Research Network for Metals in Medicine

 

 

Dr Alasadair Lee

Position: ARC APD Fellow 2003-2006, Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry

Affiliation: Department of Applied Chemistry, Curtin University of Technology

Postal Address:
Department of Applied Chemistry
Curtin University of Technology
P.O. Box U 1987 Perth, Western Australia 6845
AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 (08) 9266 2947
Email: A.P.Lee@exchange.curtin.edu.au
Webpage: http://chemistry.curtin.edu.au/


Research Profile

My research has identified a previously unreported iron oxide biomineral, limonite, and also demonstrated that the deposition of ferric phosphate biominerals in chiton teeth is not as widespread as has been previously reported. These results are of fundamental significance as they challenge assumptions held for thirty years about the biomaterials present in these structures.

During my research I have developed new in situ confocal laser Raman microscopy methods for the analysis of these very small microstructures. The results my experiments to date show that the process of mineral deposition in chiton teeth is much more complex than previously thought. These new microscopy techniques are demonstrated in work recently published that has disproved the theory that chiton tooth biomineralization proceeds first via the deposition of an amorphous mineral.

I have also identified a new structural property of chiton teeth, a mechanical failure zone which aids the removal and replacement of worn teeth. This has very significant implications for the design of biomaterials where wear and replacement properties need to be tailored.

Selected Publications

  1. Lee, A. P., Brooker L. R., van Bronswijk W., Macey, D. J., Webb, J., (2003) Contribution of Raman spectroscopy to the identification of biominerals present in the teeth of Acanthopleura rehderi, Acanthopleura curtisiani and Ornithochiton quercinus. Biopolymers(Biospectroscopy) 72, 299-301
  2. Phillips, B, L., Lee, A. P., Casey, W. H., (2003) The kinetics of oxygen exchange between sites in the Al30 (aq) molecule and aqueous solution. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67(15) 2725-2733
  3. Lee, A. P., Brooker L. R., Webb, J., van Bronswijk W., Macey, D. J., (2003) A new biomineral identified in the cores of teeth from the chiton Plaxiphora albida. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 8(3) 256-262
  4. Brooker, L.R., Lee, A. P., Macey, D. J., Webb, J., van Bronswijk, W., (2003) Multiple front mineralization in chiton teeth (Acanthopleura echinata: Mollusca: Polyplacophora). Marine Biology 142 447-454
  5. Yu, P, Lee, A. P., Phillips, B. L., Casey, W. H., (2003) Potentiometric and 19F-NMR spectroscopic study of fluoride substitution in the GaAl12 Polyoxocation: Implications for aluminum (hydr)oxide mineral surfaces Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 67(5) 1065-1080
  6. Lee, A. P., Furrer, G., Casey W.H., (2002), On the acid base chemistry of the Al13 GaAl12 and GeAl12 keggin polymers Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 250, 269-270
  7. Brooker, L.R., Lee, A. P., Macey, D. J., Webb, J., (2002), Molluscan and other marine teeth. Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology (ed Paul Calvert) ISBN 0-08-0431526 pp. 5186-5189
  8. Lee, A. P., Phillips, B, L., Casey, W. H., (2002) The kinetics of oxygen exchange between sites in the GeO4Al12(OH)24(OH2)128+ (aq) molecule and aqueous solution. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 66(4) 577-587
  9. Webb, J., Brooker, L.R., Lee, A.P., Hockridge, J., Liddiard, K.J., Macey, D.J., van Bronswijk, W., (2001), Biomineralization controlled microarchitecture in the radula teeth of chitons and limpets Australian Journal of Chemistry 54 (9-10) 611-613
  10. Lee, A. P., Philips, B. L., Olmstead, M. M., Casey, W. H., (2001) Synthesis and Characterization of the GeO4Al12(OH)24(OH2)128+ Polyoxocation Inorganic Chemistry 40(17) 4485-4487
  11. Lee, A. P., Brooker, L. R., Macey, D. J., Webb, J., van Bronswijk, W., (2000), Apatite mineralization in the chiton Acanthopleura echinata. Calcified Tissue International. 67(5) 408-415.
  12. Lee, A. P., Webb, J., van Bronswijk, W., Macey, D. J., Savarese, A., De Witt, C., (1998), Raman spectroscopic studies of the teeth of the chiton Acanthopleura hirtosa. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 3, 614, 619.

Facilities

Curtin houses the WA vibrational spectroscopy facility with funding contributions from UWA, Murdoch, CSIRO and the ARC. The Department of Applied Chemistry hase a range of spectrometers.

International Linkages

Professor Doug Eernisse, Biology California State University, Fullerton CA, USA.