Icosahedral Virus Particles as Addressable Nanoscale Building Blocks


  • We thank The Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology, the Naval Research Laboratory (N00014-00-1-0671), and the National Institutes of Health (GM344220-18 and A147823-01) for support of this work. Q.W. is a Skaggs Postdoctoral Fellow. We are also grateful to Dr. Gino Cingolani for data collection at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences), and Prof. R. Lerner and Dr. D. Kubitz for a gift of antibody 19G2.


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Grow your nanochemical dendrimers! Cowpea mosaic virus (see relief image derived from the X-ray structure) can be isolated from its host plant in gram quantities and participates in selective chemical reactions at specific sites of the icosahedrally-arrayed coat protein. Mutant structures can be easily engineered, propagated, and isolated to provide particles with tailored reactivities. Applications for these particles in areas from catalysis to materials science can be conceived.