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Researchers Developed a Biomimetic Enamel Analog for Dental Repair



BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from Chinese and American institutions have developed an artificial enamel analog, which is expected to be a promising candidate as a dental repair material, due to its outstanding mechanical strength, stiffness and hardness.

Tooth enamel is an ideal target model for biomimetic material design, because it lacks regenerative capacity. Moreover, its complex structure makes it difficult to be repaired.

Researchers from Peking University School of Stomatology (PKU-SS), Beihang University and University of Michigan designed the biomimetic enamel analog with essential hierarchical structures at multiple scales.

This nanocomposite material simultaneously exhibited outstanding mechanical strength, high stiffness, hardness, viscoelasticity, and toughness, exceeding the properties of natural enamel, as well as previously bulk-manufactured enamel-inspired materials, according to the research article that was recently published in the journal Science.

The similar hardness with natural enamel endows this synthetic material with adequate strength for chewing, while preventing excessive wear on healthy teeth, according to one of the lead authors, Prof. Deng Xuliang from PKU-SS.

Moreover, this synthetic enamel analog can withstand greater vibration and impact force, as it is superior to natural enamel in terms of viscoelasticity and toughness.

The multi-scale hierarchical design is amenable to scalable production of high-performance materials, according to the research article.


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