Scientists develop material that could regenerate dental enamel

IMAGE: Close- up of the enamel- likematerial
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Credit: Alvaro Mata

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have actually established a brand-new method to grow mineralised products which could regenerate tough tissues such as dental enamel and bone.

Enamel, situated on the external part of our teeth, is the hardest tissue in the body and allows our teeth to work for a big part of our life time in spite of biting forces, direct exposure to acidic foods and beverages and severe temperature levels. This impressive efficiency arises from its extremely organised structure.

However, unlike other tissues of the body, enamel can not regenerate once it is lost, which can cause discomfort and missing teeth. These issues impact more than 50 percent of the world’s population therefore discovering methods to recreate enamel has actually long been a significant requirement in dentistry.

The research study, released in NatureCommunications, programs that this brand-new method can develop products with impressive accuracy and order that appearance and act like dentalenamel


The products could be utilized for a wide range of dental issues such as the avoidance and treatment of dental caries or tooth level of sensitivity – likewise called dentin hypersensitivity.

DrSherif Elsharkawy, a dental professional and very first author of the research study from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, stated: “This is exciting because the simplicity and versatility of the mineralisation platform opens up opportunities to treat and regenerate dental tissues. For example, we could develop acid resistant bandages that can infiltrate, mineralise, and shield exposed dentinal tubules of human teeth for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity.”

The system that has actually been established is based upon a particular protein material that has the ability to set off and assist the development of apatite nanocrystals at numerous scales – likewise to how these crystals grow when dental enamel establishes in our body. This structural organisation is vital for the exceptional physical homes showed by natural dentalenamel


Lead author Professor Alvaro Mata, from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, stated: “A major goal in materials science is to learn from nature to develop useful materials based on the precise control of molecular building-blocks. The key discovery has been the possibility to exploit disordered proteins to control and guide the process of mineralisation at multiple scales. Through this, we have developed a technique to easily grow synthetic materials that emulate such hierarchically organised architecture over large areas and with the capacity to tune their properties.”

Enabling control of the mineralisation procedure opens the possibility to develop products with homes that imitate various tough tissues beyond enamel such as bone and dentin. As such, the work has the possible to be utilized in a range of applications in regenerative medication. In addition, the research study likewise supplies insights into the function of protein condition in human physiology and pathology.


The research study was moneyed by the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant (STROFUNSCAFF) and the Marie Curie Integration Grant (BIOMORPH). .

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