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Play is often referred to as the ‘work’ of children, and sometimes those interests overlap into the research of adult scientists too, gleaning inspiration from popular building blocks and materials like LEGOs and Play-Doh. Of course, in the world of grownup science and 3D printing innovation, the projects are just a tiny bit more complex—and with an emphasis on tiny—no wait, make that microscopic! Chemists from the New York University Department of Chemistry and the School of Chemical Engineering at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) in Suwon, South Korea are creating ways to make structures tinier in width than a piece of your hair. Borrowing from material elements in both LEGOs and Play-Doh, they have been able to create ‘patchy particles.’ Their research, outlined in the paper ‘Patchy particles made by colloidal fusion,’ was published recently in Nature: “Using coordination dynamics and wetting forces, we engineer hybrid liquid–solid clusters that evolve into