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Type: Journal article
Title: On the critical parameters that regulate the deformation behaviour of tooth enamel
Author: Xie, Z.
Swain, M.
Munroe, P.
Hoffman, M.
Citation: Biomaterials, 2008; 29(17):2697-2703
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0142-9612
Statement of
Zonghan Xie, Michael Swain, Paul Munroe and Mark Hoffman
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: Bicuspid; Molar; Dental Enamel; Humans; Dental Enamel Hypoplasia; Case-Control Studies; Dental Stress Analysis; Tooth Calcification; Structure-Activity Relationship; Stress, Mechanical; Hardness; Models, Biological
Rights: Crown Copyright © 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020122947
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.02.022
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering publications
Materials Research Group publications

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