Friday, 25 September 2015

Dynamic Sponges Inspire Bioengineering and Robotics

Stove-pipe Sponge (Aplysina archeri). Image courtesy of Nick Hobgood, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

Sponges do not appear to be very intelligent, but new research published in the journal Current Biology suggests that they are master builders and use a dynamic strategy in building up their “pole-and-beam structured skeleton”.

No wonder they inspire bioengineering and robotics.

Sponges appear in the fossil record in the Precambrian strata, so they if anything are living fossils. While they are featured in Darwinian just so stories, they are finely tuned to live in the seas.


Nakayama, Sohei et al. 2015. Dynamic Transport and Cementation of Skeletal Elements Build Up the Pole-and-Beam Structured Skeleton of Sponges. Current Biology 25: 1–6.