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On the critical parameters that regulate the deformation behaviour of tooth enamel

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
11190 723 2008 7 PDF Available
Title
On the critical parameters that regulate the deformation behaviour of tooth enamel
Abstract

Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body with a complex hierarchical structure. Enamel hypomineralisation – a developmental defect – has been reported to cause a marked reduction in the mechanical properties of enamel and loss of dental function. We discover a distinctive difference in the inelastic deformation mechanism between sound and hypomineralised enamels that is apparently controlled by microstructural variation. For sound enamel, when subjected to mechanical forces the controlling deformation mechanism was distributed shearing within nanometre thick protein layer between its constituent mineral crystals; whereas for hypomineralised enamel microcracking and subsequent crack growth were more evident in its less densely packed microstructure. We develop a mechanical model that not only identifies the critical parameters, i.e., the thickness and shear properties of enamels, that regulate the mechanical behaviour of enamel, but also explains the degradation of hypomineralised enamel as manifested by its lower resistance to deformation and propensity for catastrophic failure. With support of experimental data, we conclude that for sound enamel an optimal microstructure has been developed that endows enamel with remarkable structural integrity for durable mechanical function.

Keywords
Tooth enamel; Microstructure; Nanoindentation; Protein; Modelling; Electron microscopy
First Page Preview
On the critical parameters that regulate the deformation behaviour of tooth enamel
Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 17, June 2008, Pages 2697–2703
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering