Virtual reality system using force feedback device for molecular modeling

Hiroshi Mizushima, Hiroshi Nagata, Eriko Tanaka, Masaaki Hatsuta, Hiroshi Tanaka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We designed two new concept of computer aided molecular modeling system using virtual reality technologies. Although it is still a prototype, the most characteristic function of the system is enabling its user to 'touch' and feel the electrostatic potential field of a protein or a drug molecule. User can scan surface of a protein using a globular probe, which is given an electrostatic charge, controlled by a force feedback devise. The electrostatic force between the protein and the probe is calculated in real time, and immediately fed back into the force feedback device. The user can easily search interactively for positions where the probe is strongly attracted to the force field. Such positions can be regarded as candidate sites where small chemical groups corresponding to the probe, functional parts of lead compounds, can bind to the target protein. We also developed a binding simulator which we can bind a small molecule (drug) to a large molecule (protein). In this system, we placed a camera, so that we can not only 'feel' but also 'see' how drug fits into the binding site. Our prototype system has the potential to serve as a new application method as well as being applicable to conventional VR technologies, especially to force feedback technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2001 - Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Medical Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)1586031945, 9781586031947
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2005 Sep 22005 Sep 5

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Drug Design
  • Electrostatic Potential
  • Force Feedback
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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