. I am no exception. My desire to check text messages and e-mails is all consuming. I can’t resist the urge. We try to stay on top of e-mails and texts whilst trying to write a research paper or a thesis chapter. We are not willing to let go to focus on the gold. We are crap at communicating because we are talking to a friend and whilst texting. Just like Slim I often sit in front of the TV reading a research paper. When I think about my behaviour it is stupid but I try to be clever and justify it by saying I am spending quality time with my family. My wife is an excellent cook and spends hours preparing meals for us. Like an idiot instead of really enjoying and appreciating the meals I am planning tasks for the next day. Even when I go out for a romantic meal with the most important person in my universe I am thinking about work. How sad is that?

What a tragic life?  I should practice what I preach however just like Slim I want to have two things in my mouth at the same time. In my younger days I used to think  I can hold several things in my mouth. That’s a big fantasy and we all think we can do several things at once. Your mouth might be moving but can you really taste the food. You are switching back and forth from one things to another. If you don’t focus your mental laser how can you burn a hole in the most important task you are trying to do now. You must focus on one thing at a time. We all know that and as kids we used magnifying glass to focus rays of the sun to burn holes in paper. We know the value of focus but don’t practice it.

If you focus on the one most important task now that you love then you’ll be in heaven. If you do that you will be living a full screen 3D multicolour life. Focus on one thing at a time and let it consume 100% of your attention. You will love it and achieve amazing results.  Let everything else fade away.

For example, when I write I go to full screen mode and hide all the editing icons. The only thing I see is the text. This eliminates distractions and lets me focus on writing. I am more productive.  You can do this with anything. If you eat then just eat and enjoy the deliciousness of the food. If you are talking to a friend then really enjoy the company and turn off the phone. If you are surfing the net then just do that and nothing else. If you go to the movies with the love of your life then squeeze as much joy and happiness as you can from your time together.  

For students, if you are in the laboratory doing experiments then give that 100% attention. If you writing your transfer report focus exclusively on that. If you are reading a research paper then only do that. Don’t be like Slim trying to play with the toy and keep the bone in your mouth.  You will do better with only one thing in your mouth. Give 100% of your attention. Put your mind in a full screen mode.  You’ll have more fun and be more productive.  Let everything else fade into the background. This is simple in principle but it is far from easy. You need to develop your concentration muscle. You can only do that progressively. If you set a task to write for 4 hours in one go you’ll be bitterly disappointed. Start small or nano. Begin by doing 15 minutes at a time and then build up slowly. Add only 5 minutes next time and work up to 45 minutes stints. Have a break and repeat. It is much easier to do four 45 minutes sessions than one long writing marathon. Practice will help build your focus muscle. Start now and practice.

I practice meditation and at first even one minute of undivided focus on my breathing was so hard. Try it for yourself. Now after years of daily practice I can manage 30 minutes. If you let go of the toy you’ll really be able to taste the bone. Hopefully we are little smarter  than Slim. Smart thinking is single thinking in full screen mode. 

Development of Liposomal Salbutamol Sulfate Dry Powder Inhaler Formulation


Wen-Hua HUANG, Zhi-Jun YANG,* Heng WU, Yuen-Fan WONG, Zhong-Zhen ZHAO, and Liang LIU

Summary by Sneha Subramanian

In this experiment, liposome formulation containing Salbutamol sulphate (SBS) is prepared in dry powdered form. This formulation is used in DPI for the treatment of asthma. Asthma is a pulmonary disease which can be treated with the drug SBS. It is widely used for the treatment of various pulmonary diseases like bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is given in the form of injections, oral dose and aerosol. When taken orally or as injection, SBS is digested by the enzymes in the liver. These routes are not used these days. Inhalation is the best method as drug is directly deposited in the pulmonary track. By conventional delivery of SBS by earosols, it shows the effect in 5-15 minutes, but it is not prolonged. It needs to be repeated in every 4-6 hours. There is therefore a need to improve the dosage to show a prolonged effect and improve the treatment strategy

Delivery of SBS using liposome is more preferred due to its capacity of sustained release. Liposomes have no side effect and it effects the drug’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. It enhances the drug uptake by delaying drug clearance. It’s surface viscosity prolongs the release of entrapped drug and decreases its clearance from the pulmonary track. Ry powdered inhaler (DPI) is used for the aerosol delivery of SBS.  In this study liposomal formulation is studied to treat asthma.

In this experiment the phospholipid gel was prepared using different mass ratios of SPC and aqueous SBS (160.1mg/ml) as 1:1 to 1:3. They were mixed together and allowed to swell in water bath at 60° for 2 hours.  This mixture was then stirred with a homogeniser until it formed a semisolid vesicular phospholipid gel (VPG) these VPGs were again allowed to swell in water bath at 60° for 2 hours.  These VPGs are hydrated with water and cryoprotectant solutions to form liposomal dispersions. The encapsulation efficiency of different concentration of SPC is shown in the graph below.

Encapsulation Efficiency of SBS in SPC VPG Liposome Suspensions, prepared Using Different SPC Concentrations

Different kinds of cryoprotectants like sucrose, mannitol, lactose and glucose were used for the lyophilisation of VPGs. Different ratios of cryoprotectants like 1:1 to 1:6 were used and frozed at -20°. These frozen mixture was then put in freeze dryer  for 48 hours to get liposomal powder. The temperatire in freeze dryer is -50° and vacuum was 133×10-3 mBar. The encapsulation od SBS using different ratios of cryoprotectant was calculated and shown in the table below.

After the preparation of different kind of liposomes using various ratios of cryoprotectants, their invitro deposition profile were studied. The formulation giving different entrapment of drug SBS according to table.1 was selected. All the cryoprotectants- lactose, sucrose, mannitol and trehalose were prepared in their optimal mass ratios of SPC. The resultant porous cake was sieved through 400 mesh sieves. These sieved liposome powder was then mixed with 1:5 ratio of lactose. The invitro deposition studies of these 4 formulation of liposome and cryoprotectant was studied using twin stage impinger. The fine particle fraction (FPF) was determneind for all 4 formulations. Lactose was selected as the most appropriate cryoprotectant among the 4 cryoprotectants used.

Further the effects of different amount of lactose was studied (63-106µm). The process of preparation was similar- 1:1 to 1:7 ratios of lactose and liposome powder was used. FPF of each formukation was determined.

In this experiment, Micron centrifugal filter device was used to determine encapsulation efficiecy. The liposome preparation was centrifuged for 15mins at 17400 x g, 6°C. UV spectrophotometer at 276nm was used to determine the concentration of SBS after being diluted with 1450µl of ethanol. Encapsulated drug in liposome was determined by destroying liposomal membrane by adding 1450µl ethanol to 50µg of liposomal suspensions. The following formule was used.

Encapsulation efficiency = ( total drug- encapsulation drug) x 100%

                             Total drug

Twin stage impinge was used for this purpose. 7ml and 30ml of capturing was used in upper and lower stage respectively. Aspinhaler was used as a delivery device with flow rate of 60/ml for SBS for 10 capsules. The SBS calculated after the washing of these chambers were used for the determination of SBS. HPLC was used for this purpose at 276nm. A 25cm x 4.6mm C18 column was used. Mobile phase consists of acetonitrile: water (10:90) with sodium dihydrogen phosphate 30mmol/l. The pH of mobile phase is 3.5 with 1.0 M phosphoric acid. The column temperature was 25°C. The amount of SBS collected in lower stage of impinge was calculated and the results were expressed in percentage of FPF of actual dose.

In this experiment, a series of SPC concentration from 250-500 mg?g was used to investigate its effect on encapsulation. It was seen that encapsulation efficiency increased with the increased concentrations of SPC. This maybe due to following reason- when VPG was hydrated with aqueous medium, the amount of drug entrapped in the control core remained entrapped while those between the vesicular layers was released. This encapsulation efficiency is determined by the ratio of core volume and not to overall aqueous space in VPG. It was also observed that after 400mg/g the encapsulation increases much as the vesicle would have reached the maximum of the total volume of all aqueous compartment. Hence, 400mg/g of SPC concentration was considered as optimum amount and was used for further studies like the inhaler test.

It was observed that the structure of liposome was best performed by 1:4 of SPC to lactose. The encapsulation efficiency of SBS was 80.71% before lyophilisation and 44.35 after dehydration rehydration. Hence, lactose was selected as cryoprotectant in the further studies. HPLC was used to determine SBS content before and after sieving and was found to be same. This indicated that drug was not lost during lyophilisation.

The optimum concentration of cryoprotectant was determined as it affected the structural and functional integrity of liposomes. It also effected the leakage of  SBS from liposomes. When 400mg/g was used and then hydrated by lactose solution of 1:4 of SPC: lactose ratio, the entrapment was found to be 80.71. this was found to be very much higher than just using deionised water. This concluded that cryoprotectants helped to preserve the structural and functional integrity of liposome during hydration. In in vitro release study, it was observed that SBS in liposomal formulation showed prolonged release. It was concluded that lipsome helped the drug to be released gradually and eventually.

It was concluded by the preparation of VPG SBS liposome with a high entrapment (more than 80%). This was also stabilised by lyophilisation using cryoprotectants and used in inhalers for ashtama. 4000mg/g of SPC content in VPG and 1:5 ratio of lactose as cryoprotectant carriers was concluded as the bet formulation. Sustained release of SBS due to liposome was also achieved.