HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
The seashell's inner beauty

ARLINGTON, Va. -- There is more to mother-of-pearl than good looks. Also called nacre, the gleaming, white material is renowned in scientific circles for its strong, yet flexible, properties. Now researchers have developed a nanoscale, layered material that comes close to nacre's properties, including its iridescence. The ability to nanomanufacture artificial nacre may provide lightweight, rigid composites for aircraft parts, artificial bone and other applications.

Reporting online in Nature Materials on May 25, Nicholas Kotov and his colleagues at Oklahoma State University and at Digital Instruments/Veeco describe their method for creating nacre-like material that consists of alternating layers of clay and a type of polymer called a polyelectrolyte. Kotov received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award to pursue the work.

"The discovery allows researchers to tailor flexible materials to a given application--to get the tough materials that nature has been able to produce," said Lynn Schneemeyer, the NSF program officer who oversees Kotov's award. NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

Natural nacre owes much of its strength and flexibility to an internal brick-like structure. Protein layers only nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick provide the pliable "mortar," while calcium carbonate, the principal chemical in limestone and antacids, comprises the similarly miniscule "bricks" adding hardness.

In the artificial nacre, platelets of a negatively-charged clay called montmorillonite provide the bricks while fibers of a positively-charged polyelectrolyte called poly(diallydimethylammonium) chloride (PDDA) serve as the mortar. The opposite charges help the two components bond tightly to form the nacre structure.

"The combination of montmorillonite and PDDA for nacre modeling came to us quite naturally," said Kotov
'"/>

Contact: Josh Chamot
jchamot@nsf.gov
703-292-7730
National Science Foundation
27-May-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Secretary of Energy announces seven E.O. Lawrence Award Winners
2. Reducing allergens in the home helps inner-city children with asthma
3. Winner of 2004 EMBO Science Writing Prize announced
4. APS announces the winners of its 2004 postdoctoral fellowship in physiological genomics
5. Fox Chase Cancer Centers Alfred Knudson Jr. named 2004 Kyoto Prize winner
6. 2004 BP Conservation Programme winners pave the way for protecting wildlife
7. 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award winners announced
8. Spying on the inner life of a cell - new nanosensors a body can live with
9. Key gene identified for development of inner-ear structure required for balance
10. RNA inner workings partly unveiled in Stanford study
11. AGI announces the winners of Earth Science Week 2003 contests

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/3/2017)...  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its Board of ... as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. Schlesinger will ... He is currently the Chair of the Department of Microbial ... Interface Biology at Ohio State University. "We are ... CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James O. Rubin ...
(Date:2/2/2017)...  Central to its deep commitment to honor ... Japan Prize Foundation today announced the laureates of ... envelope in their respective fields of Life Sciences ... being recognized with the 2017 Japan Prize for ... to the advancement of science and technology, but ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of ... solution aimed at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in ... at the Action on Disaster Relief conference in ... for UN agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout ... and abuse are a largely unacknowledged problem in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Scientists propose in ... organ damage in Gaucher and maybe other lysosomal storage ... lower costs than current therapies. An international ... Center , which also included investigators from the University ... their data Feb. 22. The study was conducted in ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual events ... the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking a degree in any ... open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; as well as those ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... former Acting Deputy Director in the FDA CDRH Division of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and ... the company as an Expert Consultant. , In Dr. Spyker’s accomplished career, he ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017 Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... to preserve the microbiome to protect and restore the health of ... year ended December 31, 2016 on Thursday, March 2, 2017, and ... EST. The dial-in information for the call is as follows: ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: