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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


The properties of materials depend heavily on the spatial distribution and connectivity of their constituent parts. This applies equally to materials such as diamond and glasses as it does to biomolecules that are the product of billions of years of evolution. In science, insight is often gained through simple models with characteristics that are the result of the few features that have purposely been retained. Common to all research within in this thesis is the use of network-based models to describe the properties of materials. This work begins with the description of a technique for decoupling boundary effects from intrinsic …

Contributors
De Graff, Adam M R, Thorpe, Michael F., Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2011

Mechanical properties of cells are important in maintaining physiological functions of biological systems. Quantitative measurement and analysis of mechanical properties can help understand cellular mechanics and its functional relevance and discover physical biomarkers for diseases monitoring and therapeutics. This dissertation presents a work to develop optical methods for studying cell mechanics which encompasses four applications. Surface plasmon resonance microscopy based optical method has been applied to image intracellular motions and cell mechanical motion. This label-free technique enables ultrafast imaging with extremely high sensitivity in detecting cell deformation. The technique was first applied to study intracellular transportation. Organelle transportation process and …

Contributors
Yang, Yunze, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2016

Phase problem has been long-standing in x-ray diffractive imaging. It is originated from the fact that only the amplitude of the scattered wave can be recorded by the detector, losing the phase information. The measurement of amplitude alone is insufficient to solve the structure. Therefore, phase retrieval is essential to structure determination with X-ray diffractive imaging. So far, many experimental as well as algorithmic approaches have been developed to address the phase problem. The experimental phasing methods, such as MAD, SAD etc, exploit the phase relation in vector space. They usually demand a lot of efforts to prepare the samples …

Contributors
Zhao, Yun, Spence, John C.H., Schmidt, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful tool for biophysical studies due to its high sensitivity and broad availability. It is possible to detect fluorescence from single molecules allowing researchers to see the behavior of subpopulations whose presence is obscured by “bulk” collection methods. The fluorescent probes used in these experiments are affected by the solution and macromolecular environments they are in. A misunderstanding of a probe’s photophysics can lead researchers to assign observed behavior to biomolecules, when in fact the probe is responsible. On the other hand, a probe’s photophysical behavior is a signature of the environment surrounding it; it can …

Contributors
Ciuba, Monika A, Levitus, Marcia, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

Proteins are essential for most biological processes that constitute life. The function of a protein is encoded within its 3D folded structure, which is determined by its sequence of amino acids. A variation of a single nucleotide in the DNA during transcription (nSNV) can alter the amino acid sequence (i.e., a mutation in the protein sequence), which can adversely impact protein function and sometimes cause disease. These mutations are the most prevalent form of variations in humans, and each individual genome harbors tens of thousands of nSNVs that can be benign (neutral) or lead to disease. The primary way to …

Contributors
Butler, Brandon Mac, Ozkan, S. Banu, Vaiana, Sara, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of directly probing the mechanics of samples with length scales from single molecules to tissues and force scales from pico to micronewtons. In particular, AFM is widely used as a tool to measure the elastic modulus of soft biological samples by collecting force-indentation relationships and fitting these to classic elastic contact models. However, the analysis of raw force-indentation data may be complicated by mechanical heterogeneity present in biological systems. An analytical model of an elastic indentation on a bonded two-layer sample was solved. This may be used to account for substrate effects and …

Contributors
Doss, Bryant Lee, Ros, Robert, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2015

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide a particularly useful approach to understanding conformational change in biomolecular systems. MD simulations provide an atomistic, physics-based description of the motions accessible to biomolecular systems on the pico- to micro-second timescale, yielding important insight into the free energy of the system, the dynamical stability of contacts and the role of correlated motions in directing the motions of the system. In this thesis, I use molecular dynamics simulations to provide molecular mechanisms that rationalize structural, thermodynamic, and mutation data on the interactions between the lac repressor headpiece and its O1 operator DNA as well as the …

Contributors
Barr, Daniel, Van Der Vaart, Arjan, Matyushov, Dmitry, et al.
Created Date
2011