Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Molecular Dynamics Investigations of Duplex Columnar Liquid Crystal Phases of Nucleoside Triphosphates
by Yelk, Joseph D., Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2019, 90; 22621555
Abstract (Summary)

Liquid crystals (LCs), discovered just over 130 years ago, describe a fluid state of matter intermediate between liquids and solids. The additional degrees of order present opportunities for unique situations absent from other forms of matter.

Nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs) play an important role in biological systems, from the assembly of DNA, to being the chief form of cellular energy currency. Recent experiments have shown that NTPs can form duplex columnar liquid crystal phases with Watson-Crick selectivity—a phenomenon that is highly reminiscent of natural DNA. In this thesis, I present simulations that explore the underlying microscopic structure of these phases, including evidence for the formation of a left-handed helix. Additionally, the importance of the triphosphates and their interactions with counterions in the formation of the phase is investigated. Simulated x-ray scattering data on bulk systems built from several models is also presented, with the prediction of 2D X-ray scattering patterns and additional analysis for each model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Glaser, Matthew A
Commitee: Rogers, Charles, Clark, Noel A., Maclennan, Joseph E., Walba, David
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics
Keywords: Chromonics, Liquid crystals, Nucleoside triphosphates
Publication Number: 22621555
ISBN: 9781392857151
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