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Mechanical properties of nacre and highly mineralized bone

Davies, P., Casinos, A., Currey, J.D. and Zioupos, P. (2001) Mechanical properties of nacre and highly mineralized bone. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. pp. 107-111. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

We compared the mechanical properties of 'ordinary' bovine bone, the highly mineralized bone of the rostrum of the whale Mesoplodon densirostris, and mother of pearl (nacre) of the pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera. The rostrum and the nacre are similar in having very little organic material. However, the rostral bone is much weaker and more brittle than nacre, which in these properties is close to ordinary bone. The ability of nacre to outperform rostral bone is the result of its extremely well-ordered microstructure, with organic material forming a nearly continuous jacket round all the tiny aragonite plates, a design well adapted to produce toughness. In contrast, in the rostrum the organic material, mainly collagen, is poorly organized and discontinuous, allowing the mineral to join up to form, in effect, a brittle stony material.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2001 The Royal Society
Keywords: bone, mineralization, nacre, mechanical properties, fatigue, MESOPLODON DENSIROSTRIS, ROSTRUM, WHALE, COMPOSITES, TISSUE
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 13:15
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2000.1337
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1284

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