Dissertation Defense: Utilizing DNA nanostructures for the study of the Force Dependency of Receptor-Ligand interactions
- Dr. Carlos Castro, Chair
- Dr. Jonathan Song
- Dr. Michael Poirier
- Dr. Ralf Bundschuh
An understanding of the physical parameters governing receptor-ligand interactions will provide crucial insights towards regulating molecular mechanisms that control cellular function. To study these interactions at the molecular level, a tunable single-molecule force probe was developed, and created using the technology of DNA Origami. This probe was designed to replicate the function of traditional single molecule force spectroscopy assays at the nanoscale, and with very high throughputs. At the cellular level, a DNA Origami nanostructure was developed to probe the effect of flexibility and mechanical stiffness of Receptor-Ligand interactions on cellular signaling. By changing the flexibility of an interaction with a membrane-bound receptor, the strength of signaling as a function of interaction flexibility could be investigated. For these nanodevices to be viable commercially, they will need to be created easily, and at large scales. An additional study was preformed to develop a Low cost, Efficient ANnealing (LEAN) self-assembly process.