Phase transformations and structural developments in the radular teeth of Cryptochiton stelleri

Qianqian Wang, Michiko Nemoto, Dongsheng Li, James C. Weaver, Brian Weden, John Stegemeier, Krassimir N. Bozhilov, Leslie R. Wood, Garrett W. Milliron, Christopher S. Kim, Elaine Dimasi, David Kisailus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


During mineralization, the hard outer magnetite-containing shell of the radular teeth of Cryptochiton stelleri undergoes four distinct stages of structural and phase transformations: (i) the formation of a crystalline α-chitin organic matrix that forms the structural framework of the non-mineralized teeth, (ii) the templated synthesis of ferrihydrite crystal aggregates along these organic fibers, (iii) subsequent solid state phase transformation from ferrihydrite to magnetite, and (iv) progressive magnetite crystal growth to form continuous parallel rods within the mature teeth. The underlying α-chitin organic matrix appears to influence magnetite crystal aggregate density and the diameter and curvature of the resulting rods, both of which likely play critical roles in determining the local mechanical properties of the mature radular teeth. A difference in Q values between a ferrihydrite reference and ferrihydrite phase of about ≈0.002-0.006 Å-1 is detected from synchrotron X-ray diffraction. This discrepancy may come from the calculation error of the standards in synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The assumption during calculation that the distance between the sample and the detector is the same as that between the aluminum standard and the detector results in the small shift in the Q values as there is about ≈50-100 μm difference in thickness between the tooth sample and the alumina standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2908-2917
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • biomineralization
  • ferrihydrite
  • magnetite
  • radula
  • α-chitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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