COVID Research & Resources Group


Applying an Ising Model Framework to Virus and Virus-Like Particles

  • 1.  Applying an Ising Model Framework to Virus and Virus-Like Particles

    Posted 07-14-2020 09:25
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    We have been looking at extracting a Bragg-Williams order parameter using techniques other than x-ray diffraction, which is the traditional method. Recently, in addition to Raman spectroscopy, we have determined that it is possible to do this by contrast-based analysis of electron microscopy images. That led us to consider publicly available TEM images of not only virus particles, but virus-like particles (VLPs) used as the basis for some vaccines. Underpinning such a quantitative disorder analysis is the applicability of an Ising model, where two viral coat proteins characterizing the surface of a virus particle are each assigned a spin (this can be extended to coronaviruses, which have three viral coat proteins, using the more general Potts model). Preliminary results have been posted on a preprint server:
    Attached to this post is a 3-d rendering of one of the plots (Fig. 3) in that preprint which suggests an applied physics based route to matching vaccines to viruses. Figure 5a in the preprint illustrates one direct use of the Ising model. If anyone has related images to analyze, or a good contact in the area, that would be much appreciated.

    Steven Durbin
    Western Michigan Univ
    Kalamazoo MI
    (269) 276-3163