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Title: A Laboratory Model for Virus Particle Nanoindentation
ABSTRACT Self-organization is ubiquitous in biology, with viruses providing an excellent illustration of bioassemblies being much more than the sum of their parts. Following nature's lead, molecular self-assembly has emerged as a new synthetic strategy in the past 3 decades or so. Self-assembly approaches promise to generate complex supramolecular architectures having molecular weights of 0.5 to 100 MDa and collective properties determined by the interplay between structural organization and composition. However, biophysical methods specific to mesoscopic self-assembly, and presentations of the challenges they aim to overcome, remain underrepresented in the educational laboratory curriculum. We present here a simple but effective model for laboratory instruction that introduces students to the world of intermolecular forces and virus assembly, and to a cutting-edge technology, atomic force microscopy nanoindentation, which is able to measure the mechanical properties of single virus shells in vitro. In addition, the model illustrates the important idea that, at nanoscale, phenomena often have an inherent interdisciplinary character.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1803440 1808027
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Biophysicist
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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