This is an SEM (scanning electron microscope) image of collagen that has been mineralized with calcium phosphate to make it harder and stronger, just like bone! The fibers you see are the collagen fibers and they are thicker and stronger than normal. The big bunches of spikey stuff are a different type of calcium phosphate called hydroxyapatite that formed on the surface of the collagen – we don’t really want this stuff in this experiment, but it does look cool! PS – the blue color doesn’t mean anything here, that was just for fun.

Interested? Maybe you’re enjoying that chemistry course? Maybe you’re interested in research on campus!Want to know what it is like in the research lab? Want to join a group of amazing undergraduate researches who are dedicated to discovery in analytical and biomaterials research?

The GRAB (Gerdon Research in Analytical Biomaterials) Lab is looking for you! Chemistry majors and minors (even if you haven’t declared or decided yet) – come talk to us!

What do we do? We do whatever it takes to learn more about bone and teeth formation and coral and sea shell formation. We use DNA aptamers, gold nanoparticles, DNA origami, microfluidic devices, and more to get the job done. Click around this website to learn more.

What now? Sign up for Dr. Aren Gerdon’s Student Office Hours, or talk to Amanda, Rylie, Dianna, Julia, Luz, or Grace any time you see them!