Composite materials design: Biomineralization proteins and the guided assembly and organization of biomineral nanoparticles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


There has been much discussion of the role of proteins in the calcium carbonate biomineralization process, particularly with regard to nucleation, amorphous stabilization/transformation, and polymorph selection. However, there has been little if any discussion of the potential role that proteins might play in another important process: the guided assembly and organization of mineral nanoparticles into higher-ordered structures such as mesocrystals. This review discusses particle attachment theory and recent evidence of mineral-associated proteins forming hydrogels that assemble and organize mineral clusters into crystalline phase. From this discussion we postulate a mechanism by which biomineralization protein hydrogel aggregation assists in mineral nanoparticle assembly and organization within calcium carbonate skeletal elements and discuss potentials ways for harnessing this process in materials design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number581
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2019



  • Biocomposites
  • Biomineralization
  • Hydrogels
  • Mesocrystal
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nucleation
  • Particle attachment
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this