Manipulating the Machinery of Life

Jan 30th, 2023

For Client: Apertor Pharmaceuticals

Apertor is an early stage biotech company that has developed a synthetic biology platform based around a family of molecules called “molecular glues.” With this technology, new drugs can be made by harnessing bacterial enzymes’ ability to create highly modular units that interact with human cells in specific and highly directable ways. While the details of the technology remain secret, the core principles of how it works are straightforward: it combines the functionality of one well understood molecule with the functionality of another, providing a method of directly programming cellular behaviors without genetic modification or the tricky science surrounding the development of fusion proteins.

To create a scientific animation that told the story faithfully, the team at Microverse Studios kept the story focused on the high-level message rather than getting into the details of the molecular interactions. In order to do this, we developed the visual language of robotic components to represent the molecular machines being described. Some of the molecular components are also poorly characterized currently, and so the robot metaphor allowed the complete story to be told with conceptual accuracy critical to all medical animation, even in the absence of real molecular data to display.

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