Experimental investigation on the role of water in the mechanical behavior of structural dentine

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2005 May 1;73(2):192-200. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.30288.


Dentine is a porous hydrated composite structure that forms the major bulk of the human tooth. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of free water on the in-plane, mechanical strain response in dentine structure. A digital moire interferometry was used for this purpose. It was observed from this experiment that structural dentine demonstrated distinct strain gradients in the axial (perpendicular to the dentinal tubules) and lateral (parallel to the dentinal tubules) directions. The hydrated dentine displayed significant increase in strain with stress in the direction perpendicular to the dentinal tubules, and this response was characteristic of a tough material. On the contrary, the dehydrated dentine, which was dehydrated at 24 degrees C, 55% relative humidity for 72 h showed a strain response characteristic of a brittle material. The strains formed in the direction parallel to the dentinal tubules for hydrated dentine were consistent and did not vary much with increase in applied loads. Upon dehydration, the outer dentine experienced higher strains, and the difference between the outer and inner dentine became more conspicuous with increase in loads. This experiment highlights hydration-induced, distinct in-plane strain gradients in the directions perpendicular and parallel to the dentinal tubules in the dentine structure.

MeSH terms

  • Dentin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Moire Topography
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Water