Navigation Links
First high-resolution images of bone, tooth and shell formation

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have for the first time made high-resolution images of the earliest stages of bone formation. They used the world's most advanced electron microscope to make three-dimensional images of the nano-particles that are at the heart of the process. The results provide improved understanding of bone, tooth and shell formation. For industrial applications, they promise better materials and processes based on nature itself. The findings form the cover story of Science magazine's Friday 13 March edition.

Led by dr. Nico Sommerdijk, the researchers imaged small clusters with a cross-section of 0.7 nanometer in a solution of calcium carbonate (the basic material of which shells are made). They showed for the first time that these clusters, each consisting of only about ten ions, are the beginning of the growth process through which the crystalline biomineral is ultimately formed.

To do this they used the very high resolution of a special electron microscope: the cryoTitan (of FEI Company). This enabled them, as the first in their field of research, to make three-dimensional images of very rapidly frozen samples. These showed how the clusters in the solution nucleate into larger, unstructured nano-particles with an average diameter of around thirty nanometers.

An organic surface applied by the researchers ensures that these nano-particles can grow into larger particles, in which crystalline regions can later form by ordering of the ions. The TU/e researchers also demonstrated a second function of the organic layer: it controls with great precision the direction in which the mineral can grow into a fully fledged biomineral. They now hope to show that the mechanism they have identified also applies to the formation of other crystalline biominerals, and perhaps even to other, inorganic materials.

This is important for research into bone growth and bone-replacement materials. In addition it could be used in nanotechnology, to allow the growth of nano-particles to be controlled in the same way as seems to be the case in nature: through subtle interactions between organic and inorganic materials.

About biomineralization

Biomineralization is the formation of inorganic materials in a biological environment, as it is found in bones, teeth and shells. In this process the formation of the mineral is controlled with great precision by specialized organic biomolecules such as sugars and proteins. Although the underlying mechanisms have already been studied for a long time, the process is still not fully understood.

A widely used strategy is the use of so-called biomimetic studies, in which the process of biomineralization is simulated by a simplified system in a laboratory. This allows parts of the mineralization process to be studied individually.

With this approach and by using the unique electron microscope referred to above, Sommerdijk's research group in the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry department at TU/e have been able to image the earliest stages of such a biomimetically controlled mineralization reaction.


Contact: Nico Sommerdijk
Eindhoven University of Technology

Related biology technology :

1. Reclast(R) Receives US FDA Approval as First and Only Once-Yearly Treatment for Women With Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
2. GlaxoSmithKline Recognizes University of Michigans Dr. Daniel F. Hayes as the First Recipient of the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award
3. Kewaunee Scientific Announces First Quarter Results and Quarterly Dividend
4. Genmab Announces 2007 First Half Year Results
5. Pharsight Achieves First License Sale for Public-Source Database
6. Novare Announces First Ever Single Port Laparoscopic Kidney Removal (Nephrectomy) Using RealHand(TM) HD Instruments
7. ExonHit Therapeutics: Allergan and ExonHits First Collaboration Compound to Begin Human Clinical Trials
8. China Medical Technologies Reports First Quarter Financial Results
9. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. Issued First Patent in Canada
10. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals to Announce First Quarter FY 2008 Financial Results
11. Exelixis Reports Encouraging Interim Data From a Phase 2 Trial of XL647 as First-Line Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
First high-resolution images of bone, tooth and shell formation
(Date:10/11/2017)... BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced ... network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will ... to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education ... professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and are ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tampa Bay, Florida (PRWEB) , ... October 11, ... ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its ... antibody (sdAb) for the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder ... local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and ... had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to ... symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator ... of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified ... architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises ... over 15 million users across the financial services industry, ... product suites and physical access represent a growing portion ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):