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Synthesis of nanocomposites with nano-TiO2 particles and their applications as dental materials
A study of the modification of dental nanocomposites with nanosized fillers is presented. The incorporation of TiO2 (titania) nanoparticles, via a silane chemical bond, to a standard dental acrylic resin matrix was explored to determine whether there was an increase in the wear resistance, flexural strength and surface hardness properties of the dental nanocomposites. The principal aim of this study was to synthesize dental nanocomposites with different sizes, treated, nano-TiO2 fillers in urethane dimethacrylate (UDMA) for potential application in posterior restoration and to evaluate their mechanical properties. Treatment of the nano-TiO2 particles was carried out with a silane coupling agent, 3-(methacryloyloxy)propyltrimethoxysilane (MPTMS), to improve bonding between the nano-TiO2 particles and acrylic matrix (UDMA), and reduce agglomeration of the nano-TiO2. Characterisation of products was carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). TEM results were used to compare the particle size distributions of untreated TiO2 and treated TiO2 under various experimental conditions in an ethanol solvent, while SEM images showed the adhesion between the matrix (UDMA) and the nano-TiO2. FTIR was used to show the qualitative composition of untreated TiO2 and treated TiO2. Eighteen groups of experimental dental nanocomposites were evaluated. Each group contained different average particle sizes of nano-TiO2 (filler): 5 nm, 21 nm and 80 nm. Each particle size category was treated with three different concentrations of the silane, (MPTMS): 2.5, 10 and 30 wt %. Samples were prepared by mixing the monomer resin matrix of UDMA and nano-TiO2 particles. For comparison, a commercially available dental resin was reinforced with untreated and treated nano-TiO2 particle sizes 5, 21 and 80 nm. Wear resistance, flexural strength and surface hardness of TiO2 nanocomposites treated with 2.5 wt % MPTMS were significantly higher compared to those treated with 10 and 30 wt% MPTMS. The nanocomposites with 5 nm TiO2 had higher wear loss, lower flexural strength and lower surface hardness values compared to those with 21 nm and 80 nm TiO2. Statistical analysis showed that the effect of the concentrations of MPTMS on wear resistance and surface hardness of specimens was significant (p<0.001), which is less than 0.05, while the effect of the concentration of MPTMS on flexural strength was statistically not significant, (p=0.02). Control composites reinforced with treated 80 nm TiO2 particles had much better mechanical properties than any of the other specimens. It was concluded that the most available commercial product for dental restorations could be improved by the addition of nano-TiO2 with relatively large particle size.