A new study looks at the highly sophisticated structure of teeth and how this structure could be applied to aircraft and space vehicles of the future. It’s been a mystery: how can our teeth withstand such an enormous amount of pressure, over many years, when tooth enamel is only about as strong as glass? Professor Herzl Chai of Tel Aviv University’s School of Mechanical Engineering and his colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and George Washington University gives the answer.
The researchers applied varying degrees of mechanical pressure to hundreds of extracted teeth, and studied what occurred on the surface and deep inside them. The study, published in the May 5, 2009, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, shows that it is the highly-sophisticated structure of our teeth that keeps them in one piece — and that structure holds promising clues for aerospace engineers as they build the aircraft and space vehicles of the future. Check it out at Science Daily.