Hierarchical structure and biomineralization in cricket teeth

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XING Xue-Qing, GONG Yu, CAI Quan, MO Guang, DU Rong, CHEN Zhong-Jun and WU Zhong-Hua. Hierarchical structure and biomineralization in cricket teeth[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2013, 37(2): 028001. doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/37/2/028001
XING Xue-Qing, GONG Yu, CAI Quan, MO Guang, DU Rong, CHEN Zhong-Jun and WU Zhong-Hua. Hierarchical structure and biomineralization in cricket teeth[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2013, 37(2): 028001.  doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/37/2/028001 shu
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Received: 2012-03-20
Revised: 2012-03-31
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Hierarchical structure and biomineralization in cricket teeth

    Corresponding author: WU Zhong-Hua,

Abstract: The cricket is a truculent insect with stiff and sharp teeth as a fighting weapon. The structure and possible biomineralization of cricket teeth are always interesting. Synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and small angle X-ray scattering techniques were used to probe the element distribution, possible crystalline structures and size distribution of scatterers in cricket teeth. A scanning electron microscope was used to observe the nanoscaled structure. The results demonstrate that Zn is the main heavy element in cricket teeth. The surface of a cricket tooth has a crystalline compound like ZnFe2(AsO4)2(OH)2(H2O)4. The interior of the tooth has a crystalline compound like ZnCl2, which is from the biomineralization. The ZnCl2-like biomineral forms nanoscaled microfibrils and their axial direction points towards the top of the tooth cusp. The microfibrils aggregate randomly into intermediate filaments, forming a hierarchical structure. A sketch map of the cricket tooth cusp is proposed and a detailed discussion is given in this paper.

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