Variability in the elastic properties of bovine dentin at multiple length scales

A. C. Deymier-Black*, J. D. Almer, S. R. Stock, D. C. Dunand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Various methods are used to investigate the variability in elastic properties across a population of deciduous bovine incisor root dentin samples spanning different animals, incisor types, and locations within teeth. First, measurements of elastic strains by high-energy synchrotron X-ray scattering during compressive loading of dentin specimens provided the effective modulus-the ratio of applied stress to elastic phase strain-for the two main phases of dentin (hydroxyapatite crystals and mineralized collagen fibrils), shedding light on load transfer operating at the nanoscale between collagen and mineral phases. Second, Young's moduli were measured at the macroscale by ultrasonic time-of-flight measurements. Third, thermogravimetry quantified the volume fractions of hydroxyapatite, protein and water at the macroscale. Finally, micro-Computed Tomography determined spatial variations of the mineral at the sub-millimeter scale. Statistical comparison of the above properties reveals: (i) no significant differences for dentin samples taken from different animals or different incisor types but (ii) significant differences for samples taken from the cervical or apical root sections as well as from different locations between buccal and lingual edges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Dentin
  • Load transfer
  • Mineral content
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Young's modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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