The human body has excellent healing power like if there is a cut on the skin or broken bone, it will automatically be repaired. This is almost true about all the parts of the human body, but not for tooth enamel. It is considered that at childhood, it once developed, and continues to remain the same for the rest of the life. Whenever someone eats food or has a change of pH or temperature in the mouth, this enamel goes to severe stress and stains. This has given a curiosity to a scientist that what are the factors of this long-lasting enamel? How it can stay there for such a long period?
Let’s in into depth for a great understanding
A combined team of researchers from MIT, Pittsburgh, and Cambridge University under the leadership of Prof. Gilbert, has been trying to solve this mystery and looking into the structure of enamel. Many articles have been published in the journal Nature Communication, about its working and other details. Enamel is made up of long enamel-like rods that consist of hydroxyapatite crystals. They are of a dimension of 50 nanometers in width and 10 nanometers in length. With the help of cutting edge imaging technology, it has become possible to visualize how these rods are present around teeth. Polarization-dependent imaging contrast (PIC) mapping is the technique that is used by Gilbert’s team for visualization. The results from their studies are postulated in a way that there is no single orientation in every single rod. Rather, change is gradual between adjacent nanocrystals.
How important orientation is?
There is a need for testing that changing the orientation of enamel rods, will change the stress response or not? For this detail, experimentation is needed. For this purpose, computer modeling is being done to check this. A team of researchers has placed two enamel rods in such a way that they touch each other along one edge. After going through a large data set, it has been found that there is rotation from 1 degree to a maximum of 30 degrees. From these observations, it is concluded that owing to this small angle movement, these enamel rods are capable of bearing more stress and remain at their places for a longer period.
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