Scripps Research Insitute
A great many nonenveloped virus particles of icosahedral and rodlike structure are available in quantity from cultured cells and plants. These systems represent a diverse set of nanoscale building blocks, which can be harnessed to a degree proportional to our understanding of their structure and chemical reactivity. Three icosahedral examples – cowpea mosaic virus, Nudaurelia capensis ω virus, and hepatitis B coat protein – have been engineered chemically and genetically to bear functional units in precise arrays on their exterior and interior protein surfaces. A survey of the syntheses, properties, and applications of such particles will be presented.