Probing the micro- and nanoscopic properties of dental materials using infrared spectroscopy: A proof-of-principle study

Max Beddoe, Thorsten Gölz, Martin Barkey, Enrico Bau, Matthias Godejohann, Stefan A. Maier, Fritz Keilmann, Marioara Moldovan, Doina Prodan, Nicoleta Ilie, Andreas Tittl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The preservation of oral health over a person's lifespan is a key factor for a high quality of life. Sustaining oral health requires high-end dental materials with a plethora of attributes such as durability, non-toxicity and ease of application. The combination of different requirements leads to increasing miniaturization and complexity of the material components such as the composite and adhesives, which makes the precise characterization of the material blend challenging. Here, we demonstrate how modern IR spectroscopy and imaging from the micro- to the nanoscale can provide insights on the chemical composition of the different material sections of a dental filling. We show how the recorded IR-images can be used for a fast and non-destructive porosity determination of the studied adhesive. Furthermore, the nanoscale study allows precise assessment of glass cluster structures and distribution within their characteristic organically modified ceramic (ORMOCER) matrix and an assessment of the interface between the composite and adhesive material. For the study we used a Fourier-Transform-IR (FTIR) microscope and a quantum cascade laser-based IR-microscope (QCL-IR) for the microscale analysis and a scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) for the nanoscale analysis. The paper ends with an in-depth discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the different imaging methods to give the reader a clear picture for which scientific question the microscopes are best suited for. Statement of significance: Modern resin-based composites for dental restoration are complex multi-compound materials. In order to improve these high-end materials, it is important to investigate the molecular composition and morphology of the different parts. An emergent method to characterize these materials is infrared spectroscopic imaging, which combines the strength of infrared spectroscopy and an imaging approach known from optical microscopy. In this work, three state of the art methods are compared for investigating a dental filling including FTIR- and quantum cascade laser IR-imaging microscopy for the microscale and scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy for the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume168
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Adhesives
  • Dental resin composites
  • FTIR
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Near-field microscopy
  • QCL-IR

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