The Nanoscale World

Atomic Force Microscope Study of Dental Enamel Structure and Synthesis


Mon, Jan 4 2010

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Atomic Force Microscope Study of Dental Enamel Structure and Synthesis

The human tooth has two main calcified parts with quite different mechanical properties. The enamel is hard and brittle, while the dentin is tough, and can absorb and distribute stress. Enamel and dentin meet at the dentino-enamel junction (DEJ). What is the nanometer-scale anatomy of tooth dentin, enamel, and DEJ, and how does that anatomy correspond to functional properties of the tooth? Can we learn from studying the dentino-enamel junction how to bring together other dissimilar materials in order to elicit a certain functionality from the composite?The AFM’s ability to image surfaces with nanometer scale resolution in 3 dimensions, together with the option image in liquids at different pH levels, make the instrument a useful tool for ex-situ investigation of physiological processes, such as tooth growth.

 

 

 

 

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