Scanning Microscopy


Using interfacially-controlled crystallization and gel diffusion crystallization methods, calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM), dihydrate (COD) and trihydrate (COT) crystals were grown by the slow diffusion of reacting ions in the presence of mucin. It was demonstrated that mucin in the growth media dramatically affected the size, habit, surface structure, thermodynamic stability and phase transition kinetics of hydrated calcium oxalate crystals. The results obtained revealed that mucin as a glycoprotein model controlled the growth of COT and COD single crystals as well as cluster formation. Growth inhibition of specific crystal faces and phase transition retardation occurred in its presence. The data confirmed that glycoproteins are more than just adhesive materials, enhancing crystal aggregation in stone formation.

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