The Mineralized Crustacean Cuticle: Hierarchical Structure and Mechanical Properties
Arthropod cuticle is an excellent biological model system of a hierarchical nanocomposite for studying inner structure and architecture in connection with mechanical performance. While the hierarchical structure of non‐mineralized arthropod cuticle has been widely studied, only recently the particular biomineralization patterns found in crustaceans has attracted the interest of scientists from different fields. This chapter reviews some of the current knowledge about the hierarchical structure and mechanical properties of the crustacean exoskeleton, putting special emphasis on the relevance of mineral type and distribution for the mechanical function. In particular also the role of amorphous versus crystalline mineral phases is discussed.