Design and manufacturing of a physical model of an icosahedral virus capsid
Author(s)Morales, Luis F. (Luis Francisco), 1982-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
David C. Gossard.
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Viruses enclose genetic material, DNA or RNA, that are the cause of several diseases and conditions suffered by humans such as Influenza, Chickenpox, Smallpox, Herpes, and Hepatitis C. It is for this reason that viruses are of interest to us. By studying the virus, we can develop methods to counteract their effects as well as advance the knowledge of biology. Motivated by the study of viruses, this thesis consists of the development of a model of a virus capsid for educational and illustrative purposes. This thesis begins with a study of the virus and its capsid structure. It studies the icosahedral structure and the theory of quasi-equivalence, which were favored by viruses throughout their evolution. We then look into the manufacturing of the model capsid which was composed of three major components; developing the protein subunits that create the capsid, giving the subunits an appropriate mating angle, and joining the subunits to form the virus model. The subunits were created by two different approaches, through the use delrin, and through injection molding. The angling of the subunits was approached through a fixture designed for this application and a wedge. Finally, the joining and assembly was achieved by using glue. The results had limited success, but it served as an initial prototype and a learning process and established some bases and groundwork for further developments.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2004."June 2004."Includes bibliographical references (leaf 19).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology