Gutta Percha

  • Ian Baker


Gutta Percha has few uses nowadays apart from in endodontics, for which it has been used for over 150 years. Gutta Percha, or technically trans-1,4-polyisoprene, is chemically identical to latex or natural rubber, which is cis-1,4-polyisoprene. Such molecules that are chemically the same but differ in the spatial arrangements of the atoms are referred to as stereoisomers. This difference is important since latex is amorphous (non-crystalline) whereas Gutta Percha crystallizes when it solidifies. While latex is produced from the sap of a rubber tree, Gutta Percha is a milky latex-like substance produced from a tree whose Malay name is Getah Perca. The Malay people had used Gutta Percha for many centuries before its introduction to the West in applications such as handles for knives and walking sticks amongst other uses.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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