Control of Biogenic Nanocrystal Formation in Biomineralization

Lia Addadi, Assaf Gal, D Faivre, A Scheffel, Stephen Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Many organisms build crystals with almost complete control over all aspects of crystal formation, from nucleation to growth, from composition to polymorphic structure, and from morphology to size. In biomineralization, the control is fundamentally always exerted at the level of nanometers, because the building blocks themselves are at the nanoscale. We have chosen to describe in some detail four biological systems that produce nanoscale crystals using different mineralization pathways, different levels of control, and have different functions. These four cases are: bone crystal composites; guanine nanocrystal reflectors; magnetotactic bacteria with single domain magnets; and coccoliths, whose functions have yet to be identified. This is followed by a discussion aimed at identifying possible specific and/or common underlying principles involved in nanocrystal formation in biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-241
Number of pages15
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry


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