Mineralization and non-ideality: on nature’s foundry
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Understanding how ions, ion-clusters and particles behave in non-ideal environments is a fundamental question concerning planetary to atomic scales. For biomineralization phenomena wherein diverse inorganic and organic ingredients are present in biological media, attributing biomaterial composition and structure to the chemistry of singular additives may not provide a holistic view of the underlying mechanisms. Therefore, in this review, we specifically address the consequences of physico-chemical non-ideality on mineral formation. Influences of different forms of non-ideality such as macromolecular crowding, confinement and liquid-like organic phases on mineral nucleation and crystallization in biological environments are presented. Novel prospects for the additive-controlled nucleation and crystallization are accessible from this biophysical view. In this manner, we show that non-ideal conditions significantly affect the form, structure and composition of biogenic and biomimetic minerals.
KeywordsBiomineralization Crystallization Liquid phase Molecular crowding Non-ideality Nucleation
AR thanks the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies for its kind support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interests
Ashit Rao declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Helmut Cölfen declares that he has no conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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