David J. Belton

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Silica skeletal architectures in diatoms are characterized by remarkable morphological and nanostructural details. Silk proteins from spiders and silkworms form strong and intricate self-assembling fibrous biomaterials in nature. We combined the features of silk with biosilica through the design, synthesis, and characterization of a novel family of chimeric(More)
Biomineral formation is widespread in nature, and occurs in bacteria, single-celled protists, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. Minerals formed in the biological environment often show unusual physical properties (e.g. strength, degree of hydration) and often have structures that exhibit order on many length scales. Biosilica, found in single-celled(More)
Considerable research has been directed toward identifying the mechanisms involved in biosilicification to understand and possibly mimic the process for the production of superior silica-based materials while simultaneously minimizing pollution and energy costs. Molecules isolated from diatoms and, most recently sponges, thought to be key to this process(More)
Osteoinductive and biodegradable composite biomaterials for bone regeneration were prepared by combining silk fibroin with silica particles. The influence of these composite systems on osteogenesis was evaluated with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) subjected to osteogenic differentiation. hMSCs adhered, proliferated, and differentiated towards(More)
The aim of the study was to determine the extent and mechanism of influence on silica condensation that is presented by a range of known silicifying recombinant chimeras (R5: SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL; A1: SGSKGSKRRIL; and Si4-1: MSPHPHPRHHHT and repeats thereof) attached at the N-terminus end of a 15-mer repeat of the 32 amino acid consensus sequence of the(More)
Requiring mild synthesis conditions and possessing a high level of organization and functionality, biosilicas constitute a source of wonder and inspiration for both materials scientists and biologists. In order to understand how such biomaterials are formed and to apply this knowledge to the generation of novel bioinspired materials, a detailed study of the(More)
Biomaterial design via genetic engineering can be utilized for the rational functionalization of proteins to promote biomaterial integration and tissue regeneration. Spider silk has been extensively studied for its biocompatibility, biodegradability and extraordinary material properties. As a protein-based biomaterial, recombinant DNA derived derivatives of(More)