Surfactant-modified β-TCP: structure, properties, and in vitro remineralization of subsurface enamel lesions

RL Karlinsey, AC Mackey, ER Walker, KE Frederick. Surfactant-modified β-TCP: structure, properties, and in vitro remineralization of subsurface enamel lesions. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 21, 2009 (2010).


A hybrid material comprised of beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) was prepared using a mechanochemical process, examined using particle size analysis, IR spectroscopy, ³¹P, ²³Na, and ¹³C solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and calcium dissolution experiments, and probed for in vitro remineralization of subsurface enamel lesions. Our results suggest that while the ³¹P environments of β-TCP remain unchanged during solid-state processing, there is noticeable shifting among the SLS ²³Na and ¹³C environments. Therefore, given the structure of β-TCP, along with our IR examinations and calcium dissolution isotherms, SLS appears to interface strongly with the cation deficient C₃ symmetry site of the β-TCP hexagonal crystal lattice with probable emphasis placed on the underbonded CaO₃ polyhedra. To demonstrate the utility of the surface-active TCP material in dental applications, we combined the TCP–SLS with 5,000 ppm F (NaF) and evaluated the remineralization potential of subsurface enamel lesions via an in vitro remineralization/demineralization pH cycling dental model. Using surface and longitudinal microhardness measurements, the TCP–SLS plus 5,000 ppm F system was found to significantly boost remineralization of subsurface enamel lesions, with microhardness values increasing up to 30% greater than fluoride alone.


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Robert L. Karlinsey, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Karlinsey earned a BS in Physics and PhD in Chemical Physics, holds several patents, and has published in multiple fields including dentistry, chemistry, and materials science. His lifelong struggles with his own dental decay ultimately inspired him to investigate the remineralization of teeth.