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Control of biogenic nanocrystal formation in biomineralization

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Gal,  Assaf
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Faivre,  Damien
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Addadi, L., Gal, A., Faivre, D., Scheffel, A., & Weiner, S. (2016). Control of biogenic nanocrystal formation in biomineralization. Israel Journal of Chemistry, 56(4), 227-241. doi:10.1002/ijch.201500038.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-54B6-6
Abstract
Many organisms build crystals with almost complete control over all aspects of crystal formation, from nucleation to growth, from composition to polymorphic structure, and from morphology to size. In biomineralization, the control is fundamentally always exerted at the level of nanometers, because the building blocks themselves are at the nanoscale. We have chosen to describe in some detail four biological systems that produce nanoscale crystals using different mineralization pathways, different levels of control, and have different functions. These four cases are: bone crystal composites; guanine nanocrystal reflectors; magnetotactic bacteria with single domain magnets; and coccoliths, whose functions have yet to be identified. This is followed by a discussion aimed at identifying possible specific and/or common underlying principles involved in nanocrystal formation in biology.