What does it mean to be at the forefront of a characterization technique? Novel implementation and research, finding new ways to visualize composites, and new techniques all play a role. Yet with the myriad of advances in the field, keeping up with new and advanced techniques, often from many different areas, has become a challenge. Biomineralization Sourcebook: Characterization of Biominerals and Biomimetic Materials emphasizes the interplay between multiple techniques at their current frontiers and explores how such studies may be carried out.
The book addresses atomic and molecular structure: how it is described, detected, and assessed for importance. It then highlights additional measurements especially well-suited to looking at two- and three-dimensional systems with heterogeneous, if not hierarchical, structure. These systems enable particular aspects of biominerals and biomimetic models to be scrutinized. The text presents state-of-the-art methods to assess properties of the composite, and represents current approaches and aspirations to measuring entire biological working structures while retaining as much fine-grained biophysical information as possible. In all these chapters, authors showcase discoveries from their own programs.
Along the way, the book takes you on a tour from microscopy's eighteenth century roots, to the recent literature and diverse research programs of the contributing investigators, to the multi-million dollar National Laboratory facilities that all play their roles to illuminate the ever-fascinating biominerals. A snapshot of the state of the art in a spectrum of experimental techniques applied to a common interdisciplinary goal, where the ability to use the more advanced techniques often requires funding for collaboration and travel, the book will deepen the appreciation for the massive interdisciplinary effort underway, educate researchers across the field, and motivate new collaborations.