In the cage

A highly stable icosahedral protein nano-cage has been designed and constructed by self-assembly thanks to work by a team at the University of Washington Institute of Protein Design. The icosahedral structure might find applications in targeted delivery of medicinal reagents to specific sites in the body or as a tiny reaction vessel for the synthesis of useful small molecules. “The ability to design proteins that self-assemble into precisely specified, robust, and highly order icosahedral structures,” the team writes, “would open the door to a new generation of protein containers with properties custom-made for applications of interest.”