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Biomineralization: Self-Assembly Processes

  1. Shu-Hong Yu,
  2. Shaofeng Chen

Published Online: 15 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia353

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Yu, S.-H. and Chen, S. 2009. Biomineralization: Self-Assembly Processes. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, People's Republic of China

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2009


This article focuses on biomineralization processing involving nanoparticle self-assembly. Biomineralization is a process of depositing inorganic or inorganic–organic hybrid materials as complex shapes or as hierarchical structures on various size scales having unique properties. Emerging nonclassical crystallization methods of self-assembly are summarized, including oriented attachment, mesocrystal growth from amorphous precursors, and polymer particle assembly from polymer-induced liquid precursors. Recent progress in understanding biomineralization in nature and biomimetic mineralization via nanoparticle self-assembly directed by organic molecules is summarized. Crystallization in organisms commonly involves biopolymer-induced nucleation and growth, self-assembly of nanobuilding blocks, and organization of amorphous precursors. A better understanding of biomineralization in organisms and self-assembly process, in general, will lead to the rational design and synthesis of functional materials having well-defined hierarchical structures, controlled length scales, and desired properties under environment-friendly conditions.


  • ACC;
  • biomineralization;
  • calcium carbonate;
  • hierarchical structure;
  • mesocrystal;
  • nanoparticle;
  • oriented attachment;
  • self-assembly