Microstructure and surface free energy of light-cured dental composites after their modification with liquid rubber
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Lublin University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Nadbystrzycka 36, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Medical University of Lublin, Independent Unit of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Chodzki 1, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
Krzysztof Pałka   

Submission date: 2022-03-08
Acceptance date: 2022-04-25
Publication date: 2022-05-09
Engineering of Biomaterials 2022;(164):9–15
The use of liquid rubber as a component of light-cured dental composites is one of the methods of increasing their fracture toughness. It also reduces polymerization shrinkage and offers the potential to lower water sorption. The aim of the study was to evaluate the miscibility of liquid rubber in composite matrix resins as well as changes in the wettability and surface free energy (SFE) values of commercial light-curing composites after their modification with liquid rubber. The research materials were Flow Art and Boston (Arkona) light-cured composites and resin mixtures used in their production. Liquid rubber Hypro 2000X168LC VTB (Huntsman Int.) was used as a modifier. The solubility of liquid rubber was assessed under light microscopy. The contact angle and SFE measurements were made on a DSA30 goniometer (Kruss) using water and diiodomethane. It was found that the liquid rubber solubility depended mainly on the viscosity of the resin, which was related to the amount of BisGMA. The resulting mixture showed good temporal stability without larger domains. The curing process released the liquid rubber as a separate phase formed as spherical domains. The morphology of these domains was homogeneous and their size did not exceed 50 µm in diameter. The presence of liquid rubber in modified composites increased their hydrophobicity and reduced the surface free energy value. The obtained properties might help to reduce the formation of bacterial biofilm on dental fillings.