Sea urchin mineralized tissue

Stuart R Stock*, Arthur Veis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sea urchin ossicles are structural analogs of mammalian bones and serve as a model biomineral system. Relatively new x-ray methods complement electron microscopy and allow study of mineralized tissue with voxels (volume elements) approaching 1 μm3 in millimeter sized samples. This paper focuses on a multi-mode x-ray investigation of mineralized tissue and results from two of the methods, microCT and synchrotron transmission microbeam diffraction mapping. Sea urchins employ as wide a range of composite reinforcement strategies as have ever been used in engineering composites, and, studied as materials, teeth (and other ossicles) from different echinoid families illustrate combinations of reinforcement parameters and toughening mechanisms providing good functionality. This probe of the design space available to sea urchins offers important guidance for engineering of structural tissue. The results on sea urchin teeth and pyramids (jaws) also illustrate what might be accomplished by such an integrated approach in bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 30 2003
EventElectron Microscopy: Its Role in Materials Science - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2003Mar 6 2003


OtherElectron Microscopy: Its Role in Materials Science
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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