From Calcified Tissues to Engineered Crystals

While ferritin represents an example of a nanosized crystalline biomineral, the architecture for example of a vertebrate bone or a mollusc shell spans several length scales. The morphology of the calcified tissue is ultimately encoded in the genome that governs the biosynthesis of required materials at the cellular level of structural hierarchy. Biomineralization therefore, as a highly complex phenomenon of living organisms, cannot be reduced to a single mechanistic aspect. The following representation of CaCO3 mineralization in molluscs is admittedly a crude simplification which mainly concentrates on structural aspects, while at the same time ignoring the dynamic character of the entire process. Special emphasis here is put on induced CaCO3 crystal nucleation, i.e. the early stages of crystal growth where the system properties can be described by supramolecular recognition events occurring at the mineral-matrix interface. At this level, common features of ferritin, mollusc shell or bone mineralization do exist: the interaction of highly specialized acidic macromolecules with different surfaces of the growing single crystal. Current research efforts focus on the isolation and characterization of macromolecules from calcified tissues. Functional properties of isolated macromolecules or fractions of macromolecules are systematically investigated for their ability to influence CaCO3 nucleation, growth and polymorphism. Biologically inspired synthetic strategies try to assemble artificial matrices in order to mimic structural and functional properties of mineralizing tissues.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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