Dr Tilman Grunewald, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

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Dr Tilman Grunewald from European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France, will give a seminar on "X-rays, biominerals and 3D : How the structure and function of biominerals is governed by their arrangement" the 11th of June (monday) at 11:00 a.m. in Pierre Cotton Room.

Abstract : Biomineralization is ubiquitously surrounding us but poorly understood. In the widest sense, biomineralization describes the formation of minerals in biological tissue. Prominent examples are bones, teeth or mollusc shells, which all include intricate and extremely adapted pathways leading to the formation of mineral crystals in the organism. One key feature is the ability of living organisms to adapt to changing enviornment conditions by modifying the mineral structure and arrangement. Understanding the processes involved here attracted significant attention across a variety of communities. Despite huge progress in the last years, our picture is far from complete.

The following talk is presenting some work on the degradation process of biodegradable Mg implants, elucidating how the degradation speed is linked to the surprising response of the bone matrix. Furthermore, recent results from SAXS tensor tomography show how the implant degradation governs the bone growth and the orientation of the nanostructure in 3D.

As the crystallographic texture and its spatial variation is one the most cunning features of biomineralization it is until now unfortunately also one of the hardest to access experimentally. The novel technique of energy-dispersive Laue diffraction presents a new way determining the crystallographic texture in 3D in a one-shot manner, allowing for unprecedented speed and spatial resolution of data acquisition. Some recent results will be shown, underpinning the potential of this method.

In this way, it is shown how the combination of 2D and 3D X-ray scattering methods can help understand material properties and enable the design of advanced biomimetic materials.