Variation in enamel mechanical properties throughout the crown in catarrhine primates.

Journal article


Towle, I., Loho, T., Salem, A.S., Berthaume, M.A. and Loch, C. (2023). Variation in enamel mechanical properties throughout the crown in catarrhine primates. Journal of Human Evolution. 182, p. 103413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2023.103413
AuthorsTowle, I., Loho, T., Salem, A.S., Berthaume, M.A. and Loch, C.
AbstractEnamel mechanical properties vary across molar crowns, but the relationship among mechanical properties, tooth function, and phylogeny are not well understood. Fifteen primate lower molars representing fourteen taxa (catarrhine, n = 13; platyrrhine, n = 1) were sectioned in the lingual-buccal plane through the mesial cusps. Gradients of enamel mechanical properties, specifically hardness and elastic modulus, were quantified using nanoindentation from inner (near the enamel-dentine junction), through middle, to outer enamel (near the outer enamel surface) at five positions (buccal lateral, buccal cuspal, occlusal middle, lingual cuspal, lingual lateral). Cuspal positions had higher mechanical property values than lateral positions. Middle enamel had higher mean hardness and elastic modulus values than inner and outer locations in all five crown positions. Functionally, the thicker-enameled buccal cusps of lower molars did not show evidence of increased resistance to failure; instead, lingual cusps-which show higher rates of fracture-had higher average mechanical property values, with no significant differences observed between sides. Preliminary phylogenetic results suggest there is relatively little phylogenetic signal in gradients of mechanical properties through the enamel or across the crown. There appears to be common mechanical property patterns across molar crowns in Catarrhini and potentially among primates more broadly. These results may allow more precise interpretations of dental biomechanics and processes resulting in mechanical failure of enamel in primates, such as wear and fracture. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.]
KeywordsHardness; Nanoindentation; Tooth properties; Elastic modulus
Year2023
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Journal citation182, p. 103413
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1095-8606
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2023.103413
Publication dates
Online08 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Jul 2023
Deposited24 Aug 2023
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Open
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