327-1101-00L  Biomineralization

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
Periodicityyearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish


327-1101-00 VBiomineralization
Does not take place this semester.
Will be offered again in HS24.
2 hrs

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course addresses undergraduate and graduate students interested in getting introduced into the basic concepts of biomineralization.
ObjectiveThe course aims to introduce the basic concepts of biomineralization and the underlying principles, such as supersaturation, nucleation and growth of minerals, the interaction of biomolecules with mineral surfaces, and cell biology of inorganic materials creation. An important part of this class is the independent study and the presentation of original literature from the field.
ContentBiomineralization is a multidisciplinary field. Topics dealing with biology, molecular and cell biology, solid state physics, mineralogy, crystallography, organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, dentistry, oceanography, geology, etc. are addressed. The course covers definition and general concepts of biomineralization (BM)/ types of biominerals and their function / crystal nucleation and growth / biological induction of BM / control of crystal morphology, habit, shape and orientation by organisms / strategies of compartmentalization / the interface between biomolecules (peptides, polysaccharides) and the mineral phase / modern experimental methods for studying BM phenomena / inter-, intra, extra- and epicellular BM / organic templates and matrices for BM / structure of bone, teeth (vertebrates and invertebrates) and mollusk shells / calcification / silification in diatoms, radiolaria and plants / calcium and iron storage / impact of BM on lithosphere and atmosphere/ evolution / taxonomy of organisms.

1. Introduction and overview
2. Biominerals and their functions
3. Chemical control of biomineralization
4. Control of morphology: Organic templates and additives
5. Modern methods of investigation of BM
6. BM in matrices: bone and nacre
7. Vertebrate teeth
8. Invertebrate teeth
9. BM within vesicles: calcite of coccoliths
10. Silica
11. Iron storage and mineralization
Lecture notesScript with more than 600 pages with many illustrations will be distributed free of charge.
Literature1) S. Mann, Biomineralization, Oxford University Press, 2001, Oxford, New York
2) H. Lowenstam, S. Weiner, On Biomineralization, Oxford University Press, 1989, Oxford
3) P. M. Dove, J. J. DeYoreo, S. Weiner (Eds.) Biomineralization, Reviews in Mineralogoy & Geochemistry Vol. 54, 2003
Prerequisites / NoticeNo special requirements are needed for attending. Basic knowledge in chemistry and cell biology is expected.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersK.-H. Ernst
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Mode of examinationoral 30 minutes

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

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