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Title: Simulating molecular docking with haptics
Author: Iakovou, Georgios
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8603
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Intermolecular binding underlies various metabolic and regulatory processes of the cell, and the therapeutic and pharmacological properties of drugs. Molecular docking systems model and simulate these interactions in silico and allow the study of the binding process. In molecular docking, haptics enables the user to sense the interaction forces and intervene cognitively in the docking process. Haptics-assisted docking systems provide an immersive virtual docking environment where the user can interact with the molecules, feel the interaction forces using their sense of touch, identify visually the binding site, and guide the molecules to their binding pose. Despite a forty-year research e�ort however, the docking community has been slow to adopt this technology. Proprietary, unreleased software, expensive haptic hardware and limits on processing power are the main reasons for this. Another signi�cant factor is the size of the molecules simulated, limited to small molecules. The focus of the research described in this thesis is the development of an interactive haptics-assisted docking application that addresses the above issues, and enables the rigid docking of very large biomolecules and the study of the underlying interactions. Novel methods for computing the interaction forces of binding on the CPU and GPU, in real-time, have been developed. The force calculation methods proposed here overcome several computational limitations of previous approaches, such as precomputed force grids, and could potentially be used to model molecular exibility at haptic refresh rates. Methods for force scaling, multipoint collision response, and haptic navigation are also reported that address newfound issues, particular to the interactive docking of large systems, e.g. force stability at molecular collision. The i ii result is a haptics-assisted docking application, Haptimol RD, that runs on relatively inexpensive consumer level hardware, (i.e. there is no need for specialized/proprietary hardware).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available