Structural and mechanical properties of the organic matrix layers of nacre

Biomaterials. 2003 Sep;24(20):3623-31. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00215-1.


The type of nanostructure referred to in biomineralization as a mineral bridge has been directly observed and measured in the organic matrix layers of nacre by transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Statistical analysis provides the geometric characteristics and a distribution law of the mineral bridges in the organic matrix layers. Experiments reveal that the nanostructures significantly influences the mechanical properties of the organic matrix layers. In addition, the mechanical analysis illustrates the effects of the nanostructures on the behaviors of the organic matrix layers, and the analytical results explain the corresponding experimental phenomena fairly well. The present study shows that the mineral bridges play a key role in the mechanical performances of the organic matrix layers of nacre. The results obtained provide a guide to the interfacial design of synthetic materials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Calcification, Physiologic*
  • Calcium Carbonate / chemistry*
  • Mathematics
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Shellfish
  • Tensile Strength


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Calcium Carbonate