New Lecture Notes: Biomineralization

The new lecture notes covers biomineralization and can be downloaded HERE.


In the first part of this lecture note we will describe the micro- and nano anatomy of molluscs shells and bone and the phenomenology of mollusc shell formation (biogenesis). We then summarize the present state of our knowledge about the self-organization of mollusc shells and address the question how aragonite, the specific modification of CaCO3, is formed by controlling the nucleation and growth of the crystallites by protein templates.

In a separate chapter we summarize some basic physical laws of nucleation and growth of crystals in the absence of additives which induce the formation of a specific crystal structure (polymorph). In the last chapter we discuss the physical basis of the unique mechanical toughness of bone and show that it is a characteristic property of nano-composites. Since the
main focus of the lecture note is to explore the physical basis of the biogenesis of biominerals and their material properties, I do not consider the highly challenging attempts to apply the tricks of nature to design smart technical materials. The reader is referred to an extensive review (with ~800 citations) on the generation of calcium apatite nano-composites and their medical applications by S.V. Dorozhkin [Dorozhkin, 2012].

Download this chapter HERE.

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