Bacteriophage viruses spontaneously self-assemble in the presence of their component parts (certain protein molecules). It is believed that conformational switches, interacting chemical bonding sites that allow tentative incorrect bonds, facilitate this randomized assembly process. A one-dimensional conformational switch is proposed and used to study the randomized assembly of mechanical parts. A genetic algorithm is used to search the space of parameterized switch designs to maximize the rate of a desired assembly.

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