The biological approach to forming crystals is proving to be most surprising. Mollusks build their shells by using a hydrophobic silk gel, very acidic aspartic acid rich proteins, and apparently also an amorphous precursor phase from which the crystals form. All this takes place in a highly structured chitinous framework. Here we present ideas on how these disparate components work together to produce the highly structured pearly nacreous layer of the mollusk shell.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.