Ostreidae Manipulation

First there was Pearl Cream, the oyster-derived cosmetic that forever changed women’s complexions. Now, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research says scientists whom it is sponsoring have unlocked more secrets of the oyster to develop lightweight and durable pearl-like coatings that one day could protect aircraft surfaces from impact and corrosion. Doug Hansen and his wife Karolyn, senior research scientists at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio, have successfully manipulated the process of shell and pearl formation in oysters to demonstrate a method for depositing pearl-like coatings onto various metal surfaces. The research is significant in that biological ceramic coatings are naturally derived and do not involve the high-temperature, high-pressure environment required by existing methods for ceramic deposition on metallic surfaces. (AFOSR report by Molly Lachance)