Optical tomography and light irradiation to reduce bacterial loads in oral health application

Long, Feixiao
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Intes, Xavier
Kotha, Shiva
Wang, Ge, 1957-
Li, Fengyan
Hahn, Juergen
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Biomedical engineering
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Light based modalities can enable detection of physiologic functional parameters and can be used as therapies, especially in structures close to the surface, such as teeth. The integrity of teeth is dependent on the physiological function of its biological component: cells in the pulp cavity. Previous studies suggest that impairment of the biological component, as occurs in the presence of cavities (due to bacterial biofilms) or when the tooth structure has been compromised by other means (such as cracks), affects some measures of physiology (e.g. oxygenation). Because it may be possible to detect impairment of pulp function through changes in its oxygenation, and since currently used pulse oximetry based methods provide measures that are affected by other variables, we evaluate whether it is possible to provide 3-D measurements of pulp activity. When the tooth decay forms and surgery has to be performed to prevent further damage of teeth, it is necessary to determine whether the dental fillings provide good coverage of the surgical cavity. It is noted that teeth structures exhibit extremely high absorption and scattering coefficients relative to other tissues on which optical methods have conventionally been used (e.g. wounds, breast and brain). So it is important to determine whether optical methods are sensitive enough to enable imaging through teeth to obtain 3-D measurements of pulp or dental fillings.
May 2016
School of Engineering
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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