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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.


Contributor
Date Range
2011 2019


This dissertation features a compilation of studies concerning the biophysics of multicellular systems. I explore eukaryotic systems across length scales of the cell cytoskeleton to macroscopic scales of tissues. I begin with a general overview of the natural phenomena of life and a philosophy of investigating developmental systems in biology. The topics covered throughout this dissertation require a background in eukaryotic cell physiology, viscoelasticity, and processes of embryonic tissue morphogenesis. Following a brief background on these topics, I present an overview of the Subcellular Element Model (ScEM). This is a modeling framework which allows one to compute the dynamics of …

Contributors
Sandersius, Sebastian Ambrose, Newman, Timothy J, Rez, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2011

This thesis describes several approaches to next generation DNA sequencing via tunneling current method based on a Scanning Tunneling Microscope system. In chapters 5 and 6, preliminary results have shown that DNA bases could be identified by their characteristic tunneling signals. Measurements taken in aqueous buffered solution showed that single base resolution could be achieved with economic setups. In chapter 7, it is illustrated that some ongoing measurements are indicating the sequence readout by making linear scan on a piece of short DNA oligomer. However, to overcome the difficulties of controlling DNA especially ssDNA movement, it is much better to …

Contributors
Huang, Shuo, Lindsay, Stuart, Sankey, Otto, et al.
Created Date
2011

A distinct characteristic of ferroelectric materials is the existence of a reversible spontaneous polarization with the application of an electric field. The relevant properties ferroelectric lithium niobate surfaces include a low density of defects and external screening of the bound polarization charge. These properties result in unique surface electric field distribution with a strong electric field in the vicinity of domain boundaries, while away from the boundaries, the field decreases rapidly. In this work, ferroelectric lithium niobate (LN) is used as a template to direct the assembly of metallic nanostructures via photo-induced reduction and a substrate for deposition of ZnO …

Contributors
Sun, Yang, Nemanich, Robert, Bennett, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2011

One of the most important issues in femtosecond free electron laser X-ray diraction is to reconstruct the 3D charge density of molecule from a mass of diraction snapshots. In order to determine the orientation of single molecule from diraction patterns, we rst determine the moments and products of inertia of this from 2D experiment data (diraction patterns or EM images to obtain the elements of the inertia tensor. If diraction patterns from uniformly random orientations or some preferred orientations are collected, the principal axes of the molecule can be extracted, together with the Euler angles which relate the principal axes …

Contributors
Wang, Xiaoyu, Spence, John C.H., Schmidt, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2011

Proteins are a fundamental unit in biology. Although proteins have been extensively studied, there is still much to investigate. The mechanism by which proteins fold into their native state, how evolution shapes structural dynamics, and the dynamic mechanisms of many diseases are not well understood. In this thesis, protein folding is explored using a multi-scale modeling method including (i) geometric constraint based simulations that efficiently search for native like topologies and (ii) reservoir replica exchange molecular dynamics, which identify the low free energy structures and refines these structures toward the native conformation. A test set of eight proteins and three …

Contributors
Glembo, Tyler, Ozkan, Sefika B, Thorpe, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2011

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion current through these devices is about 2 orders of magnitude larger than that predicted from the bulk resistivity of the electrolyte. Electroosmosis drives excess current, carried by cations, and is found to be the origin of giant ionic current through SWCNT as shown by building an ionic field-effect transistor with a gate electrode embedded in the fluid barrier. Wetting of inside of the semi-conducting SWCNT by water showed the change …

Contributors
Pang, Pei, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2011

This thesis describes several experiments based on carbon nanotube nanofludic devices and field-effect transistors. The first experiment detected ion and molecule translocation through one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) that spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs. The electrical ionic current is measured. Translocation of small single stranded DNA oligomers is marked by large transient increases in current through the tube and confirmed by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis. Carbon nanotubes simplify the construction of nanopores, permit new types of electrical measurement, and open new avenues for control of DNA translocation. The second experiment constructed devices in which the interior …

Contributors
Cao, Di, Lindsay, Stuart, Vaiana, Sara, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy are combined to create a microscopy technique which allows for nanometer resolution topographic and fluorescence imaging. This technique can be applied to any sample which can be immobilized on a surface and which can be observed by fluorescence microscopy. Biological problems include small molecular systems, such as membrane receptor clusters, where very high optical resolutions need to be achieved. In materials science, fluorescent nanoparticles or other optically active nanostructures can be investigated using this technique. In the past decades, multiple techniques have been developed that yield high …

Contributors
Schulz, Olaf, Ros, Robert, Levitus, Marcia, 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

CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression. We present a study comparing methylated DNA and normal DNA wrt its persistence length and contour length. Although, previous experiments and studies show no difference between the physical properties of the two, the data collected and interpreted here gives a different picture to the methylation phenomena and its effect on gene silencing. The study was extended to the artificially reconstituted …

Contributors
Kaur, Parminder, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2012

One dimensional (1D) and quasi-one dimensional quantum wires have been a subject of both theoretical and experimental interest since 1990s and before. Phenomena such as the "0.7 structure" in the conductance leave many open questions. In this dissertation, I study the properties and the internal electron states of semiconductor quantum wires with the path integral Monte Carlo (PIMC) method. PIMC is a tool for simulating many-body quantum systems at finite temperature. Its ability to calculate thermodynamic properties and various correlation functions makes it an ideal tool in bridging experiments with theories. A general study of the features interpreted by the …

Contributors
Liu, Jianheng, Shumway, John B, Schmidt, Kevin E, 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

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also applicable for selective trapping of weakly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells (MCF-7) from mixtures with mammalian Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) and highly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231. The advantage of this approach is the ease of integration of iDEP structures in microfliudic channels using soft lithography, the use of DC electric fields, the addressability of the single cell traps for downstream analysis and the straightforward multiplexing for single …

Contributors
Bhattacharya, Sanchari, Ros, Alexandra, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

An animal's ability to produce protein-based silk materials has evolved independently in many different arthropod lineages, satisfying various ecological necessities. However, regardless of their wide range of uses and their potential industrial and biomedical applications, advanced knowledge on the molecular structure of silk biopolymers is largely limited to those produced by spiders (order Araneae) and silkworms (order Lepidoptera). This thesis provides an in-depth molecular-level characterization of silk fibers produced by two vastly different insects: the caddisfly larvae (order Trichoptera) and the webspinner (order Embioptera). The molecular structure of caddisfly larval silk from the species <italic>Hesperophylax consimilis</italic> was characterized using solid-state …

Contributors
Addison, John Bennett, Yarger, Jeffery L, Holland, Gregory P, 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

Biophysical techniques have been increasingly applied toward answering biological questions with more precision. Here, three different biological systems were studied with the goal of understanding their dynamic differences, either conformational dynamics within the system or oligomerization dynamics between monomers. With Cy3 on the 5' end of DNA, the effects of changing the terminal base pair were explored using temperature-dependent quantum yields. It was discovered, in combination with simulations, that a terminal thymine base has the weakest stacking interactions with the Cy3 dye compared to the other three bases. With ME1 heterodimers, the goal was to see if engineering a salt …

Contributors
Binder, Jennifer K., Levitus, Marcia, Wachter, Rebekka, et al.
Created Date
2015

Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) is an intrinsically disordered protein that has no regular secondary structure, but plays an important role in vasodilation and pain transmission in migraine. Little is known about the structure and dynamics of the monomeric state of CGRP or how CGRP is able to function in the cell, despite the lack of regular secondary structure. This work focuses characterizing the non-local structural and dynamical properties of the CGRP monomer in solution, and understanding how these are affected by the sequence and the solution environment. The unbound, free state of CGRP is measured using a nanosecond laser-pump spectrophotometer, …

Contributors
Sizemore, Sara, Vaiana, Sara, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2015

Fluorescence spectroscopy is a popular technique that has been particularly useful in probing biological systems, especially with the invention of single molecule fluorescence. For example, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is one tool that has been helpful in probing distances and conformational changes in biomolecules. In this work, important properties necessary in the quantification of FRET were investigated while FRET was also applied to gain insight into the dynamics of biological molecules. In particular, dynamics of damaged DNA was investigated. While damages in DNA are known to affect DNA structure, what remains unclear is how the presence of a lesion, …

Contributors
Stennett, Elana Maria Shepherd, Levitus, Marcia, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2015

Driven by the curiosity for the secret of life, the effort on sequencing of DNAs and other large biopolymers has never been respited. Advanced from recent sequencing techniques, nanotube and nanopore based sequencing has been attracting much attention. This thesis focuses on the study of first and crucial compartment of the third generation sequencing technique, the capture and translocation of biopolymers, and discuss the advantages and obstacles of two different nanofluidic pathways, nanotubes and nanopores for single molecule capturing and translocation. Carbon nanotubes with its constrained structure, the frictionless inner wall and strong electroosmotic flow, are promising materials for linearly …

Contributors
Song, Weisi, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2015