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CA, United States

Grunenfelder L.K.,Bourns Hall B357 | Herrera S.,Bourns Hall B357 | Kisailus D.,Bourns Hall B357
Small | Year: 2014

Over millions of years, the crustacean exoskeleton has evolved into a rigid, tough, and complex cuticle that is used for structural support, mobility, protection of vital organs, and defense against predation. The crustacean cuticle is characterized by a hierarchically arranged chitin fiber scaffold, mineralized predominately by calcium carbonate and/or calcium phosphate. The structural organization of the mineral and organic within the cuticle occurs over multiple length scales, resulting in a strong and tough biological composite. Here, the ultrastructural details observed in three species of crustacean are reviewed: the American lobster (Homarus americanus), the edible crab (Cancer pagurus), and the peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus). The Review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of biomimetics with controlled organic scaffolding, mineralization, and the construction of nanoscale composites, inspired by the organization and formation of the crustacean cuticle. A review of common themes and unique features of the crustacean cuticle across three species (American lobster, edible crab, and peacock mantis shrimp) is presented. Advances in biomimetic studies encompassing crystal nucleation and growth and the production of nanoscale organic and inorganic composites as well as structural composites inspired by the cuticle are described. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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