Piezoelectricity, pyroelectricity and ferroelectricity in biomaterials: Speculation on their biological significance

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36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many thousands of papers have been published on the piezoelectric, pyroelectric and ferroelectric properties of single crystals, ceramics, polymers and liquid crystals. Yet fewer than 100 papers have appeared on these properties in biological materials. Piezoelectric and pyroelectric effects have been measured on a number of plant and animal tissues and the possible existence of ferroelectricity has been suggested also. This paper reviews some measurements and speculates on their significance. Specific examples include piezoelectricity in a crystalline material in the pineal gland of the brain, pyroelectricity in the heat sensing organs of certain varieties of snakes and beetles, and ferroelectricity in the conduction of action potentials in nerve and muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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