Light curable dental composites designed with colloidal crystal reinforcement

Quan Wan, Joel Sheffield, John McCool, George Baran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: Methods to prepare dental composites with a periodic filler arrangement were developed following a strategy of colloidal crystallization. The aims of this study were to determine the influence of suspension medium, silane treatment and amine additive on colloidal particle redispersion and subsequent ordering, and to evaluate the effect of filler ordering on mechanical properties of composites. Methods: Dry monodisperse silica particles (spherical, ∼500-nm diameter) were redispersed in selected solvents and monomers (e.g. triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate, TEGDMA) to form sediments or dispersions with ordered particle arrangements. Ordering was evaluated by microscopy and mechanical properties of the composites were measured using compression tests (n = 6). Results: A face-centered cubic packed structure could form in both the sediment from silica dispersions in polar solvents and stable dispersions in TEGDMA. Dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) was found to disrupt an ordered structure when non-silanized silica particles were used. Silanization with 3-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (MPS) promoted filler ordering. Standard compression tests on composites containing 60 wt% silica in TEGDMA with or without DMAEMA indicated that DMAEMA had a clearly significant effect (p < 0.05) on failure strain, compressive strength, and toughness, and a marginally significant effect on modulus (p = 0.12). Significance: Significant increases in compressive strength (16%), failure strain (71%), and toughness (135%) were observed for composites with ordered filler compared to non-ordered composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1701
Number of pages8
JournalDental Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Dentistry
  • Mechanics of Materials


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