The production of polymers for controlling calcite growth is a well-known approach in biomineralising organisms. Numerous studies have shown that polymers significantly influenced the growth rate and morphology of CaCO3 but little is known about how the polymers are actually controlled by the organisms. I have made a series of studies showing that an ancient polysaccharide (PS) extracted from 60 Ma chalk still inhibit calcite growth, modeled its complexation strength and that cations can control the effect of the ancient polysaccharides confirming that these processes have been in place for at least 60 million years.
Quantifying cation functionality
Imaging PS and calcite
Imaging cation functionality