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.

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 October 20, 2014 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
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