Yin H, Ji B, Dobson PS, Mosbahi K, Glidle A, Gadegaard N, Freer A, Cooper JM & Cusack M (2009) Screening of biomineralization using microfluidics. Analytical Chemistry, 81 (1), pp. 473-478. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac801980b
Biomineralization is the process where biological systems produce well-defined composite structures such as shell, teeth, and bones. Currently, there is substantial momentum to investigate the processes implicated in biomineralization and to unravel the complex roles of proteins in the control of polymorph switching. An understanding of these processes may have wide-ranging significance in health care applications and in the development of advanced materials. We have demonstrated a microfluidic approach toward these challenges. A reversibly sealed T-junction microfluidic device was fabricated to investigate the influence of extrapallial (EP) fluid proteins in polymorph control of crystal formation in mollusk shells. A range of conditions were investigated on chip, allowing fast screening of various combinations of ion, pH, and protein concentrations. The dynamic formation of crystals was monitored on chip and combined with in situ Raman to reveal the polymorph in real time. To this end, we have demonstrated the unique advantages of this integrated approach in understanding the processes involved in biomineralization and revealing information that is impossible to obtain using traditional methods. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Analytical Chemistry: Volume 81, Issue 1