Synthetic Biominerals Outdo Mother Nature | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 91 Issue 11 | p. 39 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 18, 2013

Synthetic Biominerals Outdo Mother Nature

Materials that mimic sea sponge skeleton are incredibly flexible and can guide light
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE, Biological SCENE, Nano SCENE
Keywords: biomineralization, sea sponge, spicules

Alternating mineral and protein layers give many sea creatures strong skeletons that can bend without cracking and withstand other underwater insults. Chemists have now used the same construction materials to build similar cylindrical, needlelike structures called spicules that are stronger and more flexible than the real McCoy. And they could be used to guide light in optical devices to boot. A team led by Wolfgang Tremel of Johannes Gutenberg University, in Mainz, . . .

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