Structure-forming processes leading to biominerals are well worth learning in pursuit of new synthetic techniques. Strategies that attempt to mimic nature in vitro cannot replace an entire complex natural organism, requiring ingenuity beyond chemists′ hands. A "bioprocess-inspired synthesis" is demonstrated for fabrication of N-doped TiO2 materials at ambient temperature by direct implantation of precursor into living mussels. The amorphous precursor transforms into N-doped anatase TiO2 with a hierarchical nanostructure. Synthetic TiO2 exhibits high phase stability and enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity as a result of modifications to its band gap during in vivo mineralization. Intracellular proteins were found to be involved in TiO2 mineralization. Our findings may inspire material production by new synthetic techniques, especially under environmentally benign conditions.
- ambient temperature
- bioprocess-inspired synthesis
- intracellular proteins
- natural organisms
- nitrogen-doped TiO