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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17460

Title: The Study of Interfacial Dynamics at Biochemically Modified Surfaces Using Acoustic Wave Physics and Molecular Simulations
Authors: Ellis, Jonathan S.
Advisor: Thompson, Michael
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Keywords: Biosensors
Acoustic wave device
bioanalytical chemistry
interfacial fluid dynamics
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2009
Abstract: Detection of conformational and structural shifts in biomolecules is of great importance in bioanalytical chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences. Transverse shear mode acoustic wave devices have been used as real-time, label-free detectors of conformational shifts in biomolecules on surfaces. However, material changes in the biochemical monolayer and coupling between the substrate and the surrounding liquid make it difficult to isolate the desired signal, so an understanding of these phenomena is required. In this thesis, interfacial slip, viscoelasticity, and structural changes are used to model acoustic signals due to surface adsorption of the protein neutravidin, immobilisation of HIV-1 TAR RNA, and subsequent interaction of the RNA with tat peptide fragments. Binding of tat peptides induces conformational changes in the TAR. Similar modelling is performed to describe experiments involving the binding of calcium to surface-attached calmodulin, which is also known to result in a conformational shift. The aim of the modelling is to isolate the sensor response due to conformational shifts. The biomolecules are described as hydrated, viscoelastic monolayers and slip is allowed at all interfaces. All models are numerically fit to experimental values using a two-parameter minimisation algorithm. Slip is found on the electrode surface prior to neutravidin adsorption. Neutravidin and TAR are described as distinct viscoelastic monolayers. Binding of tat peptide fragment to the TAR monolayer is modelled using a complex slip parameter and a change in length, corresponding to a straightening of the molecule. Similarly, numerical modelling of calmodulin results reveals a length change in the molecule upon calcium binding. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the TAR-tat fragment system are performed to corroborate the modelling results. Starting structures are computed by molecular docking, and MD simulations of TAR complexed with various length tat fragments are described. The simulations are in general agreement with the modelling results and literature values from similar molecular dynamics experiment. A new parameter is introduced to describe biomolecule-solvent affinity, and is compared to interfacial coupling values obtained from modelling. This research demonstrates that acoustic wave devices can be used to detect conformational shifts in surface-attached biomolecules, provided molecular details about the shifts are known.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17460
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering - Doctoral theses

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