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Crystals 2017, 7(10), 319; doi:10.3390/cryst7100319

Formation Mechanism of CaCO3 Spherulites in the Myostracum Layer of Limpet Shells

EaStCHEM, School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews, Fife KY16 9ST, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Cölfen
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Biogenic Crystallization)
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CaCO3 spherulites were found in the myostracum layer of common limpet shells collected from East Sands, St Andrews, Scotland. Their microstructures were revealed by using powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. The formation mechanisms of these spherulites and their morphology evolution were postulated. It was proposed that spherical particles of an inorganic and biological composite formed first. In the centre of each spherical particle a double-layer disk of vaterite crystal sandwiching a biological sheet developed. The disk crystal supplies a relatively strong mirror symmetric dipole field, guiding the orientations of the nanocrystallites and the arrangement of mesorods and, therefore, determining the final morphology of the spherulite. View Full-Text
Keywords: CaCO3; spherulite; biomineralization; limpet shells; electron microscopy; dipole field CaCO3; spherulite; biomineralization; limpet shells; electron microscopy; dipole field

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Wu, S.; Chiang, C.-Y.; Zhou, W. Formation Mechanism of CaCO3 Spherulites in the Myostracum Layer of Limpet Shells. Crystals 2017, 7, 319.

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