Outcomes of Ultra-Fast (3 s) Photo-Cure in a RAFT-Modified Resin-Composite

Nicoleta Ilie, D.C. WATTS

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Objective: This study evaluates critical material properties resulting from ultra-fast (3 s) photo-polymerization at high radiant emittance of a pre-production, novel bulk-fill resin-based composite (RBC) modified for reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization.
Methods: The output characteristics of the associated light curing unit (LCU) were measured on a laboratory-grade spectrometer. Real-time Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and mechanical investigations (depth-sensing indentation with a linear and spatial distribution of the measured properties, and three-point bend tests) were performed using, as reference material, an established bulk-fill RBC of comparable chemical composition. Micromechanical properties were mapped to quantify material tolerance to sub-optimal curing conditions (exposure distance of 5 mm and an angulation of the LCU of 20° and 30°) vs. ideal curing conditions (exposure distance of 0 mm and no angulation), with 3 s polymerization. Weibull statistics, one- and multiple-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) post hoc-test (α =0.05) were used for data comparison.
Results: The change in cure mechanism to RAFT polymerisation gave slightly faster initial polymerisation kinetics, but DC measured 300 s post irradiation was similar, irrespective of material, curing depth or polymerisation condition. Slightly better polymerisation, in layers thicker than 4-mm, was identified in the RAFT polymerised RBC. However, slightly lower flexural modulus and hardness, up to 1.5-mm subsurface, were related to the ca. one wt.% lower inorganic filler content.
Significance: RAFT polymerisation induced comparable properties to a RBC cured via free radical polymerisation of comparable chemical composition. The RAFT polymerised RBC with high irradiance for 3 s was equivalent to 10 s of moderate irradiance. However, the clinical tolerance for 3 s irradiance should be limited to an exposure distance of 5-mm and angulation of the LCU should be avoided. If this is not possible, an additional 3 s polymerisation is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-579
Number of pages10
JournalDental Materials
Issue number4
Early online date13 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • resin-based composite
  • RAFT-polymerization
  • fast-curing
  • degree of cure
  • polymerisation kinetics
  • bulk-fill


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