I-Corps: Molecular Augmented Reality for Visualizing Complex Biomolecular Structures

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to implement a Molecular Visualization System that will transform the complexities of understanding biomolecular structures via hands-on interaction using augmented reality (AR) technology. Users will "interact" with three-dimensional molecular compounds and pre-programmed animations using transformative hand gestures to facilitate scaling and rotations. Molecular manipulations of chemical compounds will be more intuitive and replace the traditional computer graphic interface. The natural interaction will ultimately allow users to gain closer insight into molecular structures and conformations. The three-dimensional viewpoint of chemical structures will enable a transformative learning environment for its users. The system allows a shared experience facilitating enhanced group discovery processes. The system also modernizes the learning environment for higher education and enables discovery and collaboration processes in corporate environments.This I-Corps project creates a tool for understanding molecular forms and allows for enhanced exploration and discovery. Current technology enables professionals in chemical and biological sciences to discover, analyze, and manipulate physical forms. Additionally, the more advanced technology supports the ability to capture and visualize molecular forms at a smaller scale, resulting in greater visual understanding. However, a drawback of some of these current systems is that they rely on complex chemistry software and often have poor interfaces that greatly limit the ability to visualize and manipulate biomolecules. The Molecular Visualization System developed here aims to ultimately alter the path of implementation from limited chemistry interfaces to direct, hands-on manipulation of chemical models using wearable AR. This shift can transform the discovery process into a more interactive and intuitive experience. The primary goal is for students and educators to utilize the mobile application bridging the gap between theoretical concepts and practical applications.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date6/1/2111/30/23


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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