Fluorine in shark teeth: its direct atomic-resolution imaging and strengthening function.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:C. Chen, Wang, Z., Saito, M., Tohei, T., Takano, Y., Ikuhara, Y.
Journal:Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Date Published:2014 Feb 3

Atomic-resolution imaging of beam-sensitive biominerals is extremely challenging, owing to their fairly complex structures and the damage caused by electron irradiation. Herein, we overcome these difficulties by performing aberration-corrected electron microscopy with low-dose imaging techniques, and report the successful direct atomic-resolution imaging of every individual atomic column in the complex fluorapatite structure of shark tooth enameloid, which can be of paramount importance for teeth in general. We demonstrate that every individual atomic column in shark tooth enameloid can be spatially resolved, and has a complex fluorapatite structure. Furthermore, ab initio calculations show that fluorine atoms can be covalently bound to the surrounding calcium atoms, which improves understanding of their caries-reducing effects in shark teeth.

Alternate Journal:Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith