The group of Professor Shuhong YU simulated the growth mode and control processes of mollusks’ mother-of-pearl. They first froze chitosan to generate a layered structure of the framework, followed by acetylation, resulting in a shell made up from a chitin framework. A calcium bicarbonate solution containing polyacrylic acid and magnesium ions was then pumped through this framework, allowing calcium carbonate to grow in situ on this matrix. The artificial mother of pearl was highly similar to natural pearls in chemical composition, inorganic content, multi-level structural form and extraordinary fracture strength and toughness.

China Bio news release, October 8, 2016