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Intrafibrillar demineralization study of single human dentin collagen fibrils by AFM

  • M. Balooch (a1), G. Balooch (a1), S. Habelitz (a1), S. J. Marshall (a1) and G. W. Marshall (a1)...


In situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to investigate the kinetics of demineralization of human dentin collagen fibrils. Individual dentin collagen fibrils containing intrafibrillar mineral were isolated, transferred onto a glass slide and exposed to water for a day prior to demineralization studies. The fibrils then were exposed to trypsin for removal of non-collagenous proteins and subsequently demineralized in 10 vol % citric acid. Topographic images showed a gradual increase in gap-overlap depth of the fibril. The gap-overlap depth varied linearly with the square root of time before saturation at 7 nm in approximately sixty minutes, suggesting a diffusion process for demineralization of intrafibrillar mineral. Micro Raman studies of partially demineralized dentin revealed the existence of a phosphate peak at wave number close to 960 cm-1. The peak gradually disappeared in 60 minutes as the samples were exposed to 10% citric acid, supporting the notion that AFM topography may be correlated to the degree of intrafibrillar mineralization.



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