Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Walter Luiz Siqueira


As a result of its protein composition, saliva performs many essential functions that contribute to oral homeostasis. However, salivary proteins suffer quick degradation in the oral cavity, which decreases the protective potential of that fluid (Chapter 2). Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), we evaluated the effect of our novel salivary peptides DR9, DR9-DR9, DR9-RR14 and RR14 on the crystallization of calcium oxalate (CaOx). All peptides containing DR9 showed significant inhibitory effect on the crystallization of CaOx, whereas RR14 showed no effect (Chapter 3). Next, we tested the adsorption behavior of our chitosan nanoparticles (CHNP) delivery system to hydroxyapatite (HA) surface and to a protein-coated-HA surface using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and confocal microscopy. According to our results, CHNP are capable of adsorbing to HA and more evenly to a protein-coated-HA (Chapter 4). Our results bring us closer to developing a reliable delivery system for our protective peptides.