Influenza Virus Capsule Model

Enhance your virus lesson with our Influenza Virus Capsule.

Influenza is an RNA virus with a roughly spherical lipid envelope, which is colored yellow on our schematic model. The outside of the virus capsule is covered with 3 specific proteins: hemagglutinin (purple), neuraminidase (pink) and the M2 channel (blue). These 3 proteins are involved in virus docking, endocytosis and fusion of the viral membrane to the host cell, the release of newly budded virus from infected cells, and acidification of the virus core and release of the segmented viral RNA. The specific sub-types and combinations of the hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) on the surface of the virus capsule categorize the strain of the virus. The viral RNA is represented by 8 segments of RNA -- some are colored red and some colored yellow -- to represent a reassorted virus emerging from a host cell simultaneously infected with a swine flu virus and an avian flu virus (H1N1 swine flu).

The 4'' and 6'' models are made of plaster by rapid prototyping and should be handled with care. They will break if dropped, held tightly or handled roughly.

Influenza Virus Capsule Gallery

Influenza Virus Capsules


Molecule of the Month on Influenza

The Molecule of the Month by scientist, author and artist Dr. David Goodsell includes an introduction to the structure and function of the chosen molecule and a discussion of its relevance to human health and welfare. Molecule of the Month articles are frequently referred to by teachers, students and researchers.


Product Details


Grade Level

High School


Choking Hazard
Small Magnets
Science Education Product
California Proposition 65

List Price

4” Plaster Model
     $450 (IVCM4)
6'' Plaster Model
     $625 (IVCM6)

This product is not available for shipping outside the U.S. and Canada.

Teacher Tip

Always have your students use plaster models over a table to minimize breakage. Simple breaks can usually be repaired with super-glue.

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