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 Dr. Paul Simon


Biomineralization denotes the formation of inorganic solids (minerals) by cell activities of organisms. Biomineralization exists since the beginning of life on earth and underlies a continuous optimization process ever since. Natural biominerals such as bone or teeth represent a composite structure composed of a rigid inorganic part (hydroxyapatite) and flexible organics (collagen). The biomimetic system fluoroapatite-gelatine is perfectly suited for the study of biomimetic steps closely related to steps in osteo- and dentinogenesis. Although representing a relatively simple model, this biomimetic system still includes all aspects of complexity, such as metastability, self assembly, self-similarity, fractal growth, pattern formation, hierarchy, and others. Our work is focused on the morphogenesis and real structure of fluoroapatite-gelatine nanocomposites on all length scales. Furthermore, we study naturally grown and biomimetically synthesized ear stones (otoconia), which are functional materials in the inner ear for sensing balance. In a collaborative research project funded by the DFG, we investigate the nanostructure of healthy and osteoporotic bone as well as interactions of bone cements with bone tissue.

Last modified on February 10, 2011 Print version         Top
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