This illustration was an assignment for the Biomolecular Structure and Function course at the University of Toronto Mississauga Biomedical Communications (UTM BMC) master’s program. The assignment was to create a mock two-page spread for Scientific American communicating the story of a molecule of our choice. I chose transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, transmembrane proteins found in nerve cells that allow for temperature perception. I also opted to style the piece like a medieval illuminated manuscript. Protein models were obtained from the Protein Data Base (PDB) and further developed in UCSF Chimera. Lipid bilayers were modeled in Cinema 4D, and composite molecule/bilayer models underwent non-photorealistic rendering in ZBrush. Additional assets were developed in Procreate, Photoshop and Illustrator, with final composition and graphic design done in Illustrator.
UCSF Chimera, Maxon Cinema 4D, Pixologic ZBrush, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Savage Interactive Procreate
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TRPV1 PDB reference numbers: 3J5P and 5IRZ
TRPM8 PDB reference numbers: 6BPQ
Capsaicin: PubChem ID number 1548943
Menthol: PubChem ID number 1254