Biomimetic silicification of demineralized hierarchical collagenous tissues

Li Na Niu, Kai Jiao, Heonjune Ryou, Anibal Diogenes, Cynthia K.Y. Yiu, Annalisa Mazzoni, Ji Hua Chen, Dwayne D. Arola, Kenneth M. Hargreaves, David H. Pashley, Franklin R. Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Unlike man-made composite materials, natural biominerals containing composites usually demonstrate different levels of sophisticated hierarchical structures which are responsible for their mechanical properties and other metabolic functions. However, the complex spatial organizations of the organic-inorganic phases are far beyond what they achieved by contemporary engineering techniques. Here, we demonstrate that carbonated apatite present in collagen matrices derived from fish scale and bovine bone may be replaced by amorphous silica, using an approach that simulates what is utilized by phylogenetically ancient glass sponges. The structural hierarchy of these collagen-based biomaterials is replicated by the infiltration and condensation of fluidic polymer-stabilized silicic acid precursors within the intrafibrillar milieu of type I collagen fibrils. This facile biomimetic silicification strategy may be used for fabricating silica-based, three-dimensional functional materials with specific morphological and hierarchical requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1668
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Biomaterials


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