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Natural opal as a model system for studying the process of biomineralization

Liliana Pramatarova 1Emilia V. Pecheva 1Radina Presker 2Ulrich Schwarz 3Ruediger Kniep 3

1. Institute of Solid State Physics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSP-BAS), 72, Tzarigradsko Chaussee blvd., Sofia 1784, Bulgaria
2. Technical University, Walter Schottky Institute, Am Coulombwall 3, M√ľnchen D-85748, Germany
3. 3Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Noethnitzer Str. 40, Dresden 01187, Germany


Opal is a natural model for a nanostructure due to its nano-sized close packed silica spheres. Its structure is also characterized by the presence of a regular sublattice of voids, filled with a molecular water and accesible to filling by other substances. Using a natural opal as a substrate, no complimentary technique is necessary to produce patterned surface, since it is naturally present in opal. Thus, the property of nano dimentions to efficiently influence different biological events can be utilized in the laboratory and bilogically integrated multifunctional devices (biomaterials, sensors) could be created. Today?s material science is ?learning? from the nature and by approaches resembling the bilogical principles, bio-mimicking and biocompatible materials have been created.
The main purpose of our work is by using nanostructured or other functionalized materials as model systems, to contribute to the study of the biomineralization. Particularly in this study, the ability of a natural opal from Eastern Rhodopes mountain in Bulgaria to induce the deposition of a hydroxyapatite [HA, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2] ceramic layer on its surface from a simulated body fluid (SBF)was reported. Raman, Infrared spectroscopies and X-ray diffraction were used to determine that the opal consists of two main phases: microcrystalline quartz and cristobalite and that the grown from SBF ceramic on both phases is HA with nm grain size.


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Presentation: poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004, Symposium G, by Emilia V. Pecheva
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004

Submitted: 2004-05-03 09:25
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55