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Composition and Mechanical Properties of a Protein/Silica Hybrid Material Forming the Micron-Thick Axial Filament in the Spicules of Marine Sponges

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Abstract

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Nearly equal volume fractions of biosilica and proteins are found in the micron-thick axial filament of the anchor spicule of the marine sponge Monorhaphis chuni. Chemical composition and mechanical properties of this unique composite material are characterized by confocal Raman spectroscopy and by nanoindentation and nanoscale elastic modulus mapping, respectively.

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