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23 July 1993 Block copolymers for biomimetic composites
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Mineralized biological tissues can be regarded as composites where a fine reinforcement is laid down in a very controlled fashion within a tough polymeric matrix. Such materials include bone, antler, tooth enamel, mollusc shell, and crustacean shell. We have been exploring ways of forming similar structures by synthetic routes involving precipitation of reinforcing particles directly into a polymeric matrix. Part of this biomimetic approach requires polymer matrices which can exert a high degree of control over the mineralization process. Polymer gels have been formed from cross-linked methacrylates with various types of functionality within the gel. By incorporating calcium binding groups we have been producing gels which lead to preferential mineralization of the gel when it is incubated in a supersaturated solution of calcium oxalate or calcium carbonate. Similarly we have been incorporating silane groups within the gel in order to promote the deposition of silica in a gel body when it is immersed in a metastable solution of partly hydrolysed silicon alkoxides.
© (1993) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Paul D. Calvert, Mualla Oner, Jeremy Burdon, Peter C. Rieke, and Kelly Farmer "Block copolymers for biomimetic composites", Proc. SPIE 1916, Smart Structures and Materials 1993: Smart Materials, (23 July 1993);

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