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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2013 2019


Several debilitating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury, are characterized by the damage or loss of neuronal cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can proliferate extensively and differentiate into the various neuronal subtypes and supporting cells that comprise the CNS. As such, hNPCs have tremendous potential for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine applications. However, the use hNPCs for the study and treatment of neurological diseases requires the development of defined, robust, and scalable methods for their expansion and neuronal …

Contributors
Varun, Divya, Brafman, David, Nikkhah, Mehdi, et al.
Created Date
2016

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are defined by the loss of several types of neurons and glial cells within the central nervous system (CNS). Combatting these diseases requires a robust population of relevant cell types that can be employed in cell therapies, drug screening, or patient specific disease modeling. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) have the ability to self-renew indefinitely and differentiate into the various neuronal and glial cell types of the CNS. In order to realize the potential of hNPCs, it is necessary to develop a xeno-free …

Contributors
Morgan, Daylin, Brafman, David, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2018

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia leading to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in United States, and the only one among top 10 death causes that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. An estimated 5.4 million Americans live with AD, and this number is expected to triple by year 2050 as the baby boomers age. The cost of care for AD in the US is about $200 billion each year. Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of an effective treatment or …

Contributors
Tian, Huilai, Sierks, Michael R, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) are the leading causes of early onset dementia. There are currently no ways to slow down progression, to prevent or cure AD and FTD. Both AD and FTD share a lot of the symptoms and pathology. Initial symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, mood swings and behavioral changes are common in both these dementia subtypes. Neurofibrillary tau tangles and intraneuronal aggregates of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) are also observed in both AD and FTD. Hence, FTD cases are often misdiagnosed as AD due to a lack of accurate diagnostics. Prior to …

Contributors
Venkataraman, Lalitha, Sierks, Michael R, Dunckley, Travis, et al.
Created Date
2018

Synthetic biology is a novel method that reengineers functional parts of natural genes of interest to build new biomolecular devices able to express as designed. There is increasing interest in synthetic biology due to wide potential applications in various fields such as clinics and fuel production. However, there are still many challenges in synthetic biology. For example, many natural biological processes are poorly understood, and these could be more thoroughly studied through model synthetic gene networks. Additionally, since synthetic biology applications may have numerous design constraints, more inducer systems should be developed to satisfy different requirements for genetic design. This …

Contributors
Hu, Hao, Wang, Xiao, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2016

Monitoring complex diseases and their comorbidities requires accurate and convenient measurements of multiple biomarkers. However, many state-of-the-art bioassays not only require complicated and time-consuming procedures, but also measure only one biomarker at a time. This noncomprehensive single-biomarker monitoring, as well as the cost and complexity of these bioassays advocate for a simple, rapid multi-marker sensing platform suitable for point-of-care or self-monitoring settings. To address this need, diabetes mellitus was selected as the example complex disease, with dry eye disease and cardiovascular disease as the example comorbidities. Seven vital biomarkers from these diseases were selected to investigate the platform technology: lactoferrin …

Contributors
Lin, Chi En, La Belle, Jeffrey T, Caplan, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2018

Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the U.S., accounting for nearly 140,000 deaths per year. Heart transplantation and implantation of mechanical assist devices are the options of last resort for intractable heart failure, but these are limited by lack of organ donors and potential surgical complications. In this regard, there is an urgent need for developing new effective therapeutic strategies to induce regeneration and restore the loss contractility of infarcted myocardium. Over the past decades, regenerative medicine has emerged as a promising strategy to develop scaffold-free cell therapies and scaffold-based cardiac patches as potential …

Contributors
Navaei, Ali, Nikkhah, Mehdi, Brafman, David, et al.
Created Date
2018

An in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is required to study the poorly understood molecular mechanisms involved in the familial and sporadic forms of the disease. Animal models have previously proven to be useful in studying familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by the introduction of AD related mutations in the animal genome and by the overexpression of AD related proteins. The genetics of sporadic Alzheimer’s is however too complex to model in an animal model. More recently, AD human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have been used to study the disease in a dish. However, AD hiPSC derived neurons do …

Contributors
Raman, Sreedevi, Brafman, David, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2017

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed tumor phenotypes in high-throughput will allow for rapid targeted drug discovery, development and validation. Ablation of dormant cancer will not only completely remove the cancer disease, but also will prevent any future recurrence. A novel hydrogel, Amikagel, was developed by crosslinking of aminoglycoside amikacin with a polyethylene glycol crosslinker. Aminoglycosides contain abundant amount of easily conjugable groups such as amino …

Contributors
Grandhi, Taraka Sai Pavan, Rege, Kaushal, Meldrum, Deirdre R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Stroke remains the leading cause of adult disability in developed countries. Most survivors live with residual motor impairments that severely diminish independence and quality of life. After stroke, the only accepted treatment for these patients is motor rehabilitation. However, the amount and kind of rehabilitation required to induce clinically significant improvements in motor function is rarely given due to the constraints of our current health care system. Research reported in this dissertation contributes towards developing adjuvant therapies that may augment the impact of motor rehabilitation and improve functional outcome. These studies have demonstrated reorganization of maps within motor cortex as …

Contributors
Warraich, Zuha, Kleim, Jeffrey A, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2013

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first part focuses on obtaining prognostic information at early stages in the case of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in rat animal model using imaging data acquired at 24-hours and 7-days post injury. The obtained parametric T2 and diffusion values from DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) showed significant deviations in the signal intensities from the control and were potentially useful as an early …

Contributors
Annaldas, Bharat Vivek, Kodibagkar, Vikram, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2014

Achieving effective drug concentrations within the central nervous system (CNS) remains one of the greatest challenges for the treatment of brain tumors. The presence of the blood-brain barrier and blood-spinal cord barrier severely restricts the blood-to-CNS entry of nearly all systemically administered therapeutics, often leading to the development of peripheral toxicities before a treatment benefit is observed. To circumvent systemic barriers, intrathecal (IT) injection of therapeutics directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord has been used as an alternative administration route; however, its widespread translation to the clinic has been hindered by poor drug pharmacokinetics …

Contributors
Householder, Kyle Thomas, Sirianni, Rachael W, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2018

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an efficient non-invasive imaging tool widely used in medical field to produce high quality images. The MRI signal is detected with specifically developed radio frequency (RF) systems or "coils". There are several key parameters to evaluate the performance of RF coils: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), homogeneity, quality factor (Q factor), sensitivity, etc. The choice of coil size and configuration depends on the object to be imaged. While surface coils have better sensitivity, volume coils are often employed to image a larger region of interest (ROI) as they display better spatial homogeneity. For the cell labeling and …

Contributors
Wang, Haiqing, Kodibagkar, Vikram, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2014

The research question explored in this thesis is how CRISPR mediated editing is influenced by artificially opened chromatin in cells. Closed chromatin poses a barrier to Cas9 binding and editing at target genes. Synthetic pioneer factors (PFs) are a promising new approach to artificially open condensed heterochromatin allowing greater access of target DNA to Cas9. The Haynes lab has constructed fusions of enzymatic chromatin-modifying domains designed to remodel chromatin and increase Cas9 editing efficiency. With a library of PFs available, this research focuses on analyzing the behavior of Cas9 in chromatin that has been artificially opened by PFs. The types …

Contributors
Hamna, Syeda Fatima, Haynes, Karmella A, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2019

Estrogen-containing hormone therapy (HT) is approved for treatment of symptoms associated with menopause by the Food and Drug Administration. A common estrogen used in HT is 17β-estradiol (E2). Rodent models of menopause, and some clinical work as well, suggest a cognitively-beneficial role of E2. However, as of the 2017 statement released by the North American Menopause Society, HT is not currently advised for use as cognitive therapy in healthy, menopausal women, given that the data so far from existing clinical studies are not yet definitive. Indeed, the delivery of E2 treatment can be optimized to yield more consistent results on …

Contributors
Prakapenka, Alesia, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather, Conrad, Cheryl, et al.
Created Date
2018

Approximately 2.8 million Americans seek medical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of this population, the majority are sufferers of diffuse TBI, or concussion. It is unknown how many more individuals decline to seek medical care following mild TBI. This likely sizeable population of un- or self-treated individuals combined with a lack of definitive biomarkers or objective post-injury diagnostics creates a unique need for practical therapies among diffuse TBI sufferers. Practical therapies stand to decrease the burden of TBI among those who would otherwise not seek treatment or do not meet clinical diagnostic criteria upon examination. For this …

Contributors
Harrison, Jordan Lee, Lifshitz, Jonathan, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2017

Calcium imaging is a well-established, non-invasive or minimally technique designed to study the electrical signaling neurons. Calcium regulates the release of gliotransmitters in astrocytes. Analyzing astrocytic calcium transients can provide significant insights into mechanisms such as neuroplasticity and neural signal modulation. In the past decade, numerous methods have been developed to analyze in-vivo calcium imaging data that involves complex techniques such as overlapping signals segregation and motion artifact correction. The hypothesis used to detect calcium signal is the spatiotemporal sparsity of calcium signal, and these methods are unable to identify the passive cells that are not actively firing during the …

Contributors
Bhandarkar, Siddhi Umesh, Brafman, David, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2019

Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in children. When TBI occurs in children it often results in severe cognitive and behavioral deficits. Post-injury, the pediatric brain may be sensitive to the effects of TBI while undergoing a number of age-dependent physiological and neurobiological changes. Due to the nature of the developing cortex, it is important to understand how a pediatric brain recovers from a severe TBI (sTBI) compared to an adult. Investigating major cortical and cellular changes after sTBI in a pediatric model can elucidate why pediatrics go on to suffer more neurological …

Contributors
Nichols, Joshua, Anderson, Trent, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2015

Modern medical conditions, including cancer, traumatic brain injury, and cardiovascular disease, have elicited the need for cell therapies. The ability to non-invasively track cells in vivo in order to evaluate these therapies and explore cell dynamics is necessary. Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides a platform to track cells as a non-invasive modality with superior resolution and soft tissue contrast. A new methodology for cellular labeling and imaging uses Nile Red doped hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) nanoemulsions as dual modality (Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Fluorescence), dual-functional (oximetry/ detection) nanoprobes. While Gadolinium chelates and super paramagnetic iron oxide-based particles have historically provided contrast enhancement in MRI, newer …

Contributors
Cusick, Alexander, Kodibagkar, Vikram D., Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2014

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most successful target-specific compound available. A more recent addition to discovering highly specific targets is the application of phage display utilizing single chain variable fragment antibodies (scFv). The aim of this research was to employ phage display to identify pathologies related to traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly astrogliosis. A unique biopanning method against viable astrocyte cultures activated with TGF-β achieved this …

Contributors
Marsh, William, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, Caplan, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2013