Spring 2013 - Biological Binding of Molecules

The primary objective of the project is to understand the mechanism governing specific binding between biological molecules and monomolecular assemblies of nucleic acid based receptor molecules as a function of electric field-induced conformational changes and molecular order. 

This understanding will be useful to realize bioitic-abiotic interfaces between biological systems and artificial components that allow translation of external stimuli into biochemical signals.  Controlled experiments on a model ligand/receptor system - thrombin protein (ligand) and associated DNA aptamer (receptor) - will be carried out to characterize the influence of electrical field induced conformational changes and molecular order on specific binding/dissociation of a ligand on a receptor molecule coated surface. 

Program mentor: Shrotriya Pranav, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University

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