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Electron Microsc Rev. 1989;2(1):1-16.

Human enamel structure studied by high resolution electron microscopy.

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Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Academia Sinica, People's Republic of China.


Human enamel structural features are characterized by high resolution electron microscopy. The human enamel consists of polycrystals with a structure similar to Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2. This article describes the structural features of human enamel crystal at atomic and nanometer level. Besides the structural description, a great number of high resolution images are included. Research into the carious process in human enamel is very important for human beings. This article firstly describes the initiation of caries in enamel crystal at atomic and unit-cell level and secondly describes the further steps of caries with structural and chemical demineralization. The demineralization in fact, is the origin of caries in human enamel. The remineralization of carious areas in human enamel has drawn more and more attention as its potential application is realized. This process has been revealed by high resolution electron microscopy in detail in this article. On the other hand, the radiation effects on the structure of human enamel are also characterized by high resolution electron microscopy. In order to reveal this phenomenon clearly, a great number of electron micrographs have been shown, and a physical mechanism is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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