nanotehnoloogia, nanoteknologia, nanotechnologija, nanotehnologijas, nanoteknologija,
nanotechnologii, nanotecnologia, nanotehnologijo, nanoteknik
Nano Geneeskunde...Nano Medicína
get their teeth into artificial dental enamel
international team of researchers have finally got
their teeth into making artificial dental enamel.
Their work, published in the journal Advanced
Materials , could lead to new tough coatings
for engineering applications as well as the possibility
of a natural fix for broken or rotten teeth that
avoids heavy metal fillings.
Researchers have chewed over how to make novel materials that mimic some of
the best physical and chemical properties of natural compounds for many years.
Among such natural materials is dental enamel, which is not only smooth, but
very hard, making it a potential coating for engineering components in which
wear and tear are a normally serious problem.
Dental enamel is the outermost layer of the teeth and is the hardest mineralized
tissue in the human body. It is composed mainly of millions of microscopic
crystals of the mineral hydroxyapatite. These tiny hexagonal rods pack together
to form a structure known as the enamel prism. The tight packing of these units
makes all the difference between “al dente” and a slurp by protecting the living
tooth within and making it hard enough to bite through most foods.
Cells, known as ameloblasts, build the dental enamel from mineral salts and
enamel proteins. However, once the enamel layer is complete, the ameloblast
cells die, leaving behind an essentially dead coating on each tooth. If you
damage the enamel, there are no quick fix cells to carry out a repair and regenerate
Brian Clarkson of the University of Michigan and colleagues in Poland have
now taken a bite out of nature's recipe book and used the so-called hydrothermal
method to make artificial dental enamel. The hydrothermal approach has been
used to make other materials before and is analogous to using a pressure cooker.
The ingredients are crystallised from water under high pressure so that it
is well above its boiling point. This is the first time hydrothermal chemistry
has been used to create artificial dental enamel.
Under the microscope, Clarkson's synthetic dental enamel has a very similar
crystal structure to natural enamel. The new synthetic material is also almost
as tough as natural enamel and supports the growth of living cells. As such
it might one day be used to grow artificial teeth, something that anyone who
suffers daily ritual of dunking their false teeth in sterilizing solution at
bed time might welcome.
“This work demonstrates the potential of applying nanotechnology to the direct
creation of biomaterials with a specific biological architecture, in this case,
human enamel,” Clarkson says. "We are now working on producing thicker apatite
films and blocks of this synthetic enamel to be used as veneer coverings for
unsightly teeth and caps (crowns) for teeth which are heavily filled and/or broken
Brian H. Clarkson, University of Michigan (USA),www.dent.umich.edu/
Title: Acellular Synthesis of a Human Enamel-like Microstructure
Angewandte Chemie International Edition , 2006, 18 , No. 14,
1846–1851, doi: 10.1002/adma.200502401
or David Greenberg (US)
or Julia Lampam (UK)
story has been adapted from a news release
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