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Title: An investigation of virtual reality in the application of molecular visualisation and docking to enhance learning
Author: Nadan, Teeroumanee
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 7281
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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Protein molecules in living organisms have always interacted with each other to achieve a particular function. This occurs when one molecule (ligand) finds a suitable binding site on another molecule (receptor) and binds to the receptor to form a macromolecular complex. This process is known as molecular docking and has applications in structure-based drug design strategies. For an understanding of molecular docking, it is crucial to understand the three dimensional (3D) structure of molecules. Technologies are often used to facilitate understanding of structural biology, in particular with receptor-ligand• interactions. This research was undertaken to investigate the potential of the Virtual Reality (VR) technology to enhance understanding of molecular structure and function and receptor-ligand interactions in an educational context. Preliminary case studies were carried out to assess the potential of VR in such scenarios and a Virtual Environment (VE) was developed to impart a proper understanding of docking interactions to students at the university level. This was assessed to understand if VR can increase students' understanding of molecular interactions. The implementation phase involved in this thesis was developed for a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) and few case studies also included the PowerWall. Docking was achieved via AutoDock which is a robust docking program. Two important factors, which need consideration while developing such a YE; are students' learning process and usability with performance in a YE. These factors were crucial throughout the different case studies carried out. It was found out that intuitive interactions, 3D display and VR features can increase students' understanding of molecular interactions. It was also shown that the VE implemented in this research had good usability and was useful in enhancing learning of protein molecular structure, function and docking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available