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Infiltration of Silica Inside Fibrillar Collagen


  • This work was supported by grant R21 DE019213 from NIDCR (PI. Franklin Tay), the PSRP and ESA awards from the Georgia Health Sciences University, and grant NSFC 81130078 from Nature Science Foundation of China (PI. Ji-hua Chen). We thank R. Smith (Electron Microscopy Core Unit, Georgia Health Sciences University (USA)) for performing electron diffractions, F. Chan (Electron Microscopy Unit, The University of Hong Kong, China) for performing STEM-EDX and electron tomography, and M. Burnside for secretarial support.


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A biosilicification approach based on infiltration of fluidic choline-stabilized silicic acid precursors into polyallylamine-enriched collagen fibrils is presented. The latter serve as template and catalyst for intrafibrillar polymerization of the silica precursors to reproduce the cross-banding and microfibrillar architecture of collagen fibrils.