Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Harnessing protein transport principles for engineering applications: A computational study
by Freeman, Eric Christopher, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2012, 199; 3529609
Abstract (Summary)

The biological world contains elegant solutions to complex engineering problems. Through reproducing these observed biological behaviors it may be possible to improve upon current technologies. In addition, the biological world is, at its core, built upon cellar mechanics. The combination of these observations prompts an exploration of cellular mechanics for engineering purposes.

This dissertation focuses on the construction of a computational model for predicting the behavior of biologically inspired systems of protein transporters, and linking the observed behaviors to desired attributes such as blocked force, free strain, purification, and vaccine delivery. The goal of the dissertation is to utilize these example cases as inspirations for development of cellular systems for engineering purposes. Through this approach it is possible to offer insights into the benefits and drawbacks associated with the usage of cellular mechanics, and to provide a framework for how these cellular mechanisms may be applied. The intent is to define a generalized modeling framework which may be applied to an extraordinary range of engineering design goals.

Three distinctly different application cases are demonstrated via the bioderived model which serves as the basis of this dissertation. First the bioderived model is shown to be effective for characterizing the naturally occurring case of endocytosis. It is subsequently applied to the distinctly different cases of water purification and actuation to illustrate versatility.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weiland, Lisa Mauck
Commitee:
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Biomimetics, Endocytosis, Eutrophication, Protein transport, Proton sponge
Publication Number: 3529609
ISBN: 978-1-267-66203-3
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