Silicatein: Nanobiotechnological and Biomedical Applications

  • Heinz C. Schröder
  • Ute Schloßmacher
  • Alexandra Boreiko
  • Filipe Natalio
  • Malgorzata Baranowska
  • David Brandt
  • Xiaohong Wang
  • Wolfgang Tremel
  • Matthias Wiens
  • Werner E. G. Müller
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 47)


Silica-based materials are used in many high-tech products including microelectronics, optoelectronics, and catalysts. Siliceous sponges (Demospongiae and Hexactinellida) are unique in their ability to synthesize silica enzymatically. We have cloned the silica-forming enzymes, silicateins, from both demosponges (marine and freshwater sponges) and hexactinellid sponges. The recombinant enzymes allow the synthesis of silica under environmentally benign ambient conditions, while the technical (chemical) production of silica commonly requires high temperatures and pressures, and extremes of pH. Silicateins can be used for the fabrication of highly-ordered inorganic–organic composite materials with defined optical, electrical, and mechanical properties. The simple self-assembly properties of silicateins which are able to form silica and other metal oxides in aqueous solution allow the development of novel products in nano(bio)technology, medicine, and dentistry.


Marine Sponge Gallium Oxide Siliceous Sponge Freshwater Sponge Axial Filament 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz C. Schröder
    • 1
  • Ute Schloßmacher
    • 1
  • Alexandra Boreiko
    • 1
  • Filipe Natalio
    • 1
  • Malgorzata Baranowska
    • 1
  • David Brandt
    • 1
  • Xiaohong Wang
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Tremel
    • 3
  • Matthias Wiens
    • 1
  • Werner E. G. Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Physiologische ChemieAbteilung Angewandte Molekularbiologie UniversitätMainzGermany
  2. 2.National Research Center for GeoanalysisBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institut für Anorganische Chemie und Analytische Chemie UniversitätMainzGermany

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