Lubricating Properties of the Initial Salivary Pellicle

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Lubricating Properties of the Initial Salivary Pellicle

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Lubricating Properties of the Initial Salivary Pellicle
Author(s) Hahn Berg, IC ; Arnebrant, Thomas ; Rutland, M. W
Date 2003
English abstract
The role of saliva in the oral cavity is manifold; an important function is to serve as lubricant between hard (enamel) and soft (mucosal) tissues. Intraoral lubrication is of crucial importance in order to maintain functions such as deglutition, mastication and the faculty of speech. A large number of people suffer from impaired salivary functions, displaying symptoms such as 'dry mouth'. This results in a need for methods to assess the lubricating properties of both native saliva and potential artificial saliva formulations. Here, normal as well as lateral forces, acting between adsorbed salivary films, have been measured for the first time by means of colloidal probe atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was found that the presence of salivary pellicles between hard surfaces reduces the friction coefficient by a factor of 20. This reduction of friction is consistent with the long-range purely repulsive nature of the normal forces acting between the salivary films. The lubricating mechanism is presumably based on a full separation of the sliding surfaces by the salivary films. The friction between salivary films has been investigated at normal loads that cover the clinical jaw closing forces, and it can be concluded that the lubricating properties are maintained within this load interval. The present study indicates the usefulness of colloidal probe AFM, which offers a direct and quantitative measure of lubrication at a molecular level, in the study of biotribological phenomena. In particular, the results obtained here may have implications for the development of saliva substitutes.
Publisher Harwood Academic Publishers
Host/Issue Biofouling;6
Volume 19
ISSN 0892-7014
Pages 365-369
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) atomic force microscopy
initial salivary pellicle
colloidal probe
intraoral friction
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