1 Introduction</h5> Dental enamel is the hardest mineralized tissue in the human body. 1,2 This hard tissue comprises 96% inorganic materials and 4% organic materials and water by weight. The inorganic content is nanorod-like hydroxyapatite crystals arranged into highly organized hierarchical microstructures. These special structures play an important role in determining the unique physicochemical properties of dental enamel. Recent studies have reported that extracellular matrix proteins, such as amelogenin, are essential for the control and modulation of these special structures during the biomineralization of enamel. 3–10 However, these proteins that induce and control the crystallization of apatite are almost completely degraded or removed during enamel maturation. 4,6 Therefore, unlike dentine and bone, mature enamel has no ability to reform highly organized crystals. Conventional treatments replace the defected enamel with substitute materials, such as resin and amalgam. These substitute materials are quite different from the normal enamel in chemical composition and crystal structure. Moreover, these materials require the sacrifice of healthy tooth tissue. Thus, the materials are not ideal for repairing defective enamel.</P>Presently, the biomimetic synthesis of enamel-like hydroxyapatite (HAP) has attracted much interest from research groups. Many methods have been used in vitro to form enamel-like crystals, including
Archives of Oral Biology – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2013
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