Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mother-of-pearl From Shells Could Inspire Regeneration of Human Bones

Date:
February 13, 2009
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Scientists have studied nacre's growing mechanism of gastropods, a step for the artificial reproduction of this material in laboratories which could make possible its use in biomedicine. Although molluscs have been producing nacre for million years, humans have not been able to reproduce it artificially. One of its possible applications would be the regeneration of human bones.

Gastropods’ nacre towers.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Granada

Researchers from the University of Granada, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Aveiro (Portugal) have studied for the first time nacre’s growing mechanism of gastropods, a first step for the artificial reproduction of this material in laboratories which could make possible its use in biomedicine, with applications such as the regeneration of human bones.

Related Articles


This work has been recently published in the journal PNAS, and its authors are Antonio Checa, Professor of the department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the University of Granada; Julyan Cartwright, researcher of the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (CSIC-UGR), and Marc-Georg Willinger (University of Aveiro, Portugal).

Many molluscs present an iridescent nacre layer on the internal surface of their shells, which lends them an enormous strength against fractures. Oddly, although molluscs have been producing nacre for million years, men had not been able to reproduce it artificially.

Apart from their beauty –this is the material pearls are made of-, scientists have also done research into nacre due to its biomedical applications and its excellent biomechanic properties. If it was possible to reproduce this natural compost in an artificial way, it would have multiple and relevant applications.

Gastropods’ nacre

The authors have analysed gastropods’ nacre in detail (pleurotomariidae, turbos, trochus, abalones and others). Such nacre grows forming block towers, as piles of coins, unlike bivalves (nuculas, mussels, nacras, pearl oysters), which grow just like terraces of tablets. Nacre is made up of blocks of aragonite separated by membrans of polysaccharides and proteins, just like bricks and mortar in a wall.

The nacre grows in terraces because it is limited by a membrane (superficial membrane) which covers and protects it from sea water when the animal goes into its shell. Such superficial membrane must carry out different tasks in order to permit the prodcution of nacre and therefore it is “a wonderfully complex structure”, according to the authors of this work. This article has showed how the superficial membrane organizes nacre in towers and how mineral blocks are conected through a central column.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Mother-of-pearl From Shells Could Inspire Regeneration of Human Bones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112741.htm>.
University of Granada. (2009, February 13). Mother-of-pearl From Shells Could Inspire Regeneration of Human Bones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112741.htm
University of Granada. "Mother-of-pearl From Shells Could Inspire Regeneration of Human Bones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112741.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins