Biomineralogy and Extreme Biomimetics

Sub-project 13:

Sub-project 13:

Development of germanium-based biocomposites using biomimetic methods

Duration:
May 1ˢᵗ 2013 – October 31ᵗʰ 2017
Institute and professorship:
Institute of Experimental Physics; Biomineralogy and Extreme Biomimetics
Responsible professor and other scientist:
Staff on the project:
Students on the project:
 -
Aim of sub-project:
Germanic acid, Ge(OH)4, is a chemical analog to silicic acid. Si(OH)4 has been previously shown to be taken up by both sponges (Porifera) (Davie et al., 1983) and diatoms (Lewin, 1966) and incorporated into their skeletal structures like spicules and cell walls, respectively. In all cases, it has been demonstrated that Ge is incorporated (copolymerized) into the biosilica of the developing structures. According to the modern point of view (Gale, 2011), Ge doped silica structures with nano- and micro-spatially ordered features can be biologically fabricated to exhibit enhanced physical properties, for example, photoluminescence for future sensor and display applications.
The goal of the sub-project is to establish novel biomimetic methods for development of the Germanium-Silizium-based biocomposites for technical applications using diatoms, freshwater sponges and plants, to study their physico-chemical and structural properties in detail, as well as to understand the principles of Germanium related Biomineralization.
Ongoing work and results:
Project is still in progress.
Publications:
  • Ehrlich, H. (Ed) (2017) Extreme Biomimetics. Springer International Publishing, ISBN 978-3-319-45338-5 (Print), 978-3-319-45340-8 (Online).
  • Wysokowski, M.; Kaiser, S.; et al. (2016) Hydrothermal Synthesis of Advanced Chitin-Based Materials. In: Ehrlich, H. (Ed) (2017) Extreme Biomimetics. Springer International Publishing, p. 223-249.
  • Wysokowski, M.; Motylenko, M. et al. (2015) Extreme biomimetic approach for development of novel chitin-GeO2 nanocomposites with photoluminescent properties. Nano Research 8: 2288-2301.
  • Kaiser, S., Wysokowski, M.; et al. (2015) Hydrothermal synthesis of crystalline germanium oxide on sponge chitin matrices. 12th International Conference of the European Chitin Society / 13th International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan. Muenster, Germany. Poster.
  • Kaiser, S., Wysokowski, M.; et al. (2015) Modern application of Extreme Biomimetics: Novel chitin-GeO2 nanocomposite with exciting photoluminescent properties. XIIIth International Symposium on Biomineralization (Biomin XIII). Granada, Spain. Poster.
  • Pohl, T. et al. (2014) Discovery of a living coral reef in the coastal waters of Iraq. Sci. Rep. 4, 4250; DOI:10.1038/srep04250.
Student theses related to sub-project:
 -
Possible additional student projects:
N.N.
Literature cited:
  • Lewin, J. 1966. Silicon metabolism in diatoms. V. Germanium-dioxide, a specific inhibitor of diatom growth. Phycologia. 6: 1-12
  • Davie, E.I., T.L. Simpson and R. Garrone. 1983. Experimental germanium incorporation into siliceous sponge spicules. Biol. Cell. 48:191-202.
  • Gale D.K. 2011. Biomolecule Detection by Amplified Photoluminescence of Germanium Doped Diatom Biosilica. PhD Thesis, Oregon State University