Rodents inspire dentistry

Researchers discover an iron-containing material in the outer enamel of rodent teeth that could also make human teeth more resistant
 

Image of the lower incisors of nutria (coypu) and beaver. © adapted from ACS Nan
Image of the lower incisors of nutria (coypu) and beaver. © adapted from ACS Nano

Rodents such as beavers, nutrias (coypu) , squirrels and rats have particularly strong, elongated front teeth that grow continuously over the course of their lives. Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart have now elucidated the tooth structure of various rodent species at the nanometre scale. In the process, they discovered an iron-containing material in the outer enamel that is crucial for the extreme resilience of rodent teeth. ...

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