3D Printing: New Tool in The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Hands!


  • The study has the ability to greatly cut the expense and efforts in traditional computational protein design
  • Database of up to 1,50,000 models analyzed to get an accurate idea of protein design.


As per the recent study published in PNAS by a team of researchers of Dartmouth College, Gevorg Grigoryan, Jianfu Zhou and Alexandra E. Panaitiu, the over expensive and labor-intensive process of protein design through the conventional traditional technique of computational protein design can now be replaced, at least partially, by the new 3D protein designs. The study also elaborates as to how synthesizing an infinite number of protein combinations is counterproductive and how 3D models might help in analyzing the combination of molecular blocks used to achieve a desired effect.


Associate professor of computer science at Dartmouth, Gevorg Grigoryan further added, “When you design a building, you don’t necessarily need to understand how grains of sand interact with each other within one brick. Because you know what a brick is and what its properties are, you can instead focus on how bricks come together to form the desired shape. That’s the same approach we are taking. We only focus on protein sub-structures that we know work.”


3D models of 1,50,000 proteins were analyzed so as to develop an accurate understanding about protein designs. The study also concluded that the structural patterns in proteins repeat themselves frequently and a considerable amount of distinction in proteins is the result of how the basic blocks are assembled to create that protein.

To develop synthetic proteins using the conventional computational protein design method, an overwhelming number of amino acid combinations have to be considered. This might cost the drug developer years of time with high resources. Thus, the researchers hope to reduce the cost and time factors involved through 3D protein designs.