Navigation Links
Focus on the formation of bones, teeth and shells
Date:5/14/2009

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology for the first time have shown the earliest stages in biomineralization, the process that leads to the formation of bones, teeth and sea shells.

They used the world's most modern electron microscope to capture a three-dimensional image of the nanoparticles that form the basis for this process. The results provide a greater understanding of the formation of bones, teeth and shells. This creates a prospect of better materials and processes for industry, based on nature. The findings featured as the cover story for the scientific journal Science on Friday 13 March.

The researchers, led by Vidi laureate Dr Nico Sommerdijk, managed to image small clusters, with a diameter of 0.7 nanometers, in a solution of calcium carbonate, (the basic material of shells, for example). They were the first to show that these clusters, containing no more than about ten ions, were the start of the growth process from which the crystalline biomineral is ultimately formed.

To do this, they used the extremely high resolution of a special electron microscope, the FEI Company's cryoTitan. The equipment was acquired with the assistance of a NWO Large Investment grant for the TU/e and Maastricht University. It allowed them to be the first in their field to see how the clusters nucleated into larger, unstructured nanoparticles with an average diameter of about 30 nanometers.

Three-dimensional imaging revealed that an organic surface introduced by the researchers allowed these nanoparticles to grow into larger particles, in which crystalline areas could be formed later, through structuring of the ions. The TU/e researchers demonstrated a second role for the organic layer: it directed quite precisely the direction in which the mineral could grow into a mature biomineral. In the near future they hope to show that the mechanism they have discovered also applies to the formation of other crystalline biominerals, and perhaps even to other inorganic materials.

This is important for research into the growth of bones and substitute bone material. The work might also be used in nanotechnology, to direct the growth of nanoparticles in the same way as appears to happen in nature: through a subtle interplay of organic and inorganic materials.

About biomineralisation

Biomineralisation is the formation of inorganic materials in a biological environment, familiar from bones, teeth and shells. The formation of the mineral is quite precisely directed here by specialised organic biomolecules, such as sugars and proteins. While the underlying mechanisms have long been a subject of study, there are still many mysteries in the details of this process.

One commonly followed strategy is to use 'biomimetic' studies, where the biomineralisation process is mimicked with a simplified system in the laboratory. This allows individual parts of the mineralisation process to be studied.

Using this approach, as well as the electron microscope mentioned above, Sommerdijk's research group at the TU/e Faculty of Chemical Technology managed to capture images of the earliest stages of this type of biomimetically led mineralisation reaction.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nico Sommerdijk
N.Sommerdijk@tue.nl
31-040-247-5870
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Food and environmental sustainability focus of ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings
2. New south Florida nursery to focus on staghorn corals
3. Critically endangered porpoise is focus of new research report
4. Project focuses on production of hydrogen from bacteria and sunlight
5. Powerful yet reliable proteomics techniques are the focus of a new methods book
6. Astronomy technology brings nanoparticle probes into sharper focus
7. Multiple resource management is focus of new technical report
8. European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases
9. Community-intervention study links successful town makeover focused on boosting calcium and exercise
10. York symposium puts focus on chemical weather
11. Forum to focus on math and mechanics behind life processes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, ... biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions, today ... million contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity ... technologies for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation ... the onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... two-dimensional representations of a complex biological network, a depiction of a system of ... mess,” said Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for ... June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA ... board directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility and ... in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort study ... comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: