IN FOCUS: 3D pollen prints not to be sniffed at: printing pollen for the Met office.

Above:  Not to be sneezed at: 3D pollen prints for the Met Office (grass, green; oak, yellow and birch, blue).

Disclaimer: If you suffer from hayfever then please avoid spending too long on this page – it may be detrimental to your health!

I bet you didn’t know that one in five people  suffer from hayfever and that 95% of pollen sufferers are allergic to grass pollen in the UK alone? Well neither did I until I visited the Met Office’s  really informative pollen forecast website. 

It seems that some of the worst offenders are pollen grains from grass, oak and birch which play havoc with the mucous membranes during the pollen season, causing sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and triggering asthma in susceptible individuals (and to make matters worse,  these conditions are exacerbated  by drinking alcohol – so no respite there!)

Having read some of our previous blogs (here and here), the Met Office recently asked the Bioimaging Hub if we would generate 3D printed models of some of the worse culprits  (shown above) for their outreach & engagement programme to help promote awareness of hayfever. 

The 3D prints were generated from surface-rendered confocal microscope volume datasets with help from BIOSI 3D printing. We’ve used the technique to generate physical models of a variety of microscopic samples ranging in size from subcellular organelles to whole developmental organisms. If you’re interested, then further details of the methodology are available below.

AJH

Further reading:

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