05.03.2020

Animal shell microstructures: highy organized organo-mineral composites. Strategies for their fabrication – seminar


Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology AGH UST invites for a seminar that will be held on 5th March, 2020, at 2.00 pm.

A lecture titled “Animal shell microstructures: highy organized organo-mineral composites. Strategies for their fabrication” will be given by Professor Antonio Checa (University of Granada, Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology, Spain).

Venue: Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology AGH UST (Kawiory 30 Street, building D-16, auditorium room 1.02A)

Abstract

There is a big variety of invertebrate animals which produce shells as a mean both to anchor the soft tissue and protect their soft bodies. These shells are composed of highly ordered aggregates of either calcite or aragonite crystals with varied morphologies and three-dimensional arrangements mixed with organic matrices, which are called microstructures. Each group of invertebrates develops its characteristic suite of microstructures, with some groups being much more skilled than others in their fabrication. Shell microstructures have different degrees of sophistication. Some are not very dissimilar to inorganic aggregates, whereas others are highly sophisticated in terms of crystal shapes and/or the development of organic membranes. Here I will give an overview of the strategies developed by invertebrates to fabricate their shell microstructures. These include both physical (e.g. crystal competition, self-organization of organic matrices) and/or biological (direct activity of cells) processes. The balance between the physical and biological determinants varies among microstructures, with some being based exclusively on either physical or biological processes, and others having a mixed nature. Given the exceptional biomechanical properties of some microstructures (e.g. nacre), the unraveling of their fabricational strategies in important for future biomimetical studies aiming at the production of functional synthetic materials.