Skip navigation

Biomimetic generation of the strongest known biomaterial found in limpet tooth

Biomimetic generation of the strongest known biomaterial found in limpet tooth

Rumney, Robin M. H., Robson, Samuel C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5702-9160, Kao, Alexander P., Barbu, Eugen, Bozycki, Lukasz, Smith, James R., Cragg, Simon M. ORCID: 0000-0003-1082-7653, Couceiro, Fay, Parwani, Rachna, Tozzi, Gianluca, Stuer, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-5937-0626, Barber, Asa H., Ford, Alex T. ORCID: 0000-0001-5202-546X and Górecki, Dariusz C. ORCID: 0000-0003-3584-1654 (2022) Biomimetic generation of the strongest known biomaterial found in limpet tooth. Nature Communications, 13 (1):3753. pp. 1-13. ISSN 2041-1723 (Online) (doi:

PDF (Publisher VoR)
42588_TOZZI_Biomimetic_generation_of_the_strongest_known_biomaterial_found_in_limpet_tooth.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview


The biomaterial with the highest known tensile strength is a unique composite of chitin and goethite (α-FeO(OH)) present in teeth from the Common Limpet (Patella vulgata). A biomimetic based on limpet tooth, with corresponding high-performance mechanical properties is highly desirable. Here we report on the replication of limpet tooth developmental processes ex vivo, where isolated limpet tissue and cells in culture generate new biomimetic structures. Transcriptomic analysis of each developmental stage of the radula, the organ from which limpet teeth originate, identifies sequential changes in expression of genes related to chitin and iron processing. We quantify iron and chitin metabolic processes in the radula and grow isolated radula cells in vitro. Bioinspired material can be developed with electrospun chitin mineralised by conditioned media from cultured radula cells. Our results inform molecular processes behind the generation of limpet tooth and establish a platform for development of a novel biomimetic with comparable properties.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioinspired materials; biomaterials; biomineralization
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Engineering (ENG)
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 13:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics