The interaction between mineral structures and living beings is increasingly attracting the interest of research. The formation of skeletons, geomicrobiology, the study of the origin of life, soil biology, benthos biology, human and mammalian diseases generated by the inhalation of dust and biomaterials are some examples of scientific areas where the topic has a relevance. In this chapter we focus on cell reactivity to siliceous rocks and to the various forms of silicon dioxide, in particular. The examples here reported carefully review howsuch minerals may strongly affect different living beings, from simple ones to humans. The biomineralogy concept is explained, focusing on the effects of rocks on cell growth and development. The toxic action of silicon dioxide in mammalian lungs is the oldest evidence of crystalline silica bioactivity. More recently, we could demonstrate that crystalline silica has a deep impact on cell biology throughout the whole animal kingdom. One of the most illustrative case studies is the marine sponge Chondrosia reniformis, which has the amazing ability to incorporate and etch crystalline silica releasing dissolved silicates in the medium. This specific and selective action is due to the chemical reaction of ascorbic acid with quartz surfaces. One consequence of this is an increased production of collagen. The discovery of this mechanism opened the door to a new understanding of silica toxicity for animal cells and mammalian cells in particular. The presence of silica in sea water and substrates also affects processes like the settlement of larvae and the growth of diatoms. The following sections review all such aspects.
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|Titolo:||Cell Reactivity to Different Silica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|