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Dent Mater. 2011 Nov;27(11):1187-95. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Sep 19.

BisGMA/TEGDMA dental composite containing high aspect-ratio hydroxyapatite nanofibers.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, United States.



The objectives of this study are to investigate the properties of high aspect-ratio hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanofibers and the reinforcing effect of such fibers on bisphenol A glycidyl methacrylate (BisGMA)/triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) dental resins (without silica microparticle filler) and dental composites (with silica microparticle filler) with various mass fractions (loading rates).


HAP nanofibers were synthesized using a wet-chemical method and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Biaxial flexural strength (BFS) of the HAP nanofibers reinforced dental resins without any microsized filler and dental composites with silica microparticle filler was tested and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for the statistically analysis of acquired data. The morphology of fracture surface of tested dental composite samples was examined by SEM.


The HAP nanofibers with aspect-ratios of 600 to 800 can be successfully fabricated with a simple wet-chemical method in aqueous solution. Impregnation of small mass fractions of the HAP nanofibers (5 wt% or 10 wt%) into the BisGMA/TEGDMA dental resins or impregnation of small mass fractions of the HAP nanofibers (2 wt% or 3 wt%) into the dental composites can substantially improve the biaxial flexural strength of the resulting dental resins and composites. A percolation threshold of HAP nanofibers, beyond which more nanofibers will no longer further increase the mechanical properties of dental composites containing HAP nanofibers, was observed for the dental composites with or without silica microparticle filler. Our mechanical testing and fractographic analysis indicated that the relatively good dispersion of HAP nanofibers at low mass fraction is the key reason for the significantly improved biaxial flexural strength, while higher mass fraction of HAP nanofibers tends to lead to bundles that cannot effectively reinforce the dental resins or composites and may even serve as defects and thus degrade the resulting dental resin and composite mechanical properties.


The incorporation of small mass fraction of HAP nanofibers with good dispersion can improve the mechanical property of dental resins and dental composites.

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