What fabric do you think is the most durable in our country?the body? Almost certainly, the first thing that comes to mind is bones. After all, they are really extremely durable. Bones “hold” the entire muscle frame and protect internal organs. There is no doubt that bone tissue is very strong, but we also have something more durable - teeth, and to be more precise, tooth enamel. In terms of hardness and strength, not a single bone can be compared with it, but enamel has a huge drawback: after damage, it is not able to regenerate. However, a group of scientists from China was able to solve this problem and grew tooth enamel in the laboratory. And this enamel is no worse than the “real” one.
How to restore tooth enamel?
According to Science Advances, the groupresearchers from Zhejiang University, led by Dr. Zhaoming Liu, developed a special gel that, after hardening, acquires properties and strength comparable to those of ordinary tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel forms biologically at the momentdevelopment of the fetus, but after ripening it becomes cell-free and thus loses the ability to self-repair. As a result, tooth decay or other damage to the teeth completely destroy this structure, so the cavity will not be able to restore its functionality. - says Dr. Zhaoming Liu.
In fairness it’s worth noting that the attemptsTo recreate tooth enamel have been undertaken before. We often write about such research on our page in Yandex.Zen, so we recommend that you subscribe to be in the know. However, the main problem in such studies is the difficulty in the synthesis of clusters of calcium phosphates. These are the main "building blocks" of tooth enamel, which, due to their composition and shape, give it its properties. Calcium phosphate alone is not difficult to create. It is difficult to “pack” it in such a way that, roughly speaking, a large content of this substance in a small volume is obtained. And a group of Chinese researchers succeeded.
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They managed to get calcium phosphate clusterswith a diameter of only 1.5 nanometers. And this indicator is as close as possible to that of natural enamel. Scientists have not yet fully disclosed the technology for developing the gel, but they said that in order to achieve such results, they used triethylamine, a substance that slows down the “sticking” of calcium phosphate conglomerates, which allows them to be more densely “packed”.
At the same time, scientists have already conducted the first experimentson damaged human teeth that have been removed and stored in a solution that reconstitutes moisture, temperature and other conditions that are inherent in the human mouth. In the illustration above, it can be seen that the enamel is not bad “engraftment”. According to scientists, the complete implantation of artificial enamel took about 48 hours. But there is a small problem. The fact is that the gel was able to create only a layer with a thickness of only about 3 micrometers. And this is about 400 times thinner than intact enamel. However, the experts are not discouraged and have already begun experiments on mice in order to improve the performance of the new gel. As soon as this can be done, the stage of testing artificial enamel in patients of dental clinics will come.