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Nature's conveyor belt - the matrix mediated biomineralization of magnetite in chitons (Mollusca)

Shaw, J.A., Macey, D.J., Brooker, L.R., Saunders, M. and Clode, P.L. (2009) Nature's conveyor belt - the matrix mediated biomineralization of magnetite in chitons (Mollusca). Microscopy and Microanalysis, 15 (S2). pp. 898-899.

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Chitons are marine molluscs that use a variety of iron and calcium based minerals to harden their teeth, which they use to scrape algae growing upon, and within, rocks. The teeth are mounted on a long ribbon-like organ termed the radula, with immature, unmineralized teeth at the posterior end and the hardened iron-mineralized teeth at the anterior end (Fig. 1). At any one time, up to 80 individual tooth rows can be observed, with each row becoming progressively mineralized as it moves forward in a conveyor belt-like manner. The ability to study the entire mineralization process in a single animal makes these creatures ideal for the study of matrix mediated biomineralization. The chiton’s ability to mineralize iron has inspired researchers who believe that new biomimetic materials and technologies can be developed based on the principles of biomineral formation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: (c) Microscopy Society of America
Notes: Extended abstract of a paper presented at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2009 in Richmond, Virginia, USA, July 26 – July 30, 2009
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