Multi-scale modeling and diffraction-based characterization of elastic behaviour of human enamel

Tan Sui*, Michael A. Sandholzer, Nikolaos Baimpas, Igor Dolbnya, Gabriel Landini, Alexander M. Korsunsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Paperpeer-review


The relationship between the ultrastructure of human enamel and its mechanical behaviour is studied in this paper. Two synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques, wide and small angle X-ray scattering (WAXS/SAXS) were used in combination to obtain multi-scale quantitative information about the response of human enamel to in situ uniaxial compressive loading. The interpretation of WAXS data gives elastic lattice strains within the hydroxyapatite (HAp) crystals, the stiff reinforcing phase in human enamel. The apparent modulus was determined linking the external load and the internal HAp strain. SAXS interpretation, allows the quantification of the nano-scale HAp crystallite distribution within human enamel. A multi-scale Eshelby equivalent inclusion model of the enamel was proposed that represents the hierarchical mineralized tissue as a two-level composite: micro-level model with rod embedded in the homogenised enamel material, and nano-level model with HAp crystallites embedded in the rod. Satisfactory agreement was achieved between model and experiment, suggesting that the new multi-scale approach accurately reflects the structure and mechanics of human enamel, and may help guide new biomimetic designs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event13th International Conference on Fracture 2013, ICF 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 16 Jun 201321 Jun 2013


Conference13th International Conference on Fracture 2013, ICF 2013


  • Enamel
  • Eshelby model
  • Mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-scale modeling and diffraction-based characterization of elastic behaviour of human enamel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this