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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Biological and bioactive silicon systems

Patwardhan, Siddharth V. and Clarson, Stephen J. (2012) Biological and bioactive silicon systems. Silicon, 4 (1). pp. 1-3. ISSN 1876-990X

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Silicon will probably be the most important element of the 21st Century. Silicon is the most “renewable” or “sustainable” element in that approximately 74%of the Earth’s crust is made up of silicon and oxygen. Silicon is an essential micronutrient for humans and it is also biotransformed on a vast scale by organisms such as diatoms and sponges (it has been reported to be bioprocessed at scales >6.7×109 tonnes of silicon per year) [1, 2]. It is also the basis of the global electronics and optoelectronics industries. Silica and silicates are used in glasses, glazes, ceramics, and composites. These materials have applications in a wide range of areas such as pharmaceuticals, industrial catalysts, cosmetics, detergents and dental materials [3–6]. Silicones are the most successful of the inorganic polymers and they find applications as fluids, resins, rubbers, gels and foams [7]. Silicon carbide is an important ceramic and silica is applied in composite materials as the reinforcing phase. In the field of coatings, silicon is widely used in a variety of chemical vapour deposition methods and in related thin film deposition techniques [8–11]. Silanes are utilised as primers and adhesion promoters. Small molecule silicon chemistry continues to engage materials scientists worldwide.