Chemical & Biological Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Juan de Pablo
Recent developments in DNA sequencing have shown the promise of direct single-molecule analyses. Many such methods rely on the ability to stretch DNA molecule, where hydrodynamic flows and microchannel confinement may be utilized. I am interested in elucidating the mechanical and thermodynamic effects facilitating DNA elongation through the use of simulations.
As DNA is a highly charged, complicated molecule, study of large-scale effects is facilitated by coarse-graining into a more simple mesoscopic description. I am currently developing coarse-grained models for use in the study of DNA both in bulk solution and in confinement.
Additionally, the self-assembly of DNA-nanoparticle conjugates has shown to be a useful method for the selection and design of self-assembled nanoparticle superstructures. I am further interested in understanding the dynamic and thermodynamic limits to using DNA hybridization, among other self-assembly methods, to assemble macroscopic superstructures of nanoparticles and colloids.