, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 59-64

Diffusion of45Ca in bovine enamel

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The penetration of45Ca ions into whole bovine enamel from an aqueous solution was studied as a function of the Ca content in the solution. A sectioning technique was employed to measure the penetration of45Ca into the enamel.

Probably only Ca ions occupying surface positions in the hydroxyapatite crystallites participate in the exchange process at the solution-enamel interface. The fraction of Ca ions participating in the exchange was 2% of the total number of Ca ions. Two different diffusion processes occur; firstly, a process governed by a diffusion coefficient, D1 ranging from about 5×10−14 to 2×10−12 cm2/s and strongly dependent on the calcium concentration in the solutions; and secondly a process with a concentration-independent diffusion coefficient, D2, with a value of 2.8×10−12 cm2/s. It is assumed that the 2 diffusion types correspond to intra-and interprismatic transport, respectively. A model based on the pore structure of dental enamel and on surface charges on hydroxyapatite crystallites is discussed.