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Dr Fabio Nudelman

Dr Fabio Nudelman

Chancellor's Fellow

Room 259

University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Research Interests

Biogenic minerals, organic-inorganic hybrid materials, protein-crystal interactions, (cryo)electron microscopy, soft matter

Research Overview

We are interested in understanding how organisms produce mineralized tissues like bone, teeth and shells. These tissues are organic-inorganic composite materials, where the formation of the inorganic phase is controlled by a matrix of proteins and polysaccharides that compose the organic phase. The intimate relationship between the organic and inorganic phases results in materials that are highly adapted for their functions.

Our primary interest is bone, which is composed of hydroxyapatite nanocrystals embedded inside a highly organized matrix of type I collagen. Our aim is to employ both in vivo and in vitro biomimetic models, and use different cryo-electron microscopy techniques (cryoTEM, cryo-tomography and cryoSEM), to investigate:

  1. The deposition and assembly of a highly organized matrix of collagen fibrils at the early stages of bone formation;
  2. The deposition of calcium phosphate mineral to the collagen and its subsequent transformation in hydroxyapatite nanocrystals inside the fibrils.
Nudelman research image

Computer-generated three-dimensional visualization of mineralized collagen. The fibril is sectioned through the xy plane, revealing plate-shaped apatite crystals (coloured in pink) embedded in the collagen matrix. Reproduced with permission from: Nudelman, F., et al, Nature Materials (2010), 9, 1004-1009. Copyright (2010) Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


  1. Nudelman, F., Lausch, A. J., Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M., Sone, E. D. In vitro models of collagen biomineralization. J. Struct. Biol. (2013), 183, 258-269.
  2. Nudelman, F., Bomans, P. H. H., George, A., de With, G., Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M. The role of the amorphous phase on the biomimetic mineralization of collagen. Faraday Discuss., (2012), 159, 357-370.
  3. Nudelman, F., Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M. Biomineralization as inspiration for materials chemistry. Angew. Chem (2012), 51, 6582-6596.
  4. Nudelman, F., de With, G., Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M. Cryo-electron tomography: 3-dimensional imaging of soft matter. Soft Matter (2011), 7, 17-24.
  5. Nudelman, F., Pieterse, K., George, A., Bomans, P. H. H., Friedrich, H., Brylka, L. J., Hilbers, P. A. J., de With, G., Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M. The role of collagen in bone apatite formation in the presence of hydroxyapatite nucleation inhibitors. Nature Materials (2010), 9, 1004-1009.