Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > First high-resolution images of bone, tooth and shell formation

This is a 3D electron microscopy image of the calcium carbonate crystals that grow to the organic surface. The flat part of the crystals is in contact with the organic layer. (the width of the crystals is approx. 400 nanometers)

Credit: Nico Sommerdijk
This is a 3D electron microscopy image of the calcium carbonate crystals that grow to the organic surface. The flat part of the crystals is in contact with the organic layer. (the width of the crystals is approx. 400 nanometers)

Credit: Nico Sommerdijk

Abstract:
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.

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

Netherlands | Posted on March 12th, 2009

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.

Reference: Science, 13 March 2009, "The initial stages of template-controlled CaCO3 formation revealed by Cryo-TEM"; Emilie M. Pouget, Paul H.H. Bomans, Jeroen A.C.M. Goos, Peter M. Frederik, Gijsbertus de With and Nico A.J.M. Sommerdijk.

Nico Sommerdijk carried out this work with a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The cryoTEM equipment was financed partly by an NWO Large Investment Subsidy.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nico Sommerdijk

31-651-627-482

Copyright © Eindhoven University of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Imaging

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

Nanomedicine

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

Discoveries

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Announcements

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Tools

How cancer cells spread and squeeze through tiny blood vessels (video) June 30th, 2016

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

FEI Launches Helios G4 DualBeam Series for Materials Science: The Helios G4 DualBeam Series features new capabilities to enable scientists and engineers to answer the most demanding and challenging scientific questions June 27th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic