Studies of Biosilicification; The Role of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Model Compounds in Structure Control
Final rept. 1 Jan 2003-31 Dec 2005
NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM)
Pagination or Media Count:
Si in some form has been shown to be associated with post-translationally modified protein and carbohydrate biopolymer components of the plant cell wall from Equisetum arvense. Bioextracts from the plant cell wall and bioinspired additives from amino acids, peptides, proteins and molecules containing reactive groups such as amines and hydroxyl groups have been found to modify the properties of silicas generated in their presence. The observed patterns of behaviour are functionality and structure dependent and centre upon non-covalent interactions between a range of silicon containing species and the solution phase additives. Electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonding, the hydrophobic effect and the ordering of water all play a role in determining the structures adopted by silica produced in aqueous solution. Routes to porous and non-porous silicas and to silicas that show a range of gross morphologies including spheres, ribbons and structures that superficially mimic the material they have been formed in conjunction with have been developed. The level of understanding of chemical factors that affect silica formation has been extensively increased and new silica based materials generated. It is extremely likely that the set of rules governing biosilicification understood from this project will be used predictively in the future by others.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy