Monday, December 12, 2016

Printing 3D Protein Models

Under the guidance of biochemist Shahir Rizk, students in CHEM-C 486 Biological Chemistry Laboratory ended the Fall semester printing 3D models of the proteins they had been working with in this capstone course for the biochemistry major.  Rizk obtained an internal MALT (Materials for Active Learning Techniques) grant to help promote visual literacy in this project to better appreciate the three-dimensional nature of biological molecules.  Students were able to hold in their hands models of protein and substrate to experience how they interact, move, and change their structures to promote biological processes.  To create the models, students first prepared digital code for their molecules with the help of  the molecular visualization software PyMol.  They then used the code to program our own IU South Bend 3D printing facility to print the models in clear resin. The students were very excited to see the results of their work.