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Dent Mater. 2008 Dec;24(12):1640-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 20.

Improved orthodontic stainless steel wires coated with inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles of WS(2) impregnated in electroless nickel-phosphorous film.

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Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hadassah-Hebrew University, P.O. Box 12272, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.



To reduce friction between orthodontic stainless wires and bracket by coating the wire with nickel-phosphorous electroless film impregnated with inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles of tungsten disulfide (IF-WS(2)) which are potent dry lubricants.


Coating was preformed by inserting stainless steel (SS) wires into electroless solutions of nickel-phosphorus (Ni-P) and IF-WS(2). The coated wires were analyzed by SEM (scanning electron microscope) and EDS (energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer) as well as by tribological tests using a ball-on-flat device. Friction tests simulating archwire functioning of the coated and uncoated wires were carried out by an Instron machine. The adhesion properties of the coated wires after friction were analyzed by a Raman microscope.


SEM/EDS analysis of the coated wires showed clear impregnation of the IF-WS(2) nanoparticles in the Ni-P matrix. The friction coefficient measured by the ball-on-flat tribometer was significantly reduced (from 0.25 to 0.08). The friction forces as measured with the Instron on the coated wire were reduced by up to 54% (4.00 N+/-0.19 uncoated vs. 1.85 N+/-0.21 coated). Raman spectra showed that even after extensive friction tests the Ni-P with the IF-WS(2) nanoparticles is attached to the underlying stainless steel wire.


It is proposed that the wires coated with these nanoparticles might offer a novel opportunity to substantially reduce friction during tooth movement. A few tests undertaken to evaluate the toxicity of the fullerene-like nanoparticles have provided indications that they might be biocompatible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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