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New method helps nanoscale engineers choose self-assembling proteins

The researchers designed structure (left) was inspired by natural viruses

Engineering structures on the smallest possible scales--using molecules and individual atoms as building blocks--is both physically and conceptually challenging. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a method of computationally selecting the best of these blocks, drawing inspiration from the similar behavior of proteins in making biological structures. The researchers designed structure (left) was inspired by natural viruses, such as the tobacco mosaic virus (right).

This research was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (DMR 05-20020, DMR 04-25780, DMR 09-07226 and DGE 02-21664).

To learn more about this research, see the Penn news story Penn Researchers Help Nanoscale Engineers Choose Self-Assembling Proteins. (Date of Image: June 2011)

Credit: Gevorg Grigoryan, University of Pennsylvania

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