|Title||Biomimetic growth of silica tubes in confined media|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Gautier, C, Lopez, PJ, Hemadi, M, Livage, J, Coradin, T|
Polymer membranes were used as biomimetic environments to study the effect of confinement on silica formation. Within membrane pores, silica tubes were formed, consisting of a dense silica shell incorporating nanoparticle aggregates. The shell structure does not depend on the membrane pore size, suggesting that its formation proceeds via interfacial interactions with the pore surface. In contrast, the size of primary nanoparticles within core aggregates is influenced by pore dimensions, indicating an effect of confinement on the diffusion-limited growth of silica. A parallel can be drawn with reported roles of confinement in biomineralization processes, providing a basis for future developments in biosilicification mimetic approaches and biofunctional nanomaterials design.