Scientists have discovered a rare mineral within a chiton tooth

Scientists have discovered a rare mineral within a chiton tooth, a rare iron mineral called Santabarbarite that has never before been seen in a living organism, according to a paper to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Chitons are flattened, bilaterally symmetrical marine mollusks of the class Polyplacophora (scientists have discovered).

Scientists have discovered

A chiton tooth, these creatures live all over the world, from cold waters to the tropics. Your teeth are one of the hardest materials known in nature. They are attached to a soft, flexible, tongue-like radula. Which burrows into rocks to collect algae and other food.

Lead author Dr. We have been fascinated by chitons for a long time, said Dirk Joster. The mechanical structures are only as good as their weakest link, so it is interesting to learn how chitons solve the engineering problem of how to connect your ultra-hard teeth to the soft underlying structure.

Scientists have discovered

This remains a major challenge in modern construction, so we look to organisms like chiton to understand how it is done in nature, which has taken a few hundred million years to evolve. SEM image of the anterior end of the radula with mature Cryptochiton stelleri teeth.

In the study, Dr. Joster and his colleagues examined the teeth of Cryptochiton stelleri, a giant reddish-brown chiton sometimes affectionately referred to as “hobo meat.” They found a mineral called santabarbarite in a long (scientists have discovered).

Ultra-hard teeth

Hollow structure that connects the head of the tooth to the flexible membrane of the radula, which runs along the upper needle of the chiton. The pencil is like the root of a human tooth, connecting the cusp of our tooth to our jaw, said Dr. Joster (scientists have discovered).

It is a hard substance made up of extremely small nanoparticles in a fibrous matrix made up of biomacromolecules similar to the bones in our body. The researchers also tried to recreate this material in an ink designed for 3D printing. They developed a reactive ink that consists of iron and phosphate ions mixed in a biopolymer derived from chitin.

As the nanoparticle builds up in the biopolymer, it becomes stronger and more viscous. This mixture can easily be used for printing, said Dr. Joster. Post air drying results in a hard and rigid final material. We can continue to learn and develop from a material inspired by Chiton’s stylus, which combines ultra-hard teeth with a soft radula, he said.

National Academy of Sciences

Rare rock minerals found in mollusk teeth. A rare type of iron ore has been discovered for the first time in a living organism. Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered for the first time a rare mineral hidden within the teeth of a chiton, a large mollusk found along rocky shores. Before this strange wonder, iron ore, called santabarbarite, had only been documented in rocks.

The new discovery helps to understand how full chiton teeth, not just ultra-hard and durable caudal, are designed to tolerate chewing on rocks for food. Based on the minerals found in chiton teeth, the researchers developed a bio-inspired ink for 3D printing of ultra-hard, hard and durable materials.

“This mineral has only been observed in very small amounts in geological samples and has never before been observed in a biological context,” said Dirk Joster of Northwestern, lead author of the study. It has a high water content, which makes it stronger with a lower density.

We believe it can harden teeth without adding a lot of weight. The study will be published in the week of May 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Joster is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Scientists have discovered

Linus Stegbauer, a former postdoctoral fellow in Joster’s lab, is the first author of the paper. While researching at Northwestern, Stegbauer is now a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

One of the hardest materials known in nature, chiton teeth are attached to a soft, flexible, tongue-like radula that scrapes through rocks to collect algae and other food. After studying chiton’s teeth for a long time, Joster and his team recently turned to Cryptochiton stelleri, a giant reddish-brown chiton sometimes affectionately referred to as “hobo meat.”

To examine the Cryptochiton stelleri tooth, Joster’s team collaborated with Erkan Alp, a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source, to perform the facility’s Mössbauer synchrotron spectroscopy, as well as Paul Smits on the Northwestern Atomic University. Nanoscale Characterization and Experimentation Center (NUANCE).

They found that santabarbarite spans the entire upper style of the chiton, a long, hollow structure that connects the head of the tooth with a flexible radula membrane. “The pencil is like the root of a human tooth, connecting the cusp of our tooth to our jaw,” Joster said.

It is a resistant substance made up of extremely small nanoparticles in a fibrous matrix made up of biomacromolecules, similar to the bones in our body. Joster’s group took on the challenge of recreating this material in an ink designed for 3D printing.

Soft underlying structure

Steigbauer developed a reactive ink in which iron and phosphate ions were added to a biopolymer derived from chitin. In Mark Hersam’s lab, along with Northwestern graduate student Shay Wallace, Stegbauer found that ink printed well when mixed just before printing.

As the nanoparticles form into a biopolymer, it becomes stronger and more viscous. This mixture can easily be used for printing. Post-air drying results in a hard and rigid final material, Joster said. Joster believes that we can continue to learn and develop from a material inspired by the Chiton stylus, which combines ultra-hard teeth with a smooth razor.

We have been fascinated by chitons for a long time, he said. Mechanical structures are only as good as their weakest link, so it is interesting to learn how chitons solve the engineering problem of connecting your ultra-hard teeth to the soft underlying structure.

This remains a major challenge in modern construction, for what we look for organisms like chitons to understand how this is done in nature, which has taken a few hundred million years to evolve.

National Science Foundation (award number DMR-1508399 and DMR-1905982), National Institutes of Health (award number NIH-DE026952), Air Force Research Laboratory (award number FA8650-15-2-5518) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (award number STE2689) / 1-1).

Scientists have discovered
Scientists have discovered a rare mineral within a chiton tooth.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: