New cellular insights in bone developmentApril 06, 2018
Most of us don't think about our teeth and bones until one aches or breaks. A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis looked deep within collagen fibers to see how the body forms new bone and teeth, seeking insights into faster bone healing and new biomaterials.
Young-Shin Jun, professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and director of the Environmental NanoChemistry Lab, leads a team of experts in nucleation, the initial step in forming a solid phase in a fluid system.
While nucleation of minerals in bone and teeth is not well understood, researchers do know that bone minerals form inside of collagen, the main protein found in skin and other connective tissues. Jun and Doyoon Kim, a doctoral student in her lab, studied how miniscule gaps in collagen's fiber structure facilitate the nucleation of calcium phosphate, which is necessary for bone formation and maintenance.
The findings, recently published in Nature Communications, provide a new view into the current theory of calcium phosphate nucleation in a confined space.
To observe nucleation in a collagen gap -- about 2 nanometers high and 40 nanometers wide -- the team studied calcium phosphate nucleation with in situ small-angle X-ray scattering at the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne National Lab. They found that without an inhibitor, nucleation initially took place outside of the collagen gap. When they added an inhibitor, the process occurred mainly within the collagen gap. Jun said the extremely confined space in the collagen gap allows calcium phosphate to form only along the length of the gap and minimizes surface interactions with the gap sidewalls. In other words, the topography of the collagen gap decreases the energy cost and enables nucleation.
"When we understand how new bone forms, we can modulate where it should form," Jun said. "Previously, we thought that collagen fibrils could serve as passive templates, however, this study confirmed that collagen fibrils play an active role in biomineralization by controlling nucleation pathways and energy barriers. If we can tweak the chemistry and send signals to form bone minerals faster or stronger, that would be helpful to the medical field."
While this study focused on the biological aspects of nucleation, Jun said an advanced understanding of nucleation in confinement also applies to chemical engineering, materials science and environmental science and engineering.
"Confined space is a somewhat exotic space that we have not explored much, and we are always thinking about new material formation without any limitation of space," Jun said. "However, there are so many confined spaces, such as pores in geomedia in subsurface environments or in water filtration membranes, where calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate form as scale. This paper is a snapshot of one health aspect, but the new knowledge can be applied broadly to energy systems and water systems."
Washington University in St. Louis
Related Engineering Articles:
E. coli may have potentially harmful effects but scientists in Australia have discovered this bacterium produces a toxin which binds to an unusual sugar that is part of carbohydrate structures present on cells not usually produced by healthy cells.
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the University of Zurich announced today a cross-institutional team effort to generate a functional heart valve replacement with the capacity for repair, regeneration, and growth.
The Mackenzie Dike Swarm and the roughly 120 other known giant dike swarms located across the planet may also provide useful information about efficient extraction of oil and natural gas in today's modern world.
Academically strong, low-income would-be engineers get the boost they need to complete their undergraduate degrees.
Professor Ron Hui, Chair Professor of Power Electronics and Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has been named a Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, one of the most prestigious national academies.
The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate.
Raresh Pascali, instructional associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at the University of Houston, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Ross Kastor Educator Award.
A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A.
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2-D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.
A University of Bristol academic has been elected a Fellow of the world's largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.
Related Engineering Reading:
Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology (100 Ponderables)
by Tom Jackson (Editor) (Author), Tom Jackson (Editor)
From ancient aqueducts to soaring skyscrapers, explore engineering milestones over the centuries.
Combining engaging text with captivating images and helpful diagrams, renowned science writer Tom Jackson guides readers through the history of Engineering in the 7th installment of the groundbreaking PonderablesTM series.
Engineering is all around us. From our bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers, to our cars, computers and smartphones, engineering shapes our world and influences just about everything we see and do. And it s been that way for longer than you might think. From the... View Details
Basic Machines and How They Work
by Naval Education And Training Program (Author)
This revised edition of an extremely clear Navy training manual leaves nothing to be desired in its presentation. Thorough in its coverage of basic theory, from the lever and inclined plane to internal combustion engines and power trains, it requires nothing more than an understanding of the most elementary mathematics.
Beginning with the simplest of machines — the lever — the text proceeds to discussions of the block and tackle (pulleys and hoists), wheel and axle, the inclined plane and the wedge, the screw, and different types of gears (simple, spur, bevel, herringbone, spiral,... View Details
101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School
by John Kuprenas (Author), Matthew Frederick (Author)
Providing unique, accessible lessons on engineering, this title in the bestselling 101 Things I Learned® series is a perfect resource for students, recent graduates, general readers, and even seasoned professionals.
An experienced civil engineer presents the physics and fundamentals underlying the many fields of engineering. Far from a dry, nuts-and-bolts exposition, 101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School uses real-world examples to show how the engineer's way of thinking can illuminate questions from the simple to the profound: Why shouldn't soldiers... View Details
Engineering: A Very Short Introduction
by David Blockley (Author)
Engineering is part of almost everything we do--from the buildings we live in and the roads and railways we travel on, to the telephones and computers we use to communicate and the X-ray machines that help doctors diagnose diseases. In this Very Short Introduction, David Blockley explores the nature and practice of engineering--its history, its scope, and its relationship with art, craft, science, and technology. He begins with its early roots, ranging from Archimedes to some of the great figures of engineering such as Brunel and Marconi, right up to the modern day, describing the... View Details
Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition
by Paul Scherz (Author), Simon Monk (Author)
A Fully-Updated, No-Nonsense Guide to Electronics
Advance your electronics knowledge and gain the skills necessary to develop and construct your own functioning gadgets. Written by a pair of experienced engineers and dedicated hobbyists, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition, lays out the essentials and provides step-by-step instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Discover how to select the right components, design and build circuits, use microcontrollers and ICs, work with the latest software tools, and test and tweak your creations. This... View Details
The Beginner's Guide to Engineering: Mechanical Engineering
by Mark Huber (Author)
The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering series is designed to provide a very simple, non-technical introduction to the fields of engineering for people with no experience in the fields. Each book in the series focuses on introducing the reader to the various concepts in the fields of engineering conceptually rather than mathematically. These books are a great resource for high school students that are considering majoring in one of the engineering fields, or for anyone else that is curious about engineering but has no background in the field. Books in the series: 1. The Beginner’s Guide to... View Details
Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 15th Ed
by Michael R. Lindeburg PE (Author)
New for 2018. Choose the new edition of PE Civil Reference Manual, Sixteenth Edition and receive the eTextbook for free. This offer is only available at ppi2pass.com.
Comprehensive Civil PE Exam Coverage
The Civil Engineering Reference Manual is the most comprehensive textbook for the NCEES Civil PE exam. This book's time-tested organization and clear explanations start with the basics to help you quickly get up to speed with common civil engineering concepts. Together, the 90 chapters provide an in-depth review of all of the topics,... View Details
Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career (Fourth Edition)
by Raymond B. Landis (Author)
About the Book
Since Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career exploded onto the market in 1995, it has become the best selling Introduction to Engineering textbook of all time. Adopted by over 300 U.S. institutions, and reaching more than 150,000 students, the book has made major inroads into the "sink or swim" paradigm of engineering education. Armed with the book as a powerful tool for "student development," large numbers of engineering programs have implemented Introduction to Engineering courses to improve the academic performance and retention rates of their... View Details
Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 13th Ed
by Michael R. Lindeburg PE (Author)
Only available at PPI2PASS.com, updated to the 2018 exam specs the new edition of Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 13th Edition with free eTextbook and free Index included.
Get your PE Mechanical Study Schedule and PE Mechanical Reference Manual index at ppi2pass.com/downloads.
** New Practice Exams and Six-Minute Problem Books Now Available for New PE Mechanical Exams**
The following new titles are available from the Publisher PPI on Amazon. Free study schedules to support the new exams are available on... View Details
Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything
by Kelly Weinersmith (Author), Zach Weinersmith (Author)
The instant New York Times bestseller!
A Wall Street Journal Best Science Book of the Year!
A Popular Science Best Science Book of the Year!
From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies -- from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3D organ printing
What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar... View Details