Read aloud A complex layer system gives the enamel its enormous capacity. That's what scientists around Gerold Schneider from the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg found out. "The key to the extraordinary properties of tooth enamel lies in the coexistence of hard and soft materials, " explains Schneider. The researchers discovered the secret of the fine structure of tooth enamel with the help of scanning electron microscopy, reports the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. Enamel forms the outermost layer of teeth and is considered one of the hardest biological materials. Now the scientists were able to show the background of this amazing resilience. First, the research team systematically recorded data on the resilience and structure of the enamel. Using a scanning electron microscope, they explored the microstructure and the individual levels in the macro, micro and nanoscale.

The researchers recognized how the complex arrangement of the material influences its mechanical properties. A hierarchical structure of materials of different hardness is the basic secret behind the performance of enamel. The more crosslinked these ingredients are, the more stable the substance is. Sabine Bechtle, who was instrumental in the research project, raves about the aesthetic structure of enamel. Under magnification of 10, 000 times, the cross-section of the enamel first shows individual fibers. The next layer is followed by fiber bundles and, finally, a wickerwork of fine fibrous tissue on the micro level. "We found that the highest stiffness and strength is found at the nanoscale, " says Bechtle.

High load-bearing capacity of materials is very much in demand in technology. Following the example of nature, humans can develop enormously high-performance materials. The scientists therefore see their discovery as a basis for the development of synthetic materials.

Gerold Schneider (Hamburg University of Technology) et al .: Press release of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg ddp / science.de? Theresa Klüber advertisement

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