Unfurtunately the monastery Irsee has been closed by the Bavarian government due to the corona virus.

Therefore we have decided to offer the conference as a web conference only.

In those unpredictable times, protecting our participants’ health has the highest priority for us!

The scientific exchange must not come to a complete standstill and we believe that with this web solution we have found a way to keep the scientific community going.

In order to participate in the livestream of the conference as easy as possible and to give your presentation, we recommend the use of the web browsers Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

Here you can find detailed instructions for using the livestream.

As a participant of the Bioinspired 2020 you have received an e-mail containing the login data for the web conference.

The login data for the sessions are provided daily.

In order to allow all conference participants access to the posters, we ask you to upload your poster by login on the conference homepage and clicking on the button "My Submission" in the upper right corner of the conference homepage. Then select the submission to which you want to upload the poster and upload the poster at the bottom of the page.

Furthermore we would like to ask all poster authors to prepare 4 PowerPoint slides to present your poster to the audience.
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Please note that your poster will be pictured publically.

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Click on "My Submissions" in the upper right corner at the homepage.

Poster documents can be found by opening the respective abstract in the online programme.
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Please use for this the Q&A (F&A) button!

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Back to overview


The dual function of isopod corneal eye cuticula: a biomaterial optimized for vision and protection

Wednesday (18.03.2020)
09:10 - 09:30

Isopod eyes consist of functional units, the omatidia. Each omatidium contains a dioptric apparatus that is composed of a cornea and a crystal cone. The cornea consists of mineral embedded in an organic matrix, hard calcite being present distally, soft ACC proximally. The cuticle of the cornea has a bimodal function: it serves as a protective exoskeleton but forms also transparent micro-lenses. Thus, for the cuticle of the cornea, a balance has to be obtained between mechanical stability for protection and optical properties for vision.

In carbonate biological hard tissues microstructure is one of the keys for material optimization. We studied with high-resolution EBSD calcite organization in corneal cuticle of four isopod species native in distinct habitats: one marine (Sphaeroma serratum) and three terrestrial (Porcellio scaber, Tylos europaeus, Ligia oceanica). We find significant variations in calcite organization: The species with the thickest cuticle, marine (S. serratum) and terrestrial (T. europaeus), incorporates the thickest band of calcite into the cornea: calcite is in a graded arrangement. The species with a thin cuticle (L. oceanica, P. scaber, terrestrial) incorporate a very thin calcite band into their cornea. Here, calcite is almost single crystalline. For the terrestrial species calcite c-axis orientation is horizontal within the cuticle, in contrast to that of the marine species. For the terrestrial species we find a 3D arrangement of calcite that, for T. europaeus, this is linked to a graded organization of the mineral. For all four species calcite in the cornea is thinner relative to that in the head capsule. With the exception of P. scaber, for all other investigated species calcite arrangement in the cornea differs from that in the head capsule. Our results suggest that adaptations of calcite organization cover both: an increase in corneal cuticle transparency as well as maintenance of its mechanical strength (1, 2).


(1) Alagboso F I, Ziegler A (2014) Ultrastructure and mineral composition of the cornea cuticle in the compound eyes of a supralittoral and a marine isopod. Journal of Structural Biology 187, 158-173 DOI: 10.1016/j.jsb.2014.06.00257

(2) Griesshaber E, Yin X, Ziegler A, Kelm K, Checa A, Eisenhauer A, Schmahl WW (2017) Patterns of mineral organization in carbonate biological hard materials. Highlights in Applied Mineralogy, De Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-049122-7.

Dr. Erika Griesshaber
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
Additional Authors:
  • Dr. Franciska Alogboso
    Central Facility for Electron Microscopy
  • Prof. Wolfgang W. Schmahl
    Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
  • Dr. Andreas Ziegler
    Central Facility for Electron Microscopy