Document Type dissertation Author Name Kashuri, Klaida Email Address klaida at wpi.edu URN etd-012914-205752 Title Calorimetric and Dielectric Studies of Self-assembled Bio-molecules in an Aqueous Environment Degree PhD Department Physics Advisors Germano S. Iannacchione, Advisor Izabela Stroe, Committee Member Georgi Georgiev, Committee Member Keywords protein dynamics bio-physics calorimetry measurements dielectric spectroscopy Date of Presentation/Defense 2013-11-26 Availability unrestricted
Self-assembly and the induced orientation of microscopic biological systems is of great scientific interest, because it holds the promise of many pharmaceutical applications. This dissertation presents experimental studies done on proteins, short DNA fragments, and cholesterol structures self-assembled in an aqueous environment. The goal is to probe the thermo-physical properties of these systems, their phases and phase transitions, in order to better under-stand the principles behind their unique assemblies and function. It is accepted that in all these systems the solvent water plays an important role on the assembly folding, orientation, and activity of biopolymers. However, the abundance of water in typical samples presents many experimental challenges. It is indeed the case that changes in the properties of hydration in watery environments are responsible for the dynamics of protein and DNA biomolecules. We have explored in more detail the thermodynamics, the structural properties, and the dynamics near structural transitions of biomolecules in their native aqueous environment.
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