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A new biomineral identified in the cores of teeth from the chiton Plaxiphora albida

Lee, A.P., Brooker, L.R., Macey, D.J., Webb, J. and Van Bronswijk, W. (2003) A new biomineral identified in the cores of teeth from the chiton Plaxiphora albida. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 8 (3). pp. 256-262.

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The hydrated iron(III) oxide limonite is reported for the first time as a biomineral. In situ laser Raman spectra of the tooth cores from major lateral teeth of the chiton Plaxiphora albida are compared with those of synthetic and mineral iron phosphates and iron oxides. Raman spectra measured on iron phosphate and iron oxide standard materials are shown to be easily distinguishable from one another. The central tooth cores of mature P. albida teeth do not show any evidence for the presence of a separate iron phosphate mineral. Rather, in each tooth a narrow band of the hydrated iron(III) oxide limonite is shown to separate the magnetite of the tooth surface from a central core region comprising both lepidocrocite and limonite. The high concentration of phosphorus in P. albida tooth cores, previously observed by energy dispersive spectroscopy, is not associated with a separate iron phosphate mineral, indicating that this element may be adsorbed onto the surface of the iron oxide minerals present. The failure to detect a separate iron(III) phosphate is discussed with reference to other chiton species that display high levels of iron and phosphorus in the cores of their mature major lateral teeth.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Copyright: © Springer-Verlag
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