Mesoporous Silica: A Perfectly Periodic Three-Dimensional Protein/Silica Mesoporous Structure Produced by an Organism (Adv. Mater. 11/2014)




The discovery of a perfectly ordered 3D mesoporous protein/silica structure in the axial filament of the marine sponge Monorhaphis chuni is reported by I. Zlotnikov and co-workers on page 1682. The structure belongs to a body-centered tetragonal symmetry system and comprises interconnecting lattices of protein (red) and silica (green), templated by the self-assembled, enzymatically active protein silicatein, whose primary function is the precipitation of silica.