Diatoms as building blocks for new materials

Themes: Materials

Early lab scale demonstration

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Diatoms are silica micro-sized exoskeletons which have various nano/micro porous architectures that can be used as sustainable and cost-effective carriers for the controlled release of active substances.


The exoskeletons' ability to store and subsequently release substances can be used in for instance self-healing anti-corrosion coatings, building materials, the food industry, and controlled internal drug delivery.


The next step in this research is to explore how the species-dependent diatom architecture influences the release kinetics, and how the architecture and surface of the exoskeletons can be adjusted to influence these release kinetics.

Dr. Santiago Garcia


Ir. Paul Denissen