Blanc Inter SIMI 9 - Blanc international - Sciences de l'information, de la matière et de l'ingénierie : Sciences de l'ingénierie, matériaux, procédés, énergie

Organic control on nanostructured biomaterials, biomimetic example of otoliths and freshwater pearls – NanoBioCarbonate

Submission summary

Mineralized tissues (as mother-of-pearl, bone or tooth) are produced in nature to optimize the mechanical performances. This result is obtained thanks to a strategy of hybrid multiscale structure in which the organic matrix controls the mineral deposit and increases the tenacity as well as the resistance. Our approach consists in studying two natural materials to understand the protein control on these structures and properties. The identification of proteins which are of use as mediator or template for mineralization is a promising challenge to shape new nanostructured materials; we can learn a lot of the natural models, in this domain. Our starting materials are two typical biominerals (fresh water pearl and otolith). We plan to extract and purify the proteins in them. Then, to validate their role, we plan to experience in vitro mineralization using the extracted proteins. The research focuses on different types of organic macromolecules with different molecular weights, their effects on the crystal structure and the nanomechanical properties that can be tailored this way. Tsinghua University has accumulated a lot of knowledge in the study of biomineralization. ISTO of Orleans University has a great experience of organo-mineral ultrastructure and access to a proteomic characterization on the CNRS campus of Orleans (CBM). FEMTO Institute in Besançon France possess the specialist in nanomechanics of mother-of-pearl (nano-indentation and nano-tribology). The cooperation between our two Universities has been effective till 2005 when we have obtained the first PRD grant. The cooperation between our two countries will further concretize our efforts and improve the understanding of mineral growth in nature with the aim to open a new route for preparing hybride nanomaterials, using proteins or other organic molecules as template or mediator.

Project coordination

Xavier BOURRAT (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique- Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orleans) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CNRS-ISTO Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique- Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orleans
Tsinghua University Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE)

Help of the ANR 204,880 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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