We put our teeth under huge strain, and often require fillings to repair them."The idea of the project was to add graphene into dental materials, in order to increase their resistance to corrosion as well as to improve their mechanical properties," said Stela Pruneanu, one of the authors of the study from the National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies in Romania.

"There is contradictory information regarding the cytotoxicity of graphene, so we first wanted to determine how toxic it is for teeth."

Thermally reduced graphene oxide was highly toxic, making it inappropriate as a dental filling material. Nitrogen-doped graphene caused membrane damage at high doses. However, it was shown to have  antioxidant properties.

"The results were very interesting and proved that graphene is appropriate for use in dental materials," said Gabriela Adriana Filip, another author of the study and associate professor at the Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca in Romania.

"We believe that this research will bring new knowledge about the cytotoxic properties of graphene-based materials and their potential applications in dental materials," Filip added.

The study findings were published in the recent issue of journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.



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