News Column

Marine sponge forms glass filament

February 26, 2014


Materials made by man and those made by biological organisms often deal with similar synthesis challenges by occasionally converging on an analogous solution independently.

One example is the giant glass rod that is used by the sea sponge M. chuni to anchor itself in marine environments, Newswhip wrote.

A collaborative effort by researchers from the Max Planck Institutes of Colloids and Interfaces and of Microstructure Physics has now uncovered and analyzed the nanostructure of the filament passing through the center of this giant glass rod.

The researchers discovered that it is structured almost exactly like the nanoporous manmade nanomaterials, which are relevant for many applications in fields such as biomedicine, sensor technology and chemical catalysis. M. Chuni forms the glass around regularly arranged proteins, called silicateins, measuring approximately five nanometers in size.

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Source: Iran Daily

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