Opposites attract: scientists discover how mother-of-pearl self-assembles into a perfect structure

The strength and beauty of mother-of-pearl, also known as nacre, comes from its remarkably regular and uniform architecture. Until now, it was unclear how this intricate structure could be built by a multitude of single cells, all secreting materials at different locations at the same time. In a new study published in Nature Physics, researchers from the B CUBE – Center for Molecular Bioengineering at TU Dresden and European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble describe, for the first time, that structural defects in self-assembling nacre attract and cancel each other out, eventually leading to a perfect periodic structure.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft