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Preferential nucleation and crystal growth on microfabricated topography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sherif Elsharkawy, Esther Tejeda-Montes, Maisoon Al-Jawad, Alvaro Mata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-480
Number of pages3
JournalMaterials Today
Issue number8
Early online date29 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


King's Authors


Understanding the effects of geometrical features on biomineralization may allow the control of crystal phase transformation, morphology, assembly, directionality, and overall structural hierarchy. Biomineralization involves two major processes including nucleation and crystal growth. During nucleation, the initial nucleation site must reach a critical size in order to enable mineral growth and proper mineralization. There are two mechanisms of nucleation: homogeneous and heterogeneous. Heterogeneous nucleation gives more control over the nucleation rate, and the crystal orientation, polymorphism, and morphology are greatly affected by the type of crystal growth mechanism. Therefore, optimizing crystal nucleation and growth by tuning the surface topography of substrates is an attractive strategy for the design and engineering of advanced materials Materials based on peptide amphiphiles, for example, are able to provide a nanofibrous matrix including phosphorylated serine domains to induce nucleation, and subsequent hard tissue regeneration.

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