Biological molecules and biologically active small molecules are complex three dimensional structures. Current flat screen monitors are limited in their ability to convey the full three dimensional characteristics of these molecules. Augmented reality devices, including the Microsoft HoloLens, offer an immersive platform to change how we interact with molecular visualizations. We describe a process to incorporate the three dimensional structures of small molecules and complex proteins into the Microsoft HoloLens using aspirin and the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) as examples. Small molecular structures can be introduced into the HoloStudio application, which provides native support for rotating, resizing and performing other interactions with these molecules. Larger molecules can be imported through the Unity gaming development platform and then Microsoft Visual Developer. The processes described here can be modified to import a wide variety of molecular structures into augmented reality systems and improve our comprehension of complex structural features.
AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc
HoloLens; augmented reality; molecular structure
Hoffman MA, Provance JB. Visualization of molecular structures using HoloLens-based augmented reality. AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc. 2017;2017:68-74. Published 2017 Jul 26.