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This book, by a leading thinker with 30 years experience in the field, is the first devoted to fibrous composites in biology. It tackles a major unsolved problem in developmental biology - how does chemistry create architecture outside cells? Fibrous composites occur in all skeletal systems including plant cell walls, insect cuticles, moth eggshells, bone and cornea. They function like man-made fibreglass, with fibres set in a matrix. The fibrous molecules are long, extracellular and water-insoluble and to be effective they must be orientated strategically. The underlying hypothesis of this book is that the fibres are orientated by self-assembly just outside the cells during a mobile liquid crystalline phase prior to stabilization. The commonest orientations of the fibres are plywood laminates (orthogonal and helicoidal), and as parallel fibres. These may be imitated in vitro by liquid crystalline chemicals. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach and will be relevant to biologists, biochemists, biophysicists, material scientists and to liquid crystals chemists.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521410519
ISBN-10: 0521410517
Format: Hardback
(246mm x 189mm x 14mm)
Pages: 226
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 24-Sep-1993
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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