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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experimental dental composites with electrospun nanofibers and nanofibrous composites. Urbanetto Peres, Bernardo


Electrospun nanofibers with and without nanoparticles are poorly explored in dental research. Nanocrystalline cellulose is a nanoparticle with distinguished properties that has already been associated with nanofibers, but yet not applied to any dental aspect. The objective of this work was to investigate the use of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers containing nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) in the light of the mechanical behavior of fibrous mat and experimental dental composites. Three experiments were performed to answer the following research questions: 1) Can nanocrystalline cellulose improve mechanical properties of polyacrylonitrile nanofiber meshes? 2) Does the method of dispersion (simple mixture vs. with solvent exchange) of NCC in PAN solution affect fiber formation and the respective properties of the meshes? and 3) Can NCC-containing PAN electrospun nanofibers affect flexural properties of experimental dental composites? Results showed that nanocrystalline cellulose, at low concentrations, significantly increases PAN nanofibers tensile properties (chapter 2). Dispersion methods affected both the morphology and mechanical properties of the fibers (chapter 3). Finally, when NCC-containing PAN nanofibers were used to produce experimental dental composites, there was a significant improvement in flexural strength and work of fracture (chapter 4). In conclusion, the findings indicated that the use of electrospun nanofibers and nanofibres containing nanoparticles is a promising approach to reinforce dental composites.

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