Molecular Surface Computation Home Page (Michel F. Sanner)


This page will always be under construction

Some say MSMS stands for Michel Sanner's Molecular Surface, may be !!! may be it is Maximal Speed Molecular Surface GO FIGURE !!!

Anyway, MSMS allows to compute very efficiently triangulations of Solvent Excluded Surfaces. This program is written using the C programing language and can be used as a standalone program or as an AVS (Advanced Visualisation System) module. It has shown to be very reliable and produces very regular triangulations. Binary versions of MSMS are available for SGI, Dec Alpha, HP9000, IBM PC, Sun workstations and others.

For the AVS module, please fax us the license agreement form and we'll send you instruction on how to download the modules.

A man page is also available on-line.

A library version of MSMS is also available along with a technical documentation describing extensively the data structures used to store the surfaces. The intent of that library is to ease the integration of MSMS into any package written in C and to allow other people to extend the library by adding new interface functions.

Recently a demo version of MSMS has been made available on the net. This serveur allows to specify a set of spheres, a probe radius and a triangulation density and returns the corresponding triangulated solvent excluded surface as a VRML object.

The MSMS man page is now available on the internet.

Molecular Surface Viewer

Be sure to check out our new and free OpenGL based molecular surface viewer.

All the molecular surfaces shown here have been computed with MSMS and rendered in AVS.


During my thesis I defined the r-reduced surface which is a very compact way to store all information required to build the solvent accessible and the solvent excluded surface. I also gave an algorithm to compute this surface in O[nlogn] operations for a molecule made of n atoms.

The reduced surface computation has been implemented in a program called MSMS which has been presented at the 11th Symposium on Computational Geometry held in Vancouver BC Canada. The abstract of that communication is available online as well as a PostScript version of the full communication.

Michel Sanner
February 05 23:00 PDT 1996