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Biomimetic synthesis of silica structures

Patwardhan, S V and Clarson, S J (2003) Biomimetic synthesis of silica structures. Abstracts of papers - American Chemical Society, 225. U663-U663. ISSN 0065-7727

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Abstract

The controlled formation of intricate silica structures in organisms (via biosilicification) occurs at (or close to) pH 7, under ambient conditions and is found to be mediated by proteins. Study of the primary amino acid sequences of these proteins from various organisms has led to the identification of various key amino acids in biosilicification. The corresponding synthetic polyamino acids, polypeptides and polymers are now being successfully used in bioinspired materials chemistry for developing new materials and processes. Here we report the formation of the ordered silica structures in vitro using various synthetic macromolecules under ambient conditions and neutral pH. These macromolecules are cationically charged at neutral pH and act as catalysts and scaffolds for the formation of silica in vitro in analogous fashion to certain biomacromolecules that are able to facilitate silicification / biosilicification