New bio-crystals, architectures and functions

Unlike in the more mature field of inorganic bio-crystallization, relatively few systems of organic bio-crystallization have been extensively studied. Furthermore, other than guanine, only a handful of organic crystalline materials have been thus far definitively identified in organisms using modern spectroscopy tools. These include xanthine, isoxanthopterin, riboflavin (found in mammalian eyes), dihydroxanthopterin, and uric acid, which we recently identified in medaka. We study new and exotic species using spectroscopy, including micro-Raman and mass-spectrometry, to identify novel bio-organic crystals. In parallel, we use state-of the-art light and electron microscopy to characterize the architectures and functionality of the systems we study.