dr. A. (Anat) Akiva - Expertise
P.O. Box 513
5600 MB EINDHOVEN
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- Bone formation
Anat Akiva is a postdoc fellow at theLaboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry in Eindhoven University of Technology, working on mineralization of collagen which is the basic building block of our bones.
She received her B.Sc, and M.Sc degree (cum laude) in Chemistry from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her major was in physical chemistry and solid state NMR. During her master degree she was first introduced to the world of biomineralization (formation of minerals by organisms) and she continued in this field as a Ph.D student in the biomineralization group of Prof Lia Addadi and Prof Steve Weiner from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Her Ph.D thesis was on structural and dynamic investigation of bone mineralization processes in the zebrafish larva.
In October 2016 she joined the laboratory of Materials and Interfaces Chemistry as a postdoc fellow.
The mineralized collagen fibril is the basic building block of our bones. The fibrils are hierarchically ordered from the nanometer to the macroscopic scale. The mineralization of collagen involves the deposition of oriented carbonated hydroxyapatite (cHAP) platelets in a process that is thought to be directed by the collagen together with a family of acidic non-collagenous proteins (NCPs). During the mineralization process, small cHAP platelets (25x4x50 nm) are embedded between two adjacent collagen fibrils. The detailed analysis of the mineralized collagen fibril structure has proven difficult, mainly due to its highly complex organization, its nanoscopic dimensions and the fact that bone consists of both hard and soft components. It is an even more challenging task to unravel the mechanism by which collagen is mineralized, as this occurs on the nanometer scale, through a multistep process, and in a complex aqueous multicomponent environment. To address those questions, we perform in vitro mineralization experiments on early-deposited collagen produced in an osteoblast cell culture. Using in situ liquid phase electron microscopy with (3D) cryo-TEM, electron diffraction and fluorescence microscopy we visualize – with unprecedented spatial/temporal resolution – both the structural development of the mineral phase and the associated interactions between the different organic, inorganic and cellular components that lead to collagen mineralization.