The conventional orthodontic power chain, often composed of polymer materials, has drawbacks such as a reduction of elasticity owing to water absorption as well as surface discoloration and staining resulting from food or beverages consumed by the patient. The goal of this study was to develop a surface treatment (nanoimprinting) for orthodontic power chains and to alleviate their shortcomings. A concave template (anodic alumina) was manufactured by anodization process using pure aluminum substrate by employing the nanoimprinting process. Convex nanopillars were fabricated on the surface of orthodontic power chains, resulting in surface treatment. Distinct parameters of the nanoimprinting process (e.g., imprinting temperature, imprinting pressure, imprinting time, and demolding temperature) were used to fabricate nanopillars on the surface of orthodontic power chains. The results of this study showed that the contact angle of the power chains became larger after surface treatment. In addition, the power chains changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The power chain before surface treatment without water absorption had a water absorption rate of approximately 4%, whereas a modified chain had a water absorption rate of approximately 2%-4%. Furthermore, the color adhesion of the orthodontic power chains after surface modification was less than that before surface modification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas