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Minerals 2017, 7(10), 187; doi:10.3390/min7100187

A Micro-Comb Test System for In Situ Investigation of Infiltration and Crystallization Processes

Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work
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Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract

The investigation of mineralization and demineralization processes is important for the understanding of many phenomena in daily life. Many crystalline materials are exposed to decay processes, resulting in lesions, cracks, and cavities. Historical artifacts, for example, often composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), are damaged by exposure to acid rain or temperature cycles. Another example for lesions in a crystalline material is dental caries, which lead to the loss of dental hard tissue, mainly composed of hydroxyapatite (HAp). The filling of such cavities and lesions, to avoid further mineral loss and enable or support the remineralization, is a major effort in both areas. Nevertheless, the investigation of the filling process of these materials into the cavities is difficult due to the non-transparency and crystallinity of the concerned materials. In order to address this problem, we present a transparent, inexpensive, and reusable test system for the investigation of infiltration and crystallization processes in situ, being able to deliver datasets that could potentially be used for quantitative evaluation of the infiltration process. This was achieved using a UV-lithography-based micro-comb test system (MCTS), combined with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) to mimic the surface tension/wettability of different materials, like marble, sandstone, or human enamel. Moreover, the potential of this test system is illustrated by infiltration of a CaCO3 crystallization solution and a hydroxyapatite precursor (HApP) into the MCTS. View Full-Text
Keywords: porous mineral; infiltration analysis; self-assembled monolayer; surface modification; calcium phosphate; calcium carbonate; dental hard tissue; artifact restoration; remineralization; biomaterials porous mineral; infiltration analysis; self-assembled monolayer; surface modification; calcium phosphate; calcium carbonate; dental hard tissue; artifact restoration; remineralization; biomaterials
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gruber, D.; Wolf, S.L.P.; Hoyt, A.-L.M.; Konsek, J.P.; Cölfen, H. A Micro-Comb Test System for In Situ Investigation of Infiltration and Crystallization Processes. Minerals 2017, 7, 187.

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