Mollusk shell formation: A source of new concepts for understanding biomineralization processes

Lia Addadi*, Derk Joester, Fabio Nudelman, Steve Weiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

613 Scopus citations


The biological approach to forming crystals is proving to be most surprising. Mollusks build their shells by using a hydrophobic silk gel, very acidic aspartic acid rich proteins, and apparently also an amorphous precursor phase from which the crystals form. All this takes place in a highly structured chitinous framework. Here we present ideas on how these disparate components work together to produce the highly structured pearly nacreous layer of the mollusk shell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-987
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 23 2006



  • Biomineralization
  • Crystal growth
  • Gels
  • Mollusk shell
  • Nacre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this