Mother-of-pearl From Shells Could Inspire Regeneration of Human Bones

Researchers from the University of Granada, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Aveiro (Portugal) have studied for the first time nacre’s growing mechanism of gastropods, a first step for the artificial reproduction of this material in laboratories which could make possible its use in biomedicine, with applications such as the regeneration of human bones.


This work has been recently published in the journal PNAS, and its authors are Antonio Checa, Professor of the department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the University of Granada; Julyan Cartwright, researcher of the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (CSIC-UGR), and Marc-Georg Willinger (University of Aveiro, Portugal).

Many molluscs present an iridescent nacre layer on the internal surface of their shells, which lends them an enormous strength against fractures. Oddly, although molluscs have been producing nacre for million years, men had not been able to reproduce it artificially.

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