Chem-Bio Informatics Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-0442
Print ISSN : 1347-6297
ISSN-L : 1347-0442
Tensegrity representation of microtubule objects using unified particle objects and springs
Arif PramudwiatmokoGregory GutmannYutaka UenoAkira KakugoMasayuki YamamuraAkihiko Konagaya
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2020 Volume 20 Pages 19-43


There are limitations in interactions with molecular objects in laboratory experiments due to the very small size of the objects. Common media to show the experimental results of molecular objects is still lack of observer interaction to understand it intuitively. In order to overcome this lack of interaction, this research takes tensegrity representation of molecular objects reproducing experimental results and creates interactive 3D objects to be presented in a virtual reality (VR) environment. The tensegrity representation enables us to enhance the interaction experience with the natural user interface with haptic technology and hand tracking controller. A particle simulation system that utilizes multiple GPUs resources is used to fulfill haptic VR requirements. We developed a unified particle object model using springs and particles which we call anchors which act as tensegrity structure of the object to support conformation of filament-type objects such as microtubules. Some object parameters can be set to match the flexural rigidity of the object with some experimental results. The bending shape of the object is evaluated using the classic bending equation and the results show high compatibility. Viscoelastic behavior also shows similarities with the viscosity reported in other studies. The object's flexural rigidity can be adjusted to match the target value with the direction of the prediction equation. The object model provides a better insight about molecular objects with natural and real-time interactions to provide a more intuitive understanding with the molecular objects presented. The results show that this model can also be applied to any filament-type or rod-like molecular object.

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