CONTENTS

BIOMINERALIZATION

 

FIRST

INTRODUCTION

CELL CYCLE

BIOMINERALIZATION

NANOPATTERNING

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

 

 

 

Biosilica morphogenesis is a remarkably rapid process that is accomplished under mild physiological conditions, thus exceeding the capabilities of present-day materials engineering. Therefore, elucidating the molecular mechanisms of biosilica formation is expected to devise new synthetic routes to nanostructured silica materials. Recently, we have identified Silaffins and long-chain polyamines as constituents of biosilica. These compounds highly accelerate silica formation from a monosilicic acid solution in vitro and produce a variety of silica morphologies. Long-chain polyamines are composed of a linear chain of up to 20 N-methyl-propylenimine units attached to putrescine. Silaffins are polycationic peptides that carry numerous posttranslational modifications.

 

Silaffins from Cylindrotheca fusiformis are peptides containing lysine residues that are linked to long-chain polyamines. It is due to this modification that Silaffin peptides are able to precipitate silica nanospheres even under slightly acidic pH conditions (Kröger et al., 1999, 2002)