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Protein-mediated bioinspired mineralization

Patwardhan, S V and Shiba, K and Raab, C and Huesing, N and Clarson, S J (2005) Protein-mediated bioinspired mineralization. ACS Symposium Series, 900. pp. 150-163. ISSN 0097-6156

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Biomineralisation, due to its remarkable sophistication and hierarchical control in mineral 'shaping', is profoundly inspiring for the design of novel materials and new processes. Recent investigations have begun to elucidate the specific interactions of various biomolecules with their respective minerals in vivo. In order to better understand the roles of such (bio)molecules in (bio)mineralisation, various in vitro model systems have been examined recently. Here we report the bioinspired mineralisation of silica in the presence of a lysine and arginine rich a-helical synthetic protein YT320 that was tailor-made using genetic engineering. Furthermore, in order to examine the possible specificity (or perhaps the lack thereof) of this protein with silica, we also report studies of bioinspired mineralisation of germania. It is proposed that this protein facilitates and 'guides' the mineralisation through residue specific and conformationally directed interactions at the molecular level.