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Researchers at Iran Polymer & Petrochemical Institute (IPPI) in collaboration with their colleagues at Tehran University of Medical Sciences and successfully developed a special type of porous silica nanoparticles to serve as a favorable filling agent for dental composites.
Despite securing improvement in a number of properties such as elasticity modulus, flexural strength, toughness and so forth, the inclusion of nanoparticles in composites also brings about some unintended problems like the excessive water intake - due to the increased specific surface area - which in time destroys the resin-matrix interface. The mentioned researchers have managed to partly overcome these kinds of limitations in their proposed nanocomposite. To be specific, by adopting a thermal sintering treatment, they have achieved porous silica nanoparticles and made it to integrate them into composites in order to obtain enhanced properties.
According to the research group members, the thermal sintering process helps lowering the specific surface areas of the nanoparticles as well as facilitates the attachment of nanoparticles to the composite via mechanical micro-bondings. Comparative studies have been conducted between the commercial dental composites comprised of micro and nano-sized particles and the prepared nanocomposite.
The results ascertained relative superiority in terms of elasticity modulus, flexural strength and toughness for the novel composite. In addition, the proposed nanocomposite provides a smoother surface after being subject to tooth brushing. Moreover, no significant discrepancy in the diametral tensile strengths (DTS) and degrees of conversion of the prepared and the commercial samples was found.
An elaborate report discussing the technical details of this research work has been published in Dental Materials, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2012, pages 133 to 145.
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