Bio-Inspired Materials Science at Its Best—Flexible Mesocrystals of Calcite


  • I thank Helmut Cölfen (University of Konstanz) for his support and fruitful discussions as well as Lennart Bergström (Stockholm University) and John Berg (University of Konstanz) for helpful comments. The Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz is acknowledged for a Fellowship and financial support.


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Minerals are the benchmark of hard and brittle materials. Self-assembled calcitic spicules were recently obtained utilizing a protein from silica biomineralization, silicatein-α. The synthetic spicules show remarkable material properties including extreme flexibility. Breakthroughs in bio-inspired materials science are highlighted. Will it be possible to obtain similar composites with truly artificial organic constituents?