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Mollusk shell structures and their formation mechanism 1

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In nature, mollusk shells have a role in protecting the soft body of the mollusk from predators and from the external environment, and the shells consist mainly of calcium carbonate and small amounts of organic matrices. Organic matrices in mollusk shells are thought to play key roles in shell formation. However, enough information has not been accumulated so far. High toughness and stiffness have been focused on as being adaptable to the development of organic–inorganic hybrid materials. Because mollusks can produce elaborate microstructures containing organic matrices under ambient conditions, the investigation of shell formation is expected to lead to the development of new inorganic–organic hybrid materials for various applications. In this review paper, we summarize the structures of mollusk shells and their process of formation, together with the analysis of various organic matrices related to shell calcification.
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Keywords: coquille de mollusque; microstructure de la coquille; mollusk shell; protéine de la matrice de la coquille; shell matrix protein; shell microstructure

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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