Observations have been made, using electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, on the changes in crystal size and shape which occur in developing rodent enamel during mineralization. Small enamel pieces isolated from ground sections of rat molars and incisors were either embedded in methacrylate and sectioned with a diamond knife for electron microscopy, or they were mounted intact on glass fibers in a Debye-Sherrer type powder camera for x-ray diffraction. By either approach it was found that the apatite crystals were very long in the c axis direction from the beginning of enamel mineralization. Morphologically, the early crystals took the shape of extremely thin, long plates arranged in such a manner that there seemed to be little room for any further length-wise growth. It was demonstrated clearly, on the other hand, that the crystals increased in both thickness and width with advancing mineralization. As a result, the thin crystal plates gradually developed into hexagonal rods, which in the most mature enamel examined measured 500 to 600 A in width and 250 to 300 A in thickness.

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