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Characterisation of structures in salivary secretion film formation. An experimental study with atomic force microscopy

Journal article
Authors Anna Arvidsson
C. D. Lofgren
C. E. Christersson
P. O. Glantz
Ann Wennerberg
Published in Biofouling
Volume 20
Issue 3
Pages 181-8
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute of Surgical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Institute of Odontology, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry/Dental Technology
Pages 181-8
Language en
Keywords Female, Humans, Microscopy, Atomic Force, Parotid Gland/ secretion, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Saliva/ chemistry
Subject categories Dentistry


The purpose of the present study was to characterise the structure dynamics of pure salivary secretions retained on controlled surfaces with different surface energies in the early stage of salivary film formation. Germanium prisms prepared to have either low surface energy or medium surface energy were incubated in fresh secretions of either human parotid saliva (HPS) or human submandibular/sublingual saliva (HSMSLS) for 15, 90, and 180 min. After controlled rinsing with distilled water, the surfaces were air dried and thereafter imaged with atomic force microscopy (AFM). The amount of adsorbed material and the size of the structures detected increased with increased saliva exposure time. The film thicknesses varied from 10 to 150 nm, and both HPS and HSMSLS films contained structures with diameters varying from 40 nm to 2 microm. Some of these were clustered into special formations. The HPS films exhibited a more granular morphology than the HSMSLS films. Furthermore, branched lines were detected on the low surface energy germanium prisms incubated in saliva. The results indicate that exposure time, surface energy, and type of salivary secretion all are factors affecting the adsorption characteristics of salivary films.

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