Nature’s 3D Printer: Bristle Edition

A new interdisciplinary study published in Nature Communications by the Raible group reveals new insights into the eponymous bristles of the bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii. With its material jetting principle, bristle building resembles the way a 3D printer works. Specialized cells called chaetoblasts control the synthesis of nascent bristles by regulating the deposition of chitin, a stiff polymer essential for bristle biogenesis. The project is a collaboration with researchers from the University of Helsinki, the Technical University of Vienna, and the Masaryk University of Brno.

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