Viral icosahedral capsids (i.e. having polyhedron shape with 20 faces) is a common sight in the microscopic world. In his latest post, Michael Berger from Nanowerk is reporting about a chemical simulation, devised by researchers from the Scripps Research Institute and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, to create icosahedral capsid-like particles for drug or biomolecule delivery, etc. The scientists’ research, reported in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., demonstrated the feasibility of self-assembly of such icosahedral particles from molecules developed from symmetric pentagonal components.
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Abstract: Chemical mimicry of viral capsid self-assembly
Image is from Wellcome Images: Yeast Ty retrotransposons “These virus- like particles are encapsulated in a capsid protein (gag) which can exist in two forms. The shorter form leads to a smaller particle (left) with an icosahedral number of 3 whereas the full length protein leads to the larger particle (right) with an icosahedral number of 4.”