Inspired By Nature
The blue crayfish, sometimes called the sapphire crayfish or the Florida crayfish, is a species of crayfish that lives in fresh water without readily available calcium sources. Over millions of years of evolution, it has developed an exceptional ability to grow a new exoskeleton in just 3 days – 7 times faster than other crustaceans, who live in calcium-rich salt water.
How Does the Blue Crayfish Do it?
The blue crayfish has a unique ability to store the calcium it needs for periodically regrowing a new exoskeleton in a rare and highly unstable form known as amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), and then use it with growth rate and efficiency unmatched elsewhere in nature. (“Amorphous” means “not-crystalline”.)
The ACC is stored in two gastroliths, or stomach stones, attached to the crayfish’s stomach walls. When the molting process begins, those gastroliths fall into the stomach acid and are quickly dissolved. This rapid dissolution of calcium ions allows the crayfish to build a new exoskeleton with extraordinary speed.
Amorphical managed to successfully imitate this process, producing ACC, stabilized in its amorphous form and making it suitable for human use. Today, we are developing innovative medical treatments based on the traits and chemistry of ACC.