Micron-sized biogenic and synthetic hollow mineral spheres occlude additives within single crystals

Bartosz Marzec, Jessica M Walker, Yasmeen Jhons, Fiona C Meldrum, Michael Patrick Shaver, Fabio Nudelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Incorporating additives within host single crystals is an effective strategy for producing composite materials with tunable mechanical, magnetic and optical properties. The type of guest materials that can be occluded can be limited, however, as incorporation is a complex process depending on many factors including binding of the additive to the crystal surface, the rate of crystal growth and the stability of the additives in the crystallisation solution. In particular, the size of occluded guests has been restricted to a few angstroms, as for single molecules, to a few hundred nanometers, as for polymer vesicles and particles. Here, we present a synthetic approach for occluding micrometer-scale objects, including high-complexity unicellular organisms and synthetic hollow calcite spheres within calcite single crystals. Both of these objects can transport functional additives, including organic molecules and nanoparticles that would not otherwise occlude within calcite. Therefore, this method constitutes a generic approach using calcite as a delivery system for active compounds, while providing them with effective protection against environmental factors that could cause degradation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFaraday Discussions
Early online date8 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Dec 2021


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