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  1. Yannicke Dauphin

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia018

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Dauphin, Y. 2006. Biomineralization . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Université Paris Sud, Orsay, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


Three main categories are involved in biominerals: silica, calcium carbonates, and calcium phosphates. The calcium biominerals are usually crystalline, but amorphous types are also known. Within these categories, the shapes and chemical contents of structural units are variable. Moreover, the chemical and physical properties of biominerals are very different from the crystal habits produced inorganically: they depend on the producing plants and animals and the environmental conditions. Biomineral development is permanently controlled by specifically produced organic molecules that remain entrapped within the mineral units. Although biomineralization has been widely studied in the past, the growth mechanisms are still poorly understood, and the most elaborated model is based on the nacreous layer of mollusk shells. Studies on biominerals and biomineralization have various applications, from biology and geology to biomimetics.


  • calcite;
  • aragonite;
  • apatite, silica;
  • bone;
  • teeth;
  • mollusk;
  • paleoenvironment