Controlling the thermodynamically-driven mineralization process by organisms is mediated by the interactions between specialized organic macromolecules and the inorganic mineral phase. As more and more biomineralization mechanisms are being elucidated, it becomes clear that the interactions between the organic and inorganic phases drive the mineralization process through kinetic intermediates that funnel the reaction to a prescribed product.
Learning about specific interactions can rarely be studied by observing them in their complex biological environment. Therefore carefully constructed in vitro experiments should be designed to explore the functional interactions between the molecules in questions. We use organic macromolecules isolated from biogenic minerals and study their interactions with the inorganic phases with the aim of a mechanistic understanding of biomineralization pathways.
Re-mineralization in vitro of coccolith base plates