The article, A Mesoporous Silica Biomaterial for Dental Biomimetic Crystallization, describing this innovation appears in the December 23, 2014 issues of the American Chemical Society’s ACS Nano journal.
Current products that diminish the sensitivity of worn teeth cover over openings on teeth’s surfaces. These are the openings to basically pores through the teeth that expose the nerves below to painful stimuli.
The new material, applied by the researchers as a paste, delivers a mixture of calcium and phosphorus and fills these open tubes more deeply than products currently on the market. “This depth could be the key, the researchers conclude, to repairing damaged enamel and providing longer-lasting relief from tooth sensitivity,” suggested an article on nanowerk.com, outlining the innovation.
The article in ACS Nano describes the newly developed material as “a fast-reacting, more reliable and biocompatible biomaterial that effectively occludes exposed dentinal tubules by forming a biomimetic crystalline dentin barrier.”
Once applied the paste actually begins to build new molecules—biomimetic crystals—in the tooth pores, making a substance that protects the nerves below from surface stimuli. The substance created is a biomaterial described by the researchers as “a gelatin-templated mesoporous.”
To explore the efficacy of this nanotech advancement the researchers tested the paste on dogs’ teeth.
“The in vivo efficacy and biocompatibility analyses of the biomaterial in an animal model reveal significant crystal growth (DCPD, TCP or HAp-like) and no pulp irritation after 70 days (p < 0.05)….These findings demonstrate that the mesoporous silica biomaterials presented here have great potential for serving as both a catalyst and carrier in the repair or regeneration of dental hard tissue,” state the researchers in the abstract to the article describing their work.
The potential applications for biomimetic materials across the personal care industry are great. Beauty maker L’Oreal is at work with 3-D bioprinting company Organovo on skin tissue that could be used to test cosmetics.
Organovo has made some impressive technology advances lately. They’ve teamed up with researchers at Yale School of Medicine, for instance, to work on a printed tissue that could be transplanted into humans. “This collaboration is a great way to bring the best minds of both worlds to solve a major research and medical goal,” Dr john Geibel, vice chairman, director of surgical research, and professor of surgery and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale University, said about the partnership.