Arnaldo Nakamura Filho, Arthur Corrêa de Almeida, Hérnan Espinoza Riera, João Locke Ferreira de Araújo, Vitor José Pinto Gouveia, Marcela David de Carvalho, Antônio Valadão Cardoso
Applying the theories of Materials Science and Engineering to describe the composition and hierarchy of microstructures that comprise biological systems could help the search for new materials and results in a deeper insight into evolutionary processes. The layered microstructure that makes up the freshwater bivalve Limnoperna fortunei shell, an invasive specie in Brazil, was investigated utilizing SEM and AFM for the determination of the morphology and organization of the layers; and XRD was used to determine the crystalline phases of the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) present in the shell. The presence of the polymorphs calcite and aragonite were confirmed and the calcite is present only on the external side of the shell. The shell of L. fortunei is composed of two layers of aragonite with distinct microstructures (the aragonite prismatic layer and the aragonite sheet nacreous layer) and the periostracum (a protein layer that covers and protects the ceramic part of the shell). A new morphology of the calcite layer was found, below the periostracum, without defined form, albeit crystalline.