• Het Kranenveld 14 , Building Helix

    5612 AZ Eindhoven

    Netherlands

  • P.O. Box 513, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

    5600 MB Eindhoven

    Netherlands

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Organization profile

Introduction / mission

The mission of our group is to understand the mechanisms of biological materials formation processes and to apply the underlying principles in bioinspired materials synthesis

Highlighted phrase

Biology represents a source of inspiration for materials chemistry

Organisational profile

Biominerals such as bones, teeth and shells have properties that often outclass those of man-made materials. Hence, these biological materials form an important source of inspiration for materials chemistry where the rational synthesis of materials with predefined organization and properties is a major goal. For this we must unravel the mechanisms of biologically controlled mineral formation. We advance our understanding of biological and bioinspired materials formation by monitoring these processes with dynamic, in situ measurements. Within the Sommerdijk Lab this is pursued along two closely related research lines: “Biological Materials Chemistry” and “Bio-inspired Materials” for which we continuously develop “Multiscale Electron Microscopy” methods.

Biological Materials Chemistry. We explore the principles of biological materials formation by investigating the biological processes in living systems from a materials chemistry point of view. We investigate the mechanism of collagen mineralization in bone, and the biomineralization processes of technologically important material such as magnetite in magnetotactic bacteria and silica in diatoms.


Bio-inspired Materials. We pursue the application of biological principles in the development of technologically relevant materials, exploiting the ability of natural materials (e.g. collagen) to guide the formation of inorganic components on the nanometer level, but also form complex hierarchical 3D architectures, aiming at advanced properties.


Multiscale Electron Microscopy. We use advanced electron microscopic techniques, for dynamic and 3D imaging from the nanometer to the multi micrometer level. We maximize the information obtained by image processing, visualization and quantitative data analysis, as well as by correlating with chemical information from super-resolution microscopy and spectroscopy.

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