Pearls and nacre (mother-of-pearl) make beautiful jewellery, but are also a high-performance material that reminds us how far we still have to go before being able to imitate nature with artificial products... (J. Cartwright and A. Checa).
The BioMineralix project
BioMineralix brings together outstanding expertise in biomineralization research in a Europe-wide network that will promote a comprehensive approach to address emerging challenges in environmental monitoring and bio-nanotechnology.
Mother of pearl 'Pinctada margaritifera'. Image courtesy by Frederic Marin and Jerome Thomas.
The work will focus on monitoring the embryonic development of selected marine organisms, on biochemical and crystallographic control mechanisms of the mineralization pathways in the embryonal and adult organisms, characterisation of specialised metabolic pathways in marine, freshwater, land and subterranean molluscs and to use these organisms in the biomonitoring of riverine and marine environments.
A unique mission by the European Community for biomineralization
BioMineralix will facilitate the coordination, transfer and dissemination of knowledge within Europe to foster world-class biomineralisation research through the integration of diverse, though complementary, disciplines, capacity building, enhanced competitiveness and research cohesion in Europe.
An outstanding consortium from Western and Eastern European and associated countries
Originated by only a few countries including Croatia, France, Spain, Germany and UK, the consortium spans now almost all European countries as well as near East-countries as Israel. The best concerted scientific effort so far on biomineralisation ever been established by scientists from the European community.
Members of the BioMineralix Management Consortium in the EC Cost Office in Brussels