December 5, 2023

At Last: New Synthetic Tooth Enamel Is Harder and Stronger Than the Real Thing

Delivering what has actually been so tough to produce, researchers present an engineered analog of tooth enamel– an ideal design for creating biomimetic materials– developed to closely imitate the composition and structure of biological teeths difficult mineralized outer layer. It demonstrates extraordinary mechanical properties, they say.
Natural tooth enamel– the thin external layer of our teeth– is the hardest biological product in the body. It is renowned for its high tightness, hardness, toughness, viscoelasticity, and strength and displays remarkable damage resistance, regardless of being just several millimeters thick.

Tooth enamels uncommon combination of homes is an item of its hierarchical architecture– a complex structure comprised of mostly hydroxyapatite nanowires adjoined by an amorphous intergranular stage (AIP) consisting of magnesium-substituted amorphous calcium phosphate. Nevertheless, properly reproducing this kind of hierarchical company in a scalable abiotic composite has actually remained a challenge.
Here, Hewei Zhao and coworkers present a crafted enamel which contains the necessary hierarchical structure at several scales. The synthetic tooth enamel (ATE) was produced using AIP-coated hydroxyapatite nanowires, which were aligned using dual-directional freezing in the presence of polyvinyl alcohol. According to the authors, this permitted the crafted structures to have an atomic, nanoscale, and microscale company like natural enamel.
In a series of tests, Zhao et al. showed that the ATE nanocomposite all at once showed high stiffness, firmness, strength, viscoelasticity, and durability, exceeding both the homes of enamel and formerly made materials..
Reference: “Multiscale crafted synthetic tooth enamel” by Hewei Zhao, Shaojia Liu, Yan Wei, Yonghai Yue, Mingrui Gao, Yangbei Li, Xiaolong Zeng, Xuliang Deng, Nicholas A. Kotov, Lin Guo and Lei Jiang, 3 February 2022, Science.DOI: 10.1126/ science.abj3343.