Nacre or mother-of-pearl is a composite natural substance

Mineral phase = pure aragonite (CaCO3 : calcium carbonate)

Organic phase = proteins, polysaccharids, peptides, lipids

Nacre structure observed with microscope

Nacre is naturally produced by bivalves as pearl oysters, gastropods as abalone and cephalopods as nautilus.

It’s an organo-mineral composite located in the inner part of the shell. It does’nt contain any cell.

During evolution, life learned how to elaborate minerlized tissues like nacre by molluscs and bone by humans. The study of biomineralization process allows us today to develop applications for cosmetics and dietary supplements.