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Synthesis, characterization and development of nanomaterials for potential restorative and preventive dental applications

Rattan, Supriya (2019) Synthesis, characterization and development of nanomaterials for potential restorative and preventive dental applications. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Good oral health is crucial to everyone. Good oral hygiene together with a good balance of oral microbiome helps in sustaining the body’s natural defence mechanisms against various diseases. In the new global economy, preventive and restorative dental solutions have been instrumental in our understanding of prevalent dental caries and periodontal defects. In light of increasing awareness about oral hygiene and overall health, it is becoming extremely difficult to ignore the fact that to date, no dental filler has completely replicated the physiochemical and mechanical properties of natural tooth. The success of a restorative material completely depends on its interaction with the oral tissues and inflammatory responses of the body. The inherent hierachal organization of human tooth structures based on micro and nano-meter scale indicates a great opportunity for developing biomimetic nanomaterials for its regeneration. Therefore, several members of the calcium orthophosphate family are extensively explored for orthopaedic and dental applications. Of these, hydroxyapatite, a main mineral component of enamel, dentin and bones is used extensively for a wide range of biomedical applications. Due to its characteristics like bioactivity, bone-conduction, non-toxic, non-allergic, non-mutagenic, size effects and surface phenomenon, nano-hydroxyapatite has been identified a as a major candidate for restoration and repair of damaged tooth enamel and dentin. For building up an effective and efficient composite material, the particle’s characteristics like shape, size, structure, chemical composition and synthesis parameters, (temperature, pH, sonication etc) need to be thoroughly investigated. This has thus been the main thrust of this thesis.

The thesis is composed of three parts. The first part, systematically reviews the current state of nanotechnology based preventive and restorative dental materials and products currently available in the market place. Other nano-material based products are also explored and evaluated. The second part of thesis looks at the fundamental properties and synthesis parameters of hydroxyapatite when compared to other calcium phosphate phases. A special emphasis is laid on the combined ultrasonic and microwave synthesis of pure ultrafine hydroxyapatite powders and several ion substitutions, (e.g. magnesium, silica). These substitutions were investigated to best mimic the natural trace elemental profile properties of tooth enamel and dentin. This research project, develops, optimises and validates the development of a combined, ultrasonic and microwave synthetic process for producing hydroxyapatite and metal substituted hydroxyapatite, (HAP) powders. Using XRD, FESEM, TEM, FTIR and modified Williamson-Hall analysis the nanoscale matter were characterised. The remaining part of the thesis addresses the applicability of developed pure and substituted powders as a candidate for a nanocomposite material for dental applications. The nanoscale materials developed in this thesis were mapped against current commercial dental products and for future optimisation as an innovative natural substitute to current dental filler market.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor(s): Poinern, Gérrard Eddy Jai, Fawcett, Derek, Mann, Surender Singh and Sharma, Shashi
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