CHAPTER 7: Reactive Inkjet Printing of Silk Barrier Membranes for Dental Applications
Published:27 Nov 2017
P. M. Rider, I. M. Brook, P. J. Smith, and C. A. Miller, in Reactive Inkjet Printing: A Chemical Synthesis Tool, ed. P. J. Smith and A. Morrin, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, pp. 147-168.
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This chapter will discuss the use of inkjet printing for the manufacture of barrier membranes. Barrier membranes can be used in dentistry for regenerative work such as improving alveolar bone augmentation. An ideal barrier membrane will have controllable resorption rates, be biocompatible, prevent surrounding tissues from collapsing into the defect space, as well as provide cell occlusivity. Current barrier membranes are produced from materials which are either non-resorbable, and require a secondary surgery for their extraction, or, made from resorbable materials which can have poor structural integrity or degrade into acidic by-products. Silk has had a long history of use as a biomaterial, it degrades into non-toxic components and has adaptable mechanical properties. Silk has several polymorphs; silk I and silk II. Silk I is non-crystalline and water soluble while silk II has a crystalline β-sheet structure that is non-water soluble. Silk I converts to silk II upon exposure to methanol. This process of conversion can be utilised in inkjet printing where multiple inks can be printed. Inkjet printing can produce complex samples with control over shape, surface topography and gradients and therefore may offer an alternative manufacturing method for the production of barrier membranes.