Looking for Beta Testers
With CellPAINT, you can create dynamic illustrations of HIV in blood plasma, along with the surface of a T-cell.
CellPAINT is being developed as part of an effort to model the molecular structure of whole living cells. It will be used in two
ways: to allow researchers to sketch out scenes based on their research, which may then be used to guide the construction of
detailed 3-D models of the scene, and for use in education and outreach to integrate and present the results of scientific research.
The program is being developed by Adam Gardner, Ludovic Autin, Arthur Olson and David Goodsell,
with support from the US National Institutes of Health.
The Science in CellPAINT
CellPAINT pictures are based on experimental results from many different laboratories. The shape of the HIV envelope and
capsid may be based on an electron micrograph, as displayed in the tool panel. The size and shape of each molecule is based
on atomic structures determined by x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy and electron microscopy. These molecules also
interact in complex ways. CellPAINT currently shows some of these interactions, such as the interaction of cyclophilin with
capsid and the interaction of nucleocapsid with RNA. Other user-defined interactions will be possible in future versions of the
Get Started with CellPAINT
You can download CellPAINT for
Mac, Windows or Linux at SourceForge.
Click here for a PDF Quick Start Guide
We also have a WebGL prototype--give it a try in your web browser!
For Beta Testers
CellPAINT is currently in beta release, and we are looking for testers. The software still has a few idiosyncracies,
so please be prepared to restart the program if you encounter problems. We are looking for feedback on several general questions:
Were you able to create the scenes that you wanted to make?
Will this type of program be useful in your own work?
Are there any features that you would like to see added?
Please send your impressions to David Goodsell at
or take the short survey given below.
June 2017: Version Alpha2 - first public release
July 2017: Version Alpha3 - corrected scale bar inconsistencies
August 2017: Version Beta1
- on mac bucket doesn't seem to recognize the compartment
- on Linux, full screen doesn't intersect mouse interaction
- on web, no save/load/screenshot, long loading time.
A Few Sample Images
Virus and a T-cell surrounded by blood plasma.
Entry of the virus into a T-cell.
Assembly of the capsid in a maturing virus.
Non-infectious virus caused by an ALLINI integrase inhibitor.