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Solubility phenomena related to normal and pathological biomineralization processes

Königsberger, E.ORCID: 0000-0002-4606-0741 and Königsberger, L.C. (2006) Solubility phenomena related to normal and pathological biomineralization processes. In: Königsberger, E. and Königsberger, L.C., (eds.) Biomineralization – Medical Aspects of Solubility. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 1-37.

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Biomineralization, which refers to the complex processes by which organisms form minerals, is frequently associated with a high degree of regulation on different hierarchical levels [1,2]. ‘Biologically controlled’ mineralization, in which extra-, inter- and intracellular activities direct the nucleation, growth and morphology of minerals that form ‘normal’ biomaterials such as bone and teeth [1,2], is fundamentally different from ‘biologically induced’ mineralization, which occurs as a result of interactions between biological activity (affecting e.g. the pH and composition of secretion products) and the environment [1,2]. Since there is little control of the biological system over the type and habit of minerals deposited, these vary as greatly as the environments in which they form and are often poorly defined, heterogeneous and porous [1,2]. Biologically induced mineralization is commonly associated with various bacterial activities and with epicellular mineralization in marine environments, occasionally leading to the complete encrustation of organisms, that sink subsequently and form sediments [1,2]. However, its characteristic features are also typical for uncontrolled ‘pathological’ crystallization resulting in painful or even life threatening conditions such as calculi formation (renal, biliary, pancreatic or sublingual), development of gout or arteriosclerosis, tissue calcification associated with cancer, etc.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Chemical and Mathematical Science
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Copyright: © 2006 John Wiley & Sons
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