Glass sponges contain properties that may advance the design of ships, planes and skyscrapers | NSF – National Science Foundation

The remarkable structural properties of Euplectella aspergillum, the Venus flower basket sponge, might seem far removed from human-engineered structures. However, insights into how the organism’s latticework of holes and ridges influences the hydrodynamics of seawater in its vicinity could lead to advanced designs for buildings, bridges, marine vehicles and aircraft, or anything that must respond safely to forces imposed by the flow of air or water.

While past research has investigated the structure of the sponge, there have been few studies of the hydrodynamic fields surrounding and penetrating the organism, and whether, beyond improving its mechanical properties, the skeletal motifs of E. aspergillum underlie the optimization of the flow physics within and beyond its body cavity.
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