PMID: 3089775Jul 1, 1986Paper

Polysaccharide from coccoliths (CaCO3 biomineral). Influence on crystallization of calcium oxalate monohydrate

European Journal of Biochemistry
D J KokO L Bijvoet


A polysaccharide associated with coccoliths of the marine alga Emiliania huxleyi (coccoliths are elaborately shaped calcite biominerals) was isolated and its influence on the crystallization of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals was studied. Crystallization was monitored in a carefully controlled system by measuring the incorporation of 45Ca tracer from a supersaturated solution into seed crystals of calcium oxalate monohydrate in the absence and in the presence of polysaccharide. The method allowed differentiation between effects on solubility, growth and agglomeration of crystals. At the very low concentrations used in this study, the polysaccharide had no significant effect on the solubility product; it strongly inhibited the growth and strongly stimulated the agglomeration of the crystals. Thus, the two processes of growth and agglomeration, being both crystal-surface-related processes, may react in opposite directions upon surface adhesion of the additive. This finding opens new insights on how a mineralization process may be controlled. The inhibitory effect on growth is shown to proceed through a monolayer type of adsorption of the polysaccharide onto the crystal surface. The portion of the polysaccharide used for the ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Bone Mineralization
Calcium Oxalate (1: 1)
Polymorphism, Crystallization

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