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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.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Single cell analysis has become increasingly important in understanding disease onset, progression, treatment and prognosis, especially when applied to cancer where cellular responses are highly heterogeneous. Through the advent of single cell computerized tomography (Cell-CT), researchers and clinicians now have the ability to obtain high resolution three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of single cells. Yet to date, no live-cell compatible version of the technology exists. In this thesis, a microfluidic chip with the ability to rotate live single cells in hydrodynamic microvortices about an axis parallel to the optical focal plane has been demonstrated. The chip utilizes a novel 3D microchamber design …

Contributors
Myers, Jakrey, Meldrum, Deirdre, Johnson, Roger, et al.
Created Date
2012

The goal of this theoretical study of infrared spectra was to ascertain to what degree molecules may be identified from their IR spectra and which spectral regions are best suited for this purpose. The frequencies considered range from the lowest frequency molecular vibrations in the far-IR, terahertz region (below ~3 THz or 100 cm-1) up to the highest frequency vibrations (~120 THz or 4000 cm-1). An emphasis was placed on the IR spectra of chemical and biological threat molecules in the interest of detection and prevention. To calculate IR spectra, the technique of normal mode analysis was applied to organic …

Contributors
Mott, Adam J., Rez, Peter, Ozkan, Banu, et al.
Created Date
2012

The photosynthetic reaction center is a type of pigment-protein complex found widely in photosynthetic bacteria, algae and higher plants. Its function is to convert the energy of sunlight into a chemical form that can be used to support other life processes. The high efficiency and structural simplicity make the bacterial reaction center a paradigm for studying electron transfer in biomolecules. This thesis starts with a comparison of the primary electron transfer process in the reaction centers from the Rhodobacter shperoides bacterium and those from its thermophilic homolog, Chloroflexus aurantiacus. Different temperature dependences in the primary electron transfer were found in …

Contributors
Guo, Zhi, Woodbury, Neal W, Lindsay, Stuart M, et al.
Created Date
2012

Single molecules in a tunnel junction can now be interrogated reliably using chemically-functionalized electrodes. Monitoring stochastic bonding fluctuations between a ligand bound to one electrode and its target bound to a second electrode ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration) gives insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level, and defines the requirements for reproducible tunneling data. Importantly, at large tunnel gaps, there exists a regime for many molecules in which the tunneling is influenced more by the chemical identity of the molecules than by variability in the molecule-metal contact. Functionalizing a pair of electrodes with recognition reagents (the …

Contributors
Chang, Shuai, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2012

Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), also known as amylin, is a 37-residue intrinsically disordered hormone involved in glucose regulation and gastric emptying. The aggregation of hIAPP into amyloid fibrils is believed to play a causal role in type 2 diabetes. To date, not much is known about the monomeric state of hIAPP or how it undergoes an irreversible transformation from disordered peptide to insoluble aggregate. IAPP contains a highly conserved disulfide bond that restricts hIAPP(1-8) into a short ring-like structure: N_loop. Removal or chemical reduction of N_loop not only prevents cell response upon binding to the CGRP receptor, but also …

Contributors
Cope, Stephanie M., Vaiana, Sara M, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2013

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the observed target molecules. The following work advances the current SPR sensor paradigm for the purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components of SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of measured kinetic rate constants, while sensitivity refers to the target molecule mass limitation …

Contributors
Macgriff, Christopher Assiff, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2013

Solution conformations and dynamics of proteins and protein-DNA complexes are often difficult to predict from their crystal structures. The crystal structure only shows a snapshot of the different conformations these biological molecules can have in solution. Multiple different conformations can exist in solution and potentially have more importance in the biological activity. DNA sliding clamps are a family of proteins with known crystal structures. These clamps encircle the DNA and enable other proteins to interact more efficiently with the DNA. Eukaryotic PCNA and prokaryotic β clamp are two of these clamps, some of the most stable homo-oligomers known. However, their …

Contributors
Ranjit, Suman, Levitus, Marcia, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2013

Single molecule DNA Sequencing technology has been a hot research topic in the recent decades because it holds the promise to sequence a human genome in a fast and affordable way, which will eventually make personalized medicine possible. Single molecule differentiation and DNA translocation control are the two main challenges in all single molecule DNA sequencing methods. In this thesis, I will first introduce DNA sequencing technology development and its application, and then explain the performance and limitation of prior art in detail. Following that, I will show a single molecule DNA base differentiation result obtained in recognition tunneling experiments. …

Contributors
Liu, Hao, Lindsay, Stuart M, Lindsay, Stuart M, et al.
Created Date
2013

The overall goal of this research project was to assess the feasibility of investigating the effects of microgravity on mineralization systems in unit gravity environments. If possible to perform these studies in unit gravity earth environments, such as earth, such systems can offer markedly less costly and more concerted research efforts to study these vitally important systems. Expected outcomes from easily accessible test environments and more tractable studies include the development of more advanced and adaptive material systems, including biological systems, particularly as humans ponder human exploration in deep space. The specific focus of the research was the design and …

Contributors
Seyedmadani, Kimia, Pizziconi, Vincent, Towe, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2013

Photosystem I (PSI) is a multi-subunit, pigment-protein complex that catalyzes light-driven electron transfer (ET) in its bi-branched reaction center (RC). Recently it was suggested that the initial charge separation (CS) event can take place independently within each ec2/ec3 chlorophyll pair. In order to improve our understanding of this phenomenon, we have generated new mutations in the PsaA and PsaB subunits near the electron transfer cofactor 2 (ec2 chlorophyll). PsaA-Asn604 accepts a hydrogen bond from the water molecule that is the axial ligand of ec2B and the case is similar for PsaB-Asn591 and ec2A. The second set of targeted sites was …

Contributors
BADSHAH, SYED LAL, REDDING, KEVIN E, FROMME, PETRA, et al.
Created Date
2014

Mechanical properties (e.g. deformability or stiffness) are critical to a cancer cell's ability to maneuver through and exert forces upon the extracellular matrix, and thus affect its ability to metastasize. §3.1 introduces the experimental method combining atomic force microscope (AFM) based indentation and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). §3.2 presents a method combining AFM and confocal microscopy (AFM stiffness nanotomography), and results on normal and pre-cancerous esophageal cells which indicate that even in the earliest stages, cancer cells exhibit increased deformability. §3.3 presents experimental results on weakly metastatic breast cancer cells that compare well with values obtained from other experimental …

Contributors
Staunton, Jack Rory, Ros, Robert, Lindsay, Stuart M., et al.
Created Date
2014

Cell morphology and the distribution of voltage gated ion channels play a major role in determining a neuron's firing behavior, resulting in the specific processing of spatiotemporal synaptic input patterns. Although many studies have provided insight into the computational properties arising from neuronal structure as well as from channel kinetics, no comprehensive theory exists which explains how the interaction of these features shapes neuronal excitability. In this study computational models based on the identified Drosophila motoneuron (MN) 5 are developed to investigate the role of voltage gated ion channels, the impact of their densities and the effects of structural features. …

Contributors
Berger, Sandra Daniela, Crook, Sharon, Baer, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

Cyanovirin-N (CVN) is a cyanobacterial lectin with potent anti-HIV activity, mediated by binding to the N-linked oligosaccharide moiety of the envelope protein gp120. CVN offers a scaffold to develop multivalent carbohydrate-binding proteins with tunable specificities and affinities. I present here biophysical calculations completed on a monomeric-stabilized mutant of cyanovirin-N, P51G-m4-CVN, in which domain A binding activity is abolished by four mutations; with comparisons made to CVN<super>mutDB</super>, in which domain B binding activity is abolished. Using Monte Carlo calculations and docking simulations, mutations in CVN<super>mutDB</super> were considered singularly, and the mutations E41A/G and T57A were found to impact the affinity towards …

Contributors
Woodrum, Brian William, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2014

Membrane proteins are a vital part of cellular structure. They are directly involved in many important cellular functions, such as uptake, signaling, respiration, and photosynthesis, among others. Despite their importance, however, less than 500 unique membrane protein structures have been determined to date. This is due to several difficulties with macromolecular crystallography, primarily the difficulty of growing large, well-ordered protein crystals. Since the first proof of concept for femtosecond nanocrystallography showing that diffraction patterns can be collected on extremely small crystals, thus negating the need to grow larger crystals, there have been many exciting advancements in the field. The technique …

Contributors
Kupitz, Christopher, Fromme, Petra, Spence, John C., et al.
Created Date
2014

Single molecule identification is one essential application area of nanotechnology. The application areas including DNA sequencing, peptide sequencing, early disease detection and other industrial applications such as quantitative and quantitative analysis of impurities, etc. The recognition tunneling technique we have developed shows that after functionalization of the probe and substrate of a conventional Scanning Tunneling Microscope with recognition molecules ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration), analyte molecules trapped in the gap that is formed by probe and substrate will bond with the reagent molecules. The stochastic bond formation/breakage fluctuations give insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level. …

Contributors
Zhao, Yanan, Lindsay, Stuart, Nemanich, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2014

Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase, commonly known as RuBisCO, is an enzyme involved in carbon fixation in photosynthetic organisms. The enzyme is subject to a mechanism-based deactivation during its catalytic cycle. RuBisCO activase (Rca), an ancillary enzyme belonging to the AAA+ family of the ATP-ases, rescues RuBisCO by facilitating the removal of the tightly bound sugar phosphates from the active sites of RuBisCO. In this work, we investigated the ATP/ADP dependent oligomerization equilibrium of fluorescently tagged Rca for a wide range of concentrations using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Results show that in the presence of ADP-Mg2+, the oligomerization state of Rca gradually …

Contributors
Chakraborty, Manas, Levitus, Marcia, Angell, Charles, et al.
Created Date
2014

This thesis explores a wide array of topics related to the protein folding problem, ranging from the folding mechanism, ab initio structure prediction and protein design, to the mechanism of protein functional evolution, using multi-scale approaches. To investigate the role of native topology on folding mechanism, the native topology is dissected into non-local and local contacts. The number of non-local contacts and non-local contact orders are both negatively correlated with folding rates, suggesting that the non-local contacts dominate the barrier-crossing process. However, local contact orders show positive correlation with folding rates, indicating the role of a diffusive search in the …

Contributors
Zou, Taisong, Ozkan, Sefika B, Thorpe, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2014

Proteins and peptides fold into dynamic structures that access a broad functional landscape, however, designing artificial polypeptide systems continues to be a great chal-lenge. Conversely, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) engineering is now routinely used to build a wide variety of two dimensional and three dimensional (3D) nanostructures from simple hybridization based rules, and their functional diversity can be significantly ex-panded through site specific incorporation of the appropriate guest molecules. This dis-sertation describes a gentle methodology for using short (8 nucleotide) peptide nucleic acid (PNA) linkers to assemble polypeptides within a 3D DNA nanocage, as a proof of concept for constructing artificial …

Contributors
Flory, Justin, Fromme, Petra, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Spider dragline silk is well known for its outstanding mechanical properties - a combination of strength and extensibility that makes it one of the toughest materials known. Two proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2), comprise dragline silk fibers. There has been considerable focus placed on understanding the source of spider silk's unique mechanical properties by investigating the protein composition, molecular structure and dynamics. Chemical compositional heterogeneity of spider silk fiber is critical to understand as it provides important information for the interactions between MaSp1 and MaSp2. Here, the amino acid composition of dragline silk protein was precisely …

Contributors
Shi, Xiangyan, Yarger, Jeffery L, Holland, Gregory P, et al.
Created Date
2014

This study takes biophysics--a relatively new field with complex origins and contested definitions--as the research focus and investigates the history of disciplinary formation in twentieth-century China. The story of building a scientific discipline in modern China illustrates how a science specialty evolved from an ambiguous and amorphous field into a full-fledged academic discipline in specific socio-institutional contexts. It focuses on archival sources and historical writings concerning the constitution and definition of biophysics in order to examine the relationship between particular scientific styles, national priorities, and institutional opportunities in the People's Republic of China. It argues that Chinese biophysicists exhibited a …

Contributors
Luk, Christine Yi Lai, Koblitz, Ann Hibner, Maienschein, Jane A, et al.
Created Date
2014