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Biomineralization: New directions in crystal science


Heywood, BR, Biomineralization: New directions in crystal science, Microscopy Research and Technique, 27, (5) pp. 376-388. ISSN 1059-910X (1994) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/jemt.1070270504


Effective protocols for controlling crystal structure, size, and morphology attract considerable interest given the requirement for particles of modal size and shape in many areas of materials fabrication and the importance of crystallochemical selectivity in determining the exploitable properties of inorganic solids. For this reason biomineralization merits particular attention since many biominerals are deposited in a highly controlled manner to produce crystals which are uniformly sized and crystallographically unique. Studies of biominerals have revealed that while a complex array of strategies have evolved for regulating their formation, one feature is common to the biological paradigm; interactions between organized biopolymeric assemblies and the nascent inorganic solids play a pivotal role in controlling the crystallization process. In order to gain a better understanding of the molecular interactions which take place at organic-inorganic interface and address the fundamental chemical problems of biomineralization, a crystal chemical approach has been adopted. Organized organic assemblies (phospholipid vesicles, Langmuir monolayers, polypeptide templates) of precise molecular design (head group identity, packing conformation, peptide sequence, etc.) were assayed for their effectiveness in controlling the nucleation and growth of inorganic solids. This work has established that through systematic changes in the nature of the organic matrix the size, crystallographic orientation, and growth of the mineral phase can be controlled. Critical to this process was the translation of specific molecular information at the organic-inorganic interface: epitaxial alignment, stereochemical complementarity, and electrostatic interactions were an essential feature of this recognition event.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biomimetic chemistry, biomineralization, crystal engineering, crystal growth, crystal nucleation, molecular recognition
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Macromolecular and materials chemistry
Research Field:Structure and dynamics of materials
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
UTAS Author:Heywood, BR (Professor Brigid Heywood)
ID Code:104532
Year Published:1994
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2015-11-13
Last Modified:2015-11-13

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