Three-dimensional model of SARS-CoV-2 in detail

As scientists around the world race to understand more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease, they are gaining increasing amounts of information about the viral components that make up the infectious particles.

While each new discovery provides scientists and governments with vital new information on SARS-CoV-2, none of them are able to give a clear overall image of the virus particles. Now, a collaboration between experts has created one of the most detailed 3D models of both the interior and the exterior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus particle.

The collaboration includes Annabel Slater, a freelance scientific Illustrator and graduate of The Glasgow School of Art – University of Glasgow Masters in Medical Simulation and Human Anatomy; scientists at MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research; and experts from the School of Simulation and Visualisation at the GSA (SimVis).

The striking new images and videos are available to see on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) COVID-19 website at Coronavirus Explained.

Piecing together the complex scientific jigsaw of all the known details about this new coronavirus so far, a cross-disciplinary team has created a series of striking images and videos. While the illustrations do not reveal any new information about SARS-CoV-2, they are one of the first and most detailed 3D representations of the virus particles.

The illustrations and 3D models have been made freely available to view online and to download for use by anyone who wishes to visualise SARS-CoV-2. A set of science communication resources incorporating them, including colouring sheets, are already in development will be released in the near future.

By visualising existing data about the virus particles, it is hoped that this model will provide a valuable resource for anyone who wants to have a mental image of the invisible agent behind the current pandemic.

To download the COVID-19 visualisations visit: